Robert Bailey, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Jamaica College carved a 25th lien on one of the most coveted schoolboy football trophies at the National Stadium yesterday.
It took a gruelling, energy-sapping 120 minutes – 90 minutes regulation time and 30 minutes extra time – to decide the winners. And at the end, surrounded by his teammates and students of the Old Hope Road-based school, captain Junior Flemming lifted the coveted trophy after a hard-fought 3-2 victory.
The teams were locked at 2-2 at the end of normal time and it took another nine minutes for substitute Ronald Brown to crash home the winner after being sent clear by Raffique Bryan.
It was a ding-dong battle throughout. JC took the lead when Wolmer’s defender Rennico Clarke put the ball past his own goalkeeper in the 26th minute. Jaheel Hyde then struck twice (30th and 64th minute) to hand Wolmer’s a 2-1 advantage before Bryan sent the match into extra time when headed past the Wolmer’s goalkeeper Dane Lee three minutes from full time.
Miguel Coley, coach of JC, who was in tears after yesterday’s victory, said he was overwhelmed by his team’s success.
“It was an excellent performance from us and I thank God for the victory,” said Coley. “I have said from the start of the season that teamwork makes the dream work and we did today.”
Wolmer’s coach Ludlow Bernard was very disappointed with the result.
“I am not going to make any excuses,” said Bernard. “I think we were unfortunate in the latter part of the game as a couple of our player weren’t able to give 100 per cent.
clear-cut chances missed
Wolmer’s came out looking the better team in the early exchanges, but they missed a couple of clear-cut chances. Rennico Clarke’s powerful header from a Jason Greenland corner kick shaved the JC crossbar. Then the fleet-footed Jordan James, who tormented the JC defenders with his pace-clever dribbling skills, also came close, but powerful effort from 15 yards was well saved by JC’s goalkeeper Courtney Dowie.
However, after looking the better team, Wolmer’s and their supporters were left stunned in the 26th minute. A long-range pass from Flemming created confusion in the Wolmer’s defence and Rennico Clarke sliced his clearance over the head of goalkeeper Lee and into the back of the net.
Wolmer’s found the equaliser four minutes later when Hyde converted a spectacular free kick.
Hyde netted Wolmer’s second goal 15 minutes inside the second half when he arrived at the near post to head powerfully past Dowie. However, JC forced their way back into the game with a late equalizer. Bryan sent a downward header which bounced in front of and past the Wolmer’s goalkeeper.