Ludlow Bernard, Kingston College’s Champions Cup-winning coach could still leave the 2018 Manning Cup champions at the end of the coming season, and it will depend on how quickly he can find a successor.

A confident Davion Ferguson, coach of triumphant Manning Cup champions Jamaica College, insists the team was always confident of turning the tables on St Andrew Technical (STATHS) a team that defeated them just two rounds prior.

 For the second consecutive match in a row Jamaica College were perfect from the penalty spot, after failing to find the goal against STATHS in regular time.  Just as they had against Kingston College in the semifinals, JC managed to turn the tables on a team that had gotten the better of them earlier this season. 

In the quarterfinal round, it was STATHS who triumphed 2-1, when it counted most it was JC who managed to repeat the result of the 2017 Manning Cup final to claim an unprecedented 30th title.  Despite heading into the final as slight underdogs Ferguson insists the team was always confident of getting revenge on their opponents.

“We were very confident.  We re-watched the video from the first game, and I believe I can say publicly that tactically we got that wrong, but we assessed ourselves and we came back here,” Ferguson said.

“We should have won it in 90 but in penalties, it was sweet the same,” he added.

“When set out in June to accomplish this and we did.  These boys are champions and it’s just tremendous.”

 

 

Defending champions Kingston College (KC) secured their spot in the semi-finals of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup following a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Camperdown at National Stadium East on Tuesday.

Needing to merely avoid defeat to secure a spot in the final four, Kingston College started brightly but were pushed on the back foot when Camperdown struck on the break.  Striker Shemar Daley showed plenty of composure to stick the ball into the corner of the net after being put through on goal in the 30th minute.

Things looked worse for KC when they saw a penalty attempt saved in a few minutes later.  Dwane Atkinson finally brought the teams back on level terms four minutes into first-half stoppage time when he smashed a redirected corner past goalkeeper Deshawn White and high into the roof of the net.

In a steady downpour and slippery conditions in the second half, it was KC who looked the more likely to steal the win and in the end, they did just that.  It was Michael Allen found the back of the net from close range after the ball was held up in the water.  In the group’s other decisive game between Wolmer’s and Charlie Smith.  Wolmer’s led 3-0 before the game was discontinued due to a waterlogged field.

 

  

St. Andrew Technical High defeated Jamaica College 2-1 at the Stadium East in Kingston on Wednesday to advance to the semi-final round of the 2019 ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup competition.

Defending champions Kingston College (KC) and Wolmer’s Boys battled to a 1-1 draw, while Camperdown High defeated Charlie Smith High 4-0 as quarter-final action continued in Group A of the 2019 ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup football competition at the Stadium East field on Tuesday.

The results mean that KC, Wolmer’s Boys and Camperdown High will be fighting for two semi-final spots from the group heading into the final set of matches, while Jerome Waite-coached Charlie Smith High, the 1988, 1990 and 1995 champions, have been eliminated.

KC and Wolmer’s Boys are locked on four points from two matches but the defending champions are leading the group courtesy of a goal difference of plus five compared to plus one. Camperdown High, which bounced back from their 3-2 defeat against Wolmer’s Boys in the opening set of matches last Wednesday, hold down third place with three points.

Charlie Smith High are without a point from their two games as they went down 5-0 to KC last Thursday.

In the curtain-raiser at the Stadium East, Shaqueil Bradford scored a hat-trick to lead Camperdown High to their 4-0 demolition of Charlie Smith High.

Camperdown High took control of the match from the first half which produced two of the four goals.

Shawn Daley opened the scoring in the 27th minute and Bradford doubled the lead on the stroke of half time.

Bradford added his second goal in the 67th minute and completed the hat trick in the 83rd minute.

In the second game, KC took a well-deserved lead in the 17th minute through leading striker Dwayne Atkinson and then missed numerous scoring opportunities and allowed Wolmer’s back into the game.

Talisman Ronaldo Webster, formerly of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), responded for Wolmer’s in the 73rd minute with his 17th goal of the season.

The result kept KC’s undefeated record intact but ruined their perfect record. The Purples entered the day with a perfect record of 14 victories in all competitions this season and dropped their first points in the team's 15th match.

Webster’s goal was only the third conceded by KC so far this season.

Three Manning Cup players are recovering well after lightning struck the field of play on Monday.

Schoolboy football players that were affected by a lightning strike during a Manning Cup match on Monday are reportedly recovering with very little ill effects.

The match between urban area schoolboy football teams Jamaica College and Wolmer’s was called off after several players suffered injuries when lightning struck the field at Stadium East. 

Two players, JC’s Terrence Francis and Dwayne Allen of Wolmer’s were taken to the hospital following the incident, with another player later admitted after suffering from chest pains.  According to ISSA president Keith Wellington, none of the players seems to have suffered significant injury and are on the improve.

