Photo: Odaine Ximines of Lannaman's Prep fights off the challenge of Duncan McKenzie of Mona Prep in their Henriques Cup semi-final on Wednesday. Mona won the game 5-4 on penalties to advance to Saturday's final.
Mona Prep school put in a dogged performance against defending champions Lannaman’s Prep to win 5-4 on penalties and advance to the finals of the Tastee/JISA Henriques Cup competition on Wednesday at the UWI Bowl.
Mona lost to Lannaman’s in the quarterfinal round of the league competition, the Alberga Cup, on Monday, but were not overawed by their opponents in a game that both teams had moments of dominance,
Playing with their speedster, Dante Jackson up front, Mona was happy to play on the counter and looked threatening on a number of occasions. Jackson almost gave Mona the lead as early as the second minute when he outran the Lannaman’s back line but his shot went just over the top.
Jackson came close again in the 13th minute when he had another breakaway but was denied a clear shot on target by a combination of defender and goalkeeper, with his shot going wide of the target. Four minutes later he found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper who bravely left his lines to save with his feet.
Nando Meggs came close for Mona on the stroke of half time when he exhibited good dribbling skills to beat three defenders but his shot was inches wide of the post.
A stoppage time free kick from Duncan McKenzie was cleared a yard from the goal line by a defender as Lannaman’s defended bravely.
McKenzie was the first to get a shot on target in the second half but his hooked effort was grabbed by Anthony Bennett in the Lannaman’s goal.
Timar Dunn played in Kemoy Waugh for Lannaman’s two minutes later but the shot at goal came off the heel of Waugh and went wide of the target.
Lannaman’s took control of the game in the second half as they started passing the ball a lot better. They created another opportunity when Kevaughn Wilson ran down the right flank before crossing to Noel Bunsie but the striker was unable to redirect the ball on target under pressure from a defender.
With 15 minutes left to play Odaine Ximines fired just wide of the target from the edge of the area and two minutes later his teammate Dunn fired just over the crossbar from distance as Lannaman’s piled on the pressure.
Yared McDonald found a way towards goal for Mona eight minutes from time but his shot went straight at Bennett.
Kevin Johnson almost grabbed the winner for Lannaman’s with five minutes left to play, but his flicked header from a long throw was gathered in by Xavier Clarke.
Neither team created much in the extra time period, so the game came down to penalty kicks.
Both teams scored their first two from the spot, but Lannaman’s missed their third when Clarke saved the effort from Johnson with his feet. It proved to be the only miss of the shootout as Mona knocked out the defending champions and moved to within a game of lifting the title themselves.
Mona will face last year’s losing finalists Quest Prep in the finals on Saturday.