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Penalties put JC, STATHS into Manning Cup final

By November 20, 2019
Action from the Manning Cup semi-final between Jamaica College and Kingston College at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Wednesday. Action from the Manning Cup semi-final between Jamaica College and Kingston College at the National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica on Wednesday.

There will be a new champion of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup competition after Kingston College were ousted by Jamaica College in the semi-final of the competition at the National Stadium in Kingston on Wednesday.

JC rebounded from a penalty shootout loss to KC on Saturday in the semi-final of the ISSA Champions Cup to score five penalties from as many attempts to get by their famed rivals 5-4 after the teams had played out a goalless draw.

In the day’s other semi-final, also played at the National Stadium, St Andrew Technical High School made it to their second final in three years, thanks to a penalty 4-2 penalty shootout win over Wolmer’s Boys’ School.

While JC looked the better team, winning countless 50-50 duels in the middle of the park and enjoying good spells of possession, they only did so from in front of the KC back four and never really got behind them to create too many opportunities.

After the game, Ludlow Bernard, coach of KC, said it was only via penalties that his team could lose.

It seemed though, that it was only from the spot they would win as well, as the combination of good goalkeeping and stout defending blunted the KC attacks at every time of the asking.

Deep down I am very solemn. I think the boys did very well today and this was probably the only way we would be beaten here today. It was a very good performance, I am very proud of the boys,” said Bernard.

JC coach, Davion Ferguson was aware of how close the teams were and believed that, again, it would have taken penalties to separate the teams.

With that in mind “Penalties were what we practiced all week,” said Ferguson.

“Credit to the boys, they did well.”

Though disappointed that his team’s bid to repeat as champions had ended in the final four stage, Bernard could not fault his boys.

“I can’t complain. They left everything on the pitch out here today and a lot of them will be around next year so they will have learnt some lessons from today,” said Bernard.

“There are a lot of positives coming out of it and we’ll be back,” he said.

Ferguson knows that there is still a job to be done but was happy that, at the very least, JC had achieved one of the objectives they set out this season.

“It’s an exciting feeling. At the start of the season we set objectives to be back in the final and we met one of those objectives,” he said.

STATHS had put themselves ahead when Stephen McQueen slammed in a brilliant diving header from a corner in the ninth minute of play but that lead did not last long.

In the 15th minute, Orlando Russell ran on to a beautiful throughball and dismissed one defender before slotting the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper to leave the game level.

That was all the action on the scoresheet until penalties where STATHS were able to finally separate themselves.

After the game, Wolmer’s head coach, Alex Thomas, said penalties were a tough way to lose but that the teams gave each other as good as they got, which was pleasing.

“I think we did well all over the pitch. Penalty kicks and we came out on the wrong end. Praises to the St Andrew Technical team and praises to my boys. Well done. It’s a tough way to lose but we just have to go back to the drawing board and prepare for next season,” he said.

STATHS coach, Phillip Williams, is of the belief that his organization is announcing itself for having one of the better football programmes in the country by the consistency the team has shown in making it to this stage of the competition.

“We trod this road in 2017 and we like the taste of it. We put all our energy in getting back here,” said Phillips.

“We are very young programme and we don’t shy away from this stage because these stages show you if your programme is really one to reckon with. We are putting our hands up as one of the best programmes in the Manning Cup,” he said.

Like JC had done later on that night, STATHS victory came about by virtue of being prepared for penalties.

“Yesterday we talked about it and came to the conclusion that this would have been one of the eventualities. Wolmer’s did their homework and nullified our front three for most of the game. We put in a lot of practice,” said Phillips.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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