JC bite back! - Jamaica College exact revenge on Kingston College for Manning final berth
J amaica College (JC) will meet St Andre w Technical High School (STATHS) in a repeat of the 2017 ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup final.
JC defeated defending champions Kingston College (KC) 5-4 on penalties, after playing to a goalless stalemate in regulation time in the second semi-final of a double-header at the National Stadium yesterday. This was the second meeting between the sides in just four days as KC had beaten JC 3-2 on penalties after ending 1-1 in regulation time during their Champions Cup semi-final last Saturday.
Kingston College's Jahmari Morrison was the only kicker to miss from both games yesterday, but winning coach, Davion Ferguson, who is in his first season at Old Hope Road school, thought the game was highly tactical. He commends his players for being better at holding their composure in the shoot-out.
"They came out and tried to block the channels so we didn't really get the spaces," Ferguson said. "We were evenly matched but the penalties, we practised a lot during the week, and we held our nerve well."
Ferguson will now try to emulate former many times champion JC coach Miguel Coley by winning the title in his first season.
"[Making the final] was one of the targets we set at the start of the season, and so we are happy that we have met that target," he said. "The other target now is how well we can finish the season," he said.
It was an evenly contested first half, but although JC started the better team, KC came into their own, playing some quality football and came close through Dwayne Atkinson, Ronaldo Robinson and Tyrese Williams.
JC also had a few sniffs at goal but could not take advantage, despite a couple of near misses.
KC grew stronger after the break and had the better openings but JC always looked threatening and had a few chances of their own, especially towards to end with Atkinson coming the closest with a shot that KC goalkeeper Daniel Russell had to parry for a corner.
However, as full time drew near, both teams substituted their goalkeepers in anticipation of the penalty shoot-out. KC sent in Hasani Barnes for David Martin, while JC replaced Russell with Tarique Barrett.
However, when the dust settled on the penalties, it was Barrett who proved the more effective of the two keepers as he pounced on KC's first penalty, taken by Morrison, which proved decisive in the end.
Both teams should have been reduced to 10 men in a bizarre second-half incident when KC's Khalifah Richards was caught on television camera biting into JC's Shadane Lopez shoulder. Lopez retaliated by slapping Richards across the face. Both players were shown the yellow card by the referee.
Kingston College's coach Ludlow Bernard thought his players represented their school well, but believes it was a learning experience which will serve his younger players in the squad well next season.
"It has been a very good season," he said. "The boys really put in a lot of work. But we knew it was going to be difficult and we figured we had a very good chance in the penalty shoot-out. I am certain next season they will bounce back in true 'Purple' fashion."
St Andrew Technical won the other semi-final over Wolmer's, also on penalties (4-2) after the teams played to 1-1 draw.
The Manning Cup final is set for next Friday at the same venue.