Kingston College showing the signs, says head coach Ludlow BernardTuesday, December 07, 2021
Kingston College (KC) were the only school to complete their first round assignment of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup competition with a perfect win record of five wins from five games, when they beat St Catherine High 2-1 at the Spanish Town Prison Oval on Monday, showing ominous signs that they are ready to mount a serious title challenge this season.
The famed Purples were never really threatened by a St Catherine team that was desperate for a point to finish second in Group C as they held them at arms-length to ease to yet another relatively easy win.
A goal in the dying embers of the game by Dillion Richards gave the Antony Patrick-coached team some hope, but in truth, it seemed that a KC response was more likely than a St Catherine equalizer.
And KC head coach Ludlow Bernard was adamant that his boys were the ultimate force for the full 90 minutes.
“I really tend to disagree that St Catherine got back in the game. If it means that a goal brought them back in the game, then so be it, but I thought that we had total control of the game.
“Although the St Catherine team would have pulled one back and showed a lot of enthusiasm afterwards, I thought we were still very much in control of the game and probably could have scored a few more goals, but it is a good result.”
Bernard revealed that the team composition at the start of the game was not the usual one as he completed his preliminary round fixtures.
“We made a couple changes. Clearly, we wanted to give some players some minutes because we are going into the business round now. So, we saw it fit to preserve some players that are partially injured,” he said.
It was an almost perfect first half for KC as they led 1-0 through a strike from Ronaldo Burgher in the 28th minute. Taraj Andrews scored the second goal for KC in the 62nd minute and Bernard explained why he thought his team conceded the penalty which ultimately led to them being scored against for the first time this season.
“The penalty that we conceded, the player was carrying an injury and I thought that it contributed to his effort to try to stop the player. But I was pretty pleased with the first half dominance.”
“We always have to remind ourselves that it is schoolboys we are dealing with and also that football hasn't been played for quite a while now, so sometimes the demands that we make on them tend to sometimes be unreasonable.”
However, the all-around display by the KC team has Bernard purring ahead of the knockout phase of the competition, which begins this weekend.
“We showed lots of signs of the stuff that we wanted and this is very much what I am asking of the Kingston College team.
“So, I think it's a good effort and I think we may be the only team so far with a perfect win record. So, I think that's a good momentum to go into the next round.”
KC has been drawn with Camperdown High, Kingston Technical and Charlie Smith High in Group 2 in the quarterfinals.