Jamaica College’s Tyreke MaGee netted his 17th and 18th goals of the season as they outscored a stubborn Dinthill Technical 3-2 in the first game of the Flow Cup Quarter Final doubleheader last evening. It was a spectacular man-of-the-match performance from MaGee who not only scored two goals but had a hand in the third. His display proved why he is touted by many as the best schoolboy footballer in Jamaica.

Even though Magee starred the show, for the most part, the killer instinct distinctively oozed from Dinthill’s Kaheem Parris who showed great skill and pace early in the encounter as he wriggled and wheeled his way into the JC armor like a twisting dagger. However, his attempts to penetrate the JC back line proved futile. The JC defenders kept slamming the door shut, to the delight of their supporters, despite the fact that Dinthill was the more threatening team, outshooting them 2-1.

The game evolved into a see-saw battle as both teams sought the opening goal. JC, however, showed more poise, and in the 31st minute, they reaped their reward. Thomas picked up the ball and eased past a Dinthill defender just on the left of the 18-yard box before taking a shot on goal. The technique was almost flawless as he opened up his body and dexterously swung the side of his right foot into the ball. The crowd waited with bated breath, but the ball whistled inches over the apex of the crossbar and far post. The crowd, nevertheless, rapturously applauded what would have been a spectacular goal.

A minute later, The Blues drew first blood as they launched another attack through Maliek Howell who raced into acres of space on the right flank. The unmarked Howell had an eternity to float a searching cross towards Norman Campbell who galloped into space on the inside left of the box, chested down the ball and rolled it back to the top of the 18-yard box to find a wide-open Tyreke MaGee. The defenders were in disarray as MaGee drove a scorching grass cutter which ricocheted like a pinball off the left arm of the diving Demero Hill and into the net. The JC supporters went ballistic in celebration, banging the aluminum out of the seats of the grandstand as their team went ahead 1-0.

Dinthill responded in the 42nd-minute with an equalizer through Andre Fletcher. Fletcher got a free kick almost dead centre of the goal atop the 18-yard box. He made no mistake in dispatching a high curling shot over the JC wall and almost into the roof of the net as the ball eluded the outstretched fingers of Khari Williams. The Dinthill supporters went berserk as the blares of vuvuzelas saturated the atmosphere. The goal not only electrified the stadium but also the increased the intensity of the game. This was Fletcher’s second bite of the cherry but the only one he really sank his teeth into. He had gotten a glorious opportunity moments before, but his effort was awfully miscued as he tried to fire home off his weaker right foot. The first half ended 1-1.

Just moments after referee Cordella Samuels’ whistle signaled the start of the second half, there was a worrying sign for Dinthill. The heart and soul of their team, Kaheem Parris, became physically ill, forcing the referee to pause the game momentarily. Parris left the pitch to the dismay of the Dinthill contingent, but moments later he returned after receiving treatment, to re-ignite the spirit of the team.

The Blues got a go-ahead chance almost immediately when clever ‘running off the ball’ by the JC team allowed Thomas to lose his marker. He found himself in yards of space behind the Dinthill defense, one-on-one with goalkeeper Demero Hill. The diminutive Hill flew off his line like a sprinter out of his blocks and came up big, denying Thomas any goal-scoring glory, and the score remained 1-1.

Jamaica College broke the deadlock in the 58th minute, once again through MaGee. Tevin Rochester held the ball on the right flank and beckoned for MaGee, with his back to the goal, to come short of an apparent one-two combination play. Instead, MaGee turned adroitly to his right and towards goal, leaving the bamboozled defender frozen like a scarecrow in a cornfield and rifled a hip height shot which bounced just before the outstretched arm of Hill to find its way into the back of the net.

Nevertheless, Dinthill was by no means discouraged. They mustered all the strength from Linstead and clawed their way back into the game once again with an equalizer from Antonio Roberts in the 66th minute. The buildup had Parris’ footprints all over it as he seemingly threw on a jetpack as if he was heading to Paris. He flew down the right wing and past his marker as if he was not there. He then played a picture-perfect ball into the penalty area, finding Roberts who side-footed it into the goal. The lightning-fast counterattack was so well executed that the discombobulated JC defense did not know what hit them.

The game seemed destined for a draw as two determined teams threw hammer and tongs at each other while also defending resolutely. However, in the 75th minute, Demero Hill made a perilous mistake that led to Dinthill’s demise. The Blues won a free kick on the far side of the left flank which MaGee floated into the 18-yard box. Goalkeeper Hill took charge of his penalty area and sprang forward for what appeared to be a routine training ground catch. But the floater was deceptive and he mishandled the ball. Like a shark smelling blood in the water, substitute Gavin Thorpe gobbled up the ball and bundled it into the net making it 3-2, JC. On the one hand, the event sent shock waves throughout the Dinthill contingent. On the other hand, The Blues frantically celebrated their gift.

As the clock wound down, Dinthill showed great determination as they rattled the padlock of the JC’s defensive door. But coach Coley smartly inserted more defensive players to shut out Dinthill’s huffing and puffing. Even with 4 minutes of added time, Dinthill could not break the seal and so the game ended 3-2 in favour of JC.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the prolific Rushawn Mackison bagged three goals as Kingston College battered Rusea’s High 4-1. With the quarterfinals concluded, all roads now lead to Sabina Park for the semi-finals next week Saturday where Jamaica College will once again meet arch-rivals Kingston College. The other semi-final will see the sole survivors of the rural area, St. Elizabeth Technical, match up against Calabar High.

 Alex Bent
Article by Alex Bent