Photo: Jamaica College celebrates their third straight hold on the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup following a 1-0 win over St. Georges College in the final at Sabina Park on Saturday.
Jamaica College defended their Manning Cup title and claimed their third straight lien by defeating St. George’s College 1-0 in a epic and nail biting final at Sabina Park on Saturday. A 90th minute header from Donovan Dawkins settled the contest to break St. Georges hearts and exact revenge for the hammering they took in the Super Cup finals two weeks earlier.
Miguel Coley worked with a game plan designed to ensure that Jamaica College retained their title. Coley packed the midfield with stronger players that left the magical trio of Alex Marshall, Shevon Stewart and Gregory Messam Jr. frustrated in the attacking third.
Jamaica College started out looking good and would have surprised many by controlling the game, getting first to balls in the air and breaking up plays regularly to disrupt the rhythm of the Light Blues.
It was a well contested first half between the two teams. it was end to end action coming to the break but the North Street based school did produce the better scoring opportunities, but JC was disciplined in defence.
JC was so good in the middle of the park that when they did not have the ball they ensured that St. George’s had little space to work with.
Nil all at the break with a fair result of 0-0 as both teams gave as good as they got.
At the resumption the Old Hope Road based institution really took the game to the Neville Bell coached team. JC was dominating possession early in the second period but St. George’s stood firm in defence marshalled well by Akeem Prawl.
The Light Blues came into the game soon after taking up possession and attacking regularly but JC held their nerves in defence.
It was end to end action from both teams and you could sense that a goal would come soon. JC played a tactically sound game and the older the game got they looked an even more disciplined and organized unit.
St. George’s College came close to breaking the deadlock in the 89th minute through Stewart, who dismissed his marker and went just inside the six yard box where he was given room to get a shot off. Goalkeeper Jahmali Waite had to go full stretch to deny Stewart brilliantly and kept his team in the contest.
JC was at the other end in a flash, Jaron Sewell's well measured cross arrived at the head of Dawkins with the right pace as he flicked it in the roof of the net in the final minute.
Three minutes of stoppage time was played but it was not enough for any added drama as the JC team and coaching staff celebrated with their supporters.