Gritty KC grind out Walker Cup win over St. Georges

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Kingston College,St. George's College,ISSA/FLOW Walker Cup,Javain Brown,Neville Bell,Dwayne Atkinson,Ackeem Robotham,Rashwan Mackison,

Photo: Captain Javain Brown got the opener for Kingston College as they ran out 2-1 winners over St. George's College in the quarter finals of the ISSA/FLOW Walker Cup at the Stadium East Field on Wednesday. KC will meet St. Andrew Technical in the semi-finals after they defeated Holy Trinity 4-3 on penalties after the two teams played out a 1-1 full and extra time draw. Jamaica College also advanced to the semis after their 3-1 win over St. Catherine High, also at the Stadium East Field.

 

 

It wasn’t a game for the purists, neither was it a game for the faint of heart, as defending champions Kingston College edged St. Georges College 2-1 in a gritty extra time win in their Walker Cup quarter final contest at the Stadium East Field on Wednesday. First half goals from Javain Brown of Kingston College and Ackeem Robotham of St. Georges College, left the tie on a knife’s edge as the two North Street giants played out another enthralling contest in front of another capacity crowd at the venue.

It took a 98th minute goal from Kingston College substitute Dwayne Atkinson to settle the contest and see Kingston College advance to the semi-finals of the Walker Cup, plus throw their hat in the ring for the lucrative ISSA/FLOW Super Cup competition which begins next weekend.

Kingston College got off to yet another quick start when, Brown headed home a cross from Renato Campbell at the back post following a short corner. The KC captain soared high above the other players to send a towering header into the back of the net, with just nine minutes on the clock, but it was his error that brought STGC back in the contest in the 21st minute. The normally sure-footed KC defender missed a routine clearance and Robotham was on hand to sweep home the equalizer from close range to stun the KC crowd.

With so much at stake and the normally reliable Omar Thompson putting in a lackluster performance, KC coach Ludlow Bernard went to his bench, bringing in the pint sized Atkinson who was quickly into the thick of things. “Busy” as he is known, blew by two defenders before crossing to Ronaldo Robinson who was unmarked at the penalty spot but the left footer skewed his effort wide of the post.

Robinson then supplied his teammate with a cross, but the jumping Atkinson was unable to get his header on target at the back stick.

STGC came closest to taking the lead in the second half when Romario Harding hit the post after a giveaway in midfield by KC. Robotham also tried his luck from just outside the box but saw his effort go just over the crossbar as the Light Blues rode the momentum.

KC came out on the front foot in the second half with their main man Rashawn Mackison getting a couple of looks but was unable to find the target. The Purples maintained the pressure and STGC centre back Paul Young provided an important block from a well struck shot by Campbell.

Damani Harris went agonizingly close for STGC at the other end as the action heated up.

A double save from Hakeem Francis then denied KC a certain goal. Mackison was released inside the box and steered his effort towards the far post but Francis stuck out a boot to deny the tall striker. The rebound fell to Trayvone Reid who saw his header that was destined for the roof of the net tipped over by Francis as the STGC custodian kept his team in the contest. KC managed to get the ball into the back of the net from the ensuing corner kick but the effort was ruled out for an infringement in the box.

As the minutes ticked away, KC kept pushing but STGC kept resisting, forcing the game into extra time.

STGC took a decidedly defensive posture in the first half of extra time, putting all their players behind the ball in a bid to thwart the KC attack, but in the end it was the smallest man on the pitch for KC who would get the job done. Atkinson was able to get his head onto a cross from Reid as the two substitutes combined to grab the winner for KC. The ball hit the upright before rolling across the face of goal and nestled inside the other side of the goal.  

The win sees KC advance to the Super Cup for a third season in a row.

KC coach Ludlow Bernard praised the character shown by his team in grinding out a difficult result.

“It was always going to be a difficult game, our North Street neighbours are solid characters and it took their effort to get the best out of us. Although we weren’t having our best game today a lot of resolve was shown, which is going to be needed in order to win championships,” said a satisfied Bernard.

St. George’s College coach Bertis Bell was gracious in defeat.

“I am very proud of the Georges team. They played really hard and I thought they played really well, but the Kingston College team is a high quality team, I congratulate them. They have done really well all season and they still haven’t lost.”

St. Georges will next turn their attention to their Manning Cup quarter final replay with St. Andrew Technical on November 14th.

In the opening Walker Cup game at Stadium East, last season’s beaten finalists Jamaica College easily got by St. Catherine High 3-1. The Dark Blues were already 3-0 up from goals by Tyreke Magee, Saqlaun Waul and Milton Walford before St. Catherine got their consolation when their captain Maleke Miller scored from the penalty spot with the very last kick of the game.

In the other quarter final at Constant Spring, STATHS outlasted Holy Trinity 4-3 on penalties after the two had played out a full and extra time 1-1 draw.

Calabar High will take on Bridgeport High today to decide the final semifinalist and Super Cup qualifier. Kick-off is set for 2:30pm at the Constant Spring Field.