Garvey Maceo High celebrate with the daCosta Cup after victory over Manning's School in the final at St Elizabeth Technical High School Sports Complex on Friday. (Photo:Karl Mclarty)
Cousins, Clarke help Garvey Maceo hit Manning's for 5 in daCosta Cup final

SANTA CRUZ, Jamaica — Gregory Cousins notched a hat-trick to guide Garvey Maceo High to a 5-0 hammering of Manning's School in Friday's Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association/WATA daCosta Cup final on Friday.

In windy conditions at St Elizabeth Technical High School Sports Complex, Cousins scored in the 14th, 35th and 73rd minutes to effectively seal the 2021-2022 title for his school.

Cleo Clarke, who struck in minutes 45 and 85, got the other goals to cap off the obliteration of Manning's.

Clarendon-based Garvey Maceo, popularly known as the Cubanz, have now won the daCosta Cup – the symbol of rural area schoolboy football supremacy — for the second time after initial success in 2007.

It was a disappointing outcome for Manning's, who promised much entering their first-ever daCosta Cup final but appeared to fold under the weight of the occasion.

Garvey Maceo Head Coach Merron Gordon was elated after he had lost at this stage in 2010 when he was in charge of Lennon High.

“It was easier than I thought it would have been, to be honest. But this was one of those games in which you prepared tactically and got it right — even in the offensive third,” he told the Jamaica Observer during a post-match interview.

“Hats off to these boys because they won Under-14, Under-16 titles and now the daCosta Cup [Under-19] trophy. This is one of the rare set of boys to have done that... they had that confidence coming into this game,” Gordon continued.

Manning's Head Coach Everton Tomlinson said a combination of factors led to the Westmoreland-located team's lacklustre performance.

“It's difficult to explain but it's obvious that Manning's weren't disciplined. I think they showed signs of nervousness from the opening whistle. As a coaching staff we were expecting some of it but we were still hoping we'd have played a good game,” he told the Observer.

It was all Garvey Maceo in the first half as Manning's struggled against their bigger, stronger opponents who were further boosted by the strong breeze at their backs.

Cousins made the early dominance count when he got onto a ball inside the 18-yard box and opened his body to side-foot into the corner of the goal.

The attacker added a second when teammate Orlando Lawrence put the ball on a platter for him to slide his effort beneath advancing goalkeeper Ashawni Campbell.

With Manning's finding difficulty even getting out of their own half, Clarke compounded their misery with his team's third goal on the stroke of half-time.

Having the breeze in their favour for the second half, Manning's were better in attack and created a handful of openings — but they failed to convert.

Their desperate attacks left holes in the defensive end as they battled to find a way back into the game. Fortunately for them, Garvey Maceo continued to squander chances throughout the lopsided clash.

Manning's went down to 10 players with 19 minutes remaining after Javin Williams was sent off by Referee Odette Hamilton. He had already been cautioned for an infringement in the 20th minute and was issued a second yellow card for dissent in the 71st minute following his reaction to another foul call against his team.

Goalkeeper Campbell, who endured a torrid afternoon, was easily beaten by Cousin's resultant free kick.

With the final done and dusted as a contest, Clarke scored his team's fifth when he broke through one-on-one with the keeper to roll the ball into the goal.

Garvey Maceo coach Merron Gordon(Photos: Karl Mclarty)
Manning's School coach EvertonTomlinson
Manning's School player Que Williams (left) competes for the ball with Garvey Maceo High's Shaquille Blackstock during Friday's daCosta Cup final at St Elizabeth Technical High Schols Sports Complex. Garvey Maceo won 5-0.
BY SANJAY MYERS Senior staff reporter

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