Photo: Fabian Grant of Kingston College shoots on target, one minute into the ISSA/FLOW Walker Cup final against Jamaica College and gives his team an early lead. KC went on to win the final 2-0 and claim their first title in sixteen year.
Kingston College ended their 16 year wait for a senior schoolboy football trophy when they defeated Jamaica College 2-0 in the ISSA/FLOW Walker Cup final at the National Stadium on Thursday night. Goals in either half from Fabian Grant and Andre McCatty earned the Ludlow Bernard coached team victory over the Manning Cup champions, who entered the game as firm favourites.
A first minute goal from Grant, helped shape what turned out to be an engaging and enthralling contest. A loose ball fell to the feet of the KC midfielder and with the JC defenders backing off, Grant curled a beautiful shot toward the far post, the ball kissing the inside of the post and crashing into the back of the net.
Stung by the concession of the early goal, JC went in search of a quick response. Playing their usual booming diagonal passes from midfield out to the flanks to Duhaney Williams and Donovan Dawkins, the True Blue found a resolute KC defence that refused to give them space in which to operate. Dawkins did manage to work his way down the left flank, but goal keeper Jahvanni Grant closed down the space at the near post to deny the big striker as he bore down on goal.
Known this season for their attacking style and high goal scoring rate, KC adjusted their team tactics, playing behind the ball, putting in a classic defensive display.
With just over 20 minutes played, Chavany Willis got on the end of a Tyreek Magee corner kick just on the edge of the area, but was unable to keep his shot under the crossbar.
A 27th minute header from Rashawn Mackison was the first shot on target from KC since the opening goal, but it was tame and quite easy for Kajay Johnson to save.
JC’s leading goal scorer, Duhaney Williams was picked out with another diagonal pass inside the KC area, but despite getting by his marker, his shot sailed over the crossbar from 14 yards.
KC continued to be disciplined in defence, restricting JC to just one more effort on target before the interval, but Tyreek Magee saw his goal bound effort stopped by the lunging KC skipper, Javain Brown.
JC came out with all guns blazing in the second half and attempted to catch KC napping from the kick-off. Williams got down the left flank and put in a good cross but Grant was able to produce a diving save to snuff out the danger.
KC doubled their lead and put one hand on the trophy when McCatty turned his marker and let fly nine minutes after the restart. His left footed effort towards the top right corner of the goal was tipped by Johnson who failed to get a strong enough hand to the ball to keep it out of the goal as KC went 2-0 up.
Two minutes later, the JC captain, Oquin Robinson was left holding his head after his shot crashed off the base of the upright and out for a goal kick.
McCatty almost doubled his tally in the 60th minute when his fierce free kick crept under the body of Johnson but the ball squirted wide of the goal.
Eight minutes from time, Williams had another shot on target from 16 yards, but Grant was again equal to the task to keep the JC danger man off the score sheet.
Moments after the fourth official signalled four minutes of added time Delverone Simpson thought he had pulled one back for JC, but the ball hit the inside of the right upright and rolled across the face of goal and outside for a goal kick, as KC continued to ride their luck.
The final whistle brought an end to the long wait for the KC faithful who had not seen their team win a title at this level since the turn of the millennium.
“I really have to lift my hats off to the players who were really very disciplined in their approach and were very meticulous at the back and I think it worked to a tee. A lot of the plays that you see JC came with, we expected it and we nullified it, we limited and restricted them to a few shots on target,” Bernard said of his team’s performance.
“We showed our defensive qualities here today. All season long we have been showing our offensive qualities. Today we stood up, even when Fabian Grant had to come off due to an injury we introduced Rudolph Anderson who hadn’t played for a long, long while…he came in and stood up very firmly and resolutely.
“I am really proud of the boys, it (the win) is for them,” said a delighted Bernard.
JC coach Miguel Coley said faulty defending cost them the trophy.
“We gave away two soft goals…but congrats to KC...they defended well.”
Despite winning the Manning Cup in all four seasons while in charge, Coley has yet to taste victory in the Walker Cup, despite being in two finals. His other loss came to the other North Street based institution, St. Georges College.