Glenmuir High took the first strike after they upset red-hot favourites Clarendon College 3-2 to win their first ISSA Champions Cup title at the national stadium on Saturday.
The Andrew Peart coached team came from a goal down to lead 3-1 before a penalty deep inside time added saw Clarendon College cut the deficit and set up a frantic last few minutes.
It was the first of two finals for the teams as they meet again next week in the daCosta Cup final, at the same venue.
Clarendon College will be without influential central defender Nahshon Bolt-Barrett who was red carded in the 51st minute after he dragged back a Glenmuir player who had a run at goal.
In one of the best schoolboy football games played in the country in years, Orane Watson scored twice to lead Glenmuir High as they avenged a 2-1 loss to the previous unbeaten Clarendon College in the quarterfinals.
The loss ended an 18 games unbeaten run by Clarendon College and ironically their last loss in a schoolboys game came in last year’s Champions Cup semi-finals when they ran into an inspired Kingston College team led by Dujuan Richards.
It was Clarendon College’s third Champions Cup final while Glenmuir who won the Ben Francis Cup last year, were in their first and became the eighth school and third from the daCosta Cup to lift it.
It was also the second Champions Cup finals to see two daCosta Cup teams after Clarendon College beat Dinthill in the 2021 final and the first that saw two teams from Clarendon in the same final.
The high-flying Clarendon College who brushed aside Manning Cup finalists Hydel High in the semi-finals took the lead in the 18th minute when Keheim Dixon who scored both goals in the semi-finals, finished a smooth three-man move from close range.
Christopher Hull played the ball to Ateibo Green down the right side of the 18-yard box and he crossed it to the waiting Dixon who made no mistake.
It took a sumptuous goal from Ja-son White, his second of the season, to pull Glenmuir High level when he struck a one time shot from a pass from Kyle Gordon past Clarendon College’s goalkeeper Roshae Burrell in the 27th minute.
The game turned dramatically early in the second half when Bolt-Burrell was sent off and Watson’s superb free kick in the 53rd minute gave Glenmuir the lead.
Even playing a man short did not stop the Clarendon College team as they came back at the Glenmuir team and should have at least pulled level but struck both goalposts in one sequence in the 71st minute.
Dixon’s low hard shot from the left flank came back off the inside of the far post and after the Glenmuir defense failed to get it away, Malachi Douglas hit the left post even then the ball fell nicely to Dixon but he was unable to get a boot on the ball.
Glenmuir High all but got two hands on the trophy when Watson put them 3-1 up in the 82ndminutes, thanks to a mistake from goalkeeper Burrell who was playing well out of his goal area, misplayed a ball and Watson made no mistake, slotting into an unprotected goal from about 40 yards out.
The drama was no over as Clarendon College found a way back deep into added time after Dixon bulled his way through the defense and was fouled by Glenmuir High goalkeeper Antwone Gooden.
Douglas scored the penalty to cut the deficit to one goal and could have dramatically come back but for Gooden to redeem himself with two blocks late in the game.