Defending champions Jamaica College (JC) and St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) will meet in this year’s ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup final following contrasting semi-final victories at the National Stadium last evening.
JC produced their usual gritty performance to carve out a hard-fought 3-2 extra-time victory over Holy Trinity High, this after both teams played out a 1-1 draw in full time.
In the second match of the semi-final double-header, 1987 champions STATHS stunned overwhelming favourites Kingston College 2-1.
The Miguel Coley-coached JC trailed 2-1 in extra-time before goals in two minutes saw the Old Hope Road school advancing to their fifth straight Manning Cup final.
Gavin Thorpe (19th), Norman Campbell (98th) and Shaniel Thomas (100th) were the scorers for JC, who trailed 2-1 in extra-time before finding their best form in an exciting final 20 minutes.
Phillion Lawrence in 38th minute and Omario Cole in the 95th minute were the scorers for the Devon Anderson-coached Holy Trinity.
A Little Lucky
Coley hailed his team’s performance, adding that they had some luck.
“It’s a tough competition because Holy Trinity really played us very well especially in the second half,” said Coley. “The first half they played high and we were able to capitalise on it because we created a lot of opportunities but we didn’t take advantage of them,” he said.
“However, I am happy that in the latter part of the game that we got a little luck, and we were able to win the game. That is what a championship is all about; you take your chances, especially in the dying moments,” Coley said.
A disappointed Anderson said his team should have won the game in regular time.
“I am feeling disappointed as we could have put the game away in regular time,” said Anderson.
“We went in front in extra time but we lost concentration and focus, then gave up two goals after we fought hard to get back into the game.”
STATHS, now celebrating the 30th anniversary of their only title, went 2-0 up against their highly fancied rivals, and then led by their outstanding goalkeeper, Jaedine White, held on for a narrow victory. David Smith (61st) and Barrington Bailey (65th) were the scorers for STATHS. Ronaldo Robinson scored KC’s consolation goal in the 74th minute.
The Manning Cup final is set to take place on December 1 at the National Stadium.