JC blank pesky Tivoli High 2-0 to kick start Manning Cup title defence

By September 09, 2023
Jamaica College's Javaun Mills finishes a clinical header during their opening ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup contest against Tivoli High at the National Stadium on Saturday. Jamaica College's Javaun Mills finishes a clinical header during their opening ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup contest against Tivoli High at the National Stadium on Saturday. McNamee Sports Media
Jamaica College began their hunt to extend their rich schoolboy football history, as they opened their ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup account with a 2-0 win over Tivoli High at the National Stadium on Saturday.
 
The defending champions who are aiming to secure a 32nd hold on the prestigious urban area title, didnt have things all their way, but golas from Thierry Garrick (45+1) and Javaun Mills (80th) made the difference in a lively contest against a mature-looking Tivoli outfit.
 
Such was the competitive nature of the game that Jamaica College's head coach Davion Ferguson couldn't have asked for a better way to kick start their season.
 
"Tivoli is a quality team, we knew that we saw what they offered last season, but for the first game, you kind of really want to blow off the cobwebs so to speak. We had a lot of young players out there today because we wanted to whet their feet in the competition and I think Tivoli made it a little difficult for them," he told SportsMax.tv.
 
"We are the school of champions, and we always try to raise our level. What we did last year was remarkable and we are trying to do even better this year, not only in the sense of silverware but better at our game model and style of play and we have a few players coming in who will really nail our ambitions solidly on the ground," Ferguson added.
 
It was a spirited start by both teams as they looked threatening in open play, Jamaica College in particular, should more attacking prowess in the early exchanges and created a few chances from which they should have broken the deadlock.
 
One such opportunity came in the 17th minute when Amarlie King went on an eye-catching solo run but lacked the composure to apply the finish touch in the final third.
 
Four minutes later Dyllan John found himself in a in a good position deep inside the 18-yard box and failed to beat Tivoli's goalkeeper Shakur Adair, who kept out the delayed shot at his near post.
 
Though Tivoli showed fluency as well as individual flair in their build ups, they failed to create any real meaningful chance that caused Tawayne Lynch, in goal for Jamaica College to really sweat.
 
Instead, it was the Old Hope Road-based boys who again went close just past the half-hour mark when Giovanni Taylor found Jabari Howell in space at the top of the 18-yard box, and the latter struck a delightful left-footed effort that had Adair beaten all ends up, but unfortunately came back off the crossbar. 
 
The "Dark Blues" inevitably found the go-ahead goal when Garrick turned his marker and released a firm right-footed shot that gave Adair no chance at a save to put Jamaica College 1-0 up at the break.
 
It was end-to-end action for most of the second half, but Jamaica College again enjoyed the better passage of play, as they consistently applied pressure but their hunt to extend the lead proved fruitless at that point.
 
Tivoli played their game with some colourful build ups in patches but came up empty in their bid to find the elusive equaliser.
 
And they would have felt hard done as it wasn't until the 80th minute that Jamaica College found another when Renson Sawyers delivered a perfectly weighted freekick which was expertly headed in by Mills to make the three points safe.
 
Despite being disappointed with the outcome, Tivoli's assistant coach Lance DaCosta is expecting his team to bounce back.
 
"It's a part of the game, if you don't score you can't win so we will just go back to training fix what we need to fix and get ready for the next game on Friday," DaCosta said.
 
Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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