JC repeat - Old Hope Road-based school retains Manning Cup titleSunday, November 23, 2014
By Howard Walker Observer senior reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamaica College (JC) carved out an extra time 2-1 win over Charlie Smith High to retain their ISSA/LIME Manning Cup title at the National Stadium yesterday.
Goals by captain marvel Junior Flemmings and Raffique Bryan in the 61st and 97th minutes, respectively, gave JC their fourth title in the last eight years and their overall 26th lien on the prestigious trophy.
The Dark Blues from Old Hope Road broke a 33-year drought in 2007, and have followed that up with successful campaigns in 2010, 2013 and 2014 in recent vintage.
The lethal Flemmings notched his 16th goal of the season. while Bryan registered his fifth and both strikes kept JC on course for the unprecedented four titles with the rich LIME Super Cup already in the bag.
Flemmings, 18, who has been playing since he was 14 years-old, was shadowed all game by the no-nonsense Orane Samuels, but cleverly anticipated a headed back pass, flicked the ball over the advancing goalkeeper Leon Taylor and calmly slotted home in the 61st minute.
But just when JC seemed to be on their way to victory, Bebeto McDonald responded for Charlie Smith in the 79th minute with beautiful 25-metre shot that sailed over goalkeeper Courtney Dowdie and into the roof of the net to level the score at 1-1 and send the game into extra time.
With only 20 minutes of extra time to be played, Bryan watched in joy as his freekick took a wicked deflection and wrong-footed the hapless Taylor in goal in the 97th minute for a deserved win.
An ecstatic winning coach Miguel Coley said this victory was sweet and praised his players for another sterling effort.
"It is fantastic and it's a wonderful year and always a pleasure to work with boys who are committed and who work hard. We are not the most skilful, but we stuck to the game plan, we are tough, we are efficient and we are a fantastic team," said Coley.
"The first half wasn't good (as) the ball was all over the place, but in the second half we tried to control the ball, especially in the middle of the park and we did that and got a goal," he added.
"The final is never about the beauty of it, this is what it means and this trophy means everything," said a delighted Coley.
While JC celebrated yet another trophy win, the Charlie Smith players were in tears and inconsolable.
They were some who questioned referee Oshane Nation's decision to give Lennox Cameron a second yellow card seconds away from the final whistle, and that was thought to have decided the match.
"He could have just talked to the player, seeing that its 30 seconds leave in the game. How referees love decide the game so?" asked Eugene Williams, a member of the Charlie Smith coaching staff.
Meanwhile, head coach Jerome Waite, who lost in the final in 2011, was clearly a disappointed man. "When the player was ejected from the field that was when JC had the better of play... all in all it was a good game, tough game, but congratulation to the JC team," said Waite.
It was a deserved victory for JC who tried to play the better possession football throughout, and having secured their second title of the season, they now turn their attention to Thursday where they will play St George's College in the final of the urban Walker Cup Knockout competition.