 “Thankfully they have shown significant improvement.  The Wolmer’s young man was treated and released.  One young man when he initially went to the hospital wasn’t speaking or walking but eventually, he came around and he has been moving and speaking,” Wellington said in an interview on the Sportsmax Zone.

“All the tests that have been done ECG, CT scans have come back with good results.  I think the major issue now is that that the flash seems to have affected their eyes so the ophthalmologists will examine them.  It appears as though they have passed the worst.”

 

 

 

Excelsior High school recovered from their opening-day loss to defending champions Kingston College to comprehensively defeat Dunoon Technical in action from Saturday’s games.

In other games on Saturday St Andrew Technical were the biggest winners, handing Northern Technical a 12-0 beating that wasn’t the best welcome they could have envisioned to the competition.

St George’s College, perennial contenders, also started well, destroying Ardenne High 5-1, while St Catherine High were massive 8-1 winners over Oberlin.

Cumberland edged St Jago High 1-0 in a St Catherine derby, while Kingston High and Charlie Smith played out a 1-1 draw. Denham Town were not in the mood to give anything away, beating Ascot 1-0, while the Kingston College train kept rolling with the 5-0 schellacking of Pembroke Hall.

Local schoolboy football organisers Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA) announced plans to yet again re-evaluate the structure of its historic Walker and Ben Francis knockout competitions, which had come in for some criticism last season.

The plans were announced as the details of the 2019-2020 season were revealed at the official competitions' launch at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel, in St Andrew on Wednesday. The 2019 season is scheduled to kick off on Saturday, September 7 with seven Manning Cup games and 31 daCosta Cup matches.

Digicel, in its second stint as title sponsors, last year announced that the telecommunications firm and entertainment provider would invest $75 million over three years in the urban area Manning Cup and Walker Cup Knockout competitions. Wisynco, then, announced a sponsorship package of close to $100 million, over the three years, in the rural area daCosta Cup and Ben Francis Knockout.

The 2019 season will see 129 teams competing for the six trophies. In addition to the Manning Cup and daCosta Cup, teams will also compete for the Walker Cup Knockout, Ben Francis Knockout Cup, Champions Cup, and the season-ending Olivier Shield.

The Ben Francis and Walker Cup competitions were labelled the "losers cup" as last year's format prevented top schools from competing.

Linvern Wright, who announced the structure of the competitions, pointed out that ISSA would not revert to the original format of the Walker Cup and the Ben Francis Cup.

He said, "last year we were experimenting. We listened and have made changes but will not go back to the original formats.

"The commitment continues to ensure that our players are rested for at least 72 hours between games."

For the Ben Francis Cup Knockout, teams which placed second and third in the four respective daCosta Cup quarter-final groups will contest this competition.

Last year, teams which ended third and fourth in the four respective daCosta Cup quarter-final groups contested the Ben Francis, which was a major change compared to the previous year when only the top four daCosta Cup teams competed for the title.

The Ben Francis Knockout Cup will be played in three sets of matchups in three rounds, with the second round being the semi-finals and the third round, the final. 

In the Walker Cup competition, all teams knocked out in the Round of 16 home-and-away second round tie of the Manning Cup will be involved in a playoff, with the winners matching up in a subsequent round with the third and fourth place teams in each of the two Manning Cup quarterfinal groups for four matchups.

The winners of each of those games will qualify for the semi-finals. 

Last season, the Walker Cup competition comprised the eight losers of the Manning Cup Round of 16 home-and-away knockouts;  a major change compared to former years when the seven preliminary round group winners and the best second-place teams earned the right to contest that competition.

SportsMax will be media partners and will broadcast selected matches live throughout the season.

 

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts hails the sponsors of this season's ISSA Manning and daCosta Cup competitions.

Clarendon College won the ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup in 2018 and enjoyed a magnificent double when they lifted the Olivier Shield ahead of ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup Champions, Kingston College. The ISSA Champions Cup was won by Cornwall College but that wasn't the entire story of Jamaica's Schoolboy football season. 

SportsMax's Donald Oliver, who was there for every minute of it, remembers the little stories that made up the big stories. He has put together some of his favourites. Just watch!  

Kingston College forward Ari Rodgers is expected to resume training sometime in January for the upcoming track season after sustaining an ankle injury in the ISSA Manning Cup football final on Friday.

Kingston College head coach, Ludlow Bernard, the man who brought the Manning Cup title back to North Street for the first time in 32 years, has asked that everybody look to the players for all the accolades that should come with breaking a long, long losing streak for the former football kingpins.

Bernard oversaw a massive final that also doubled as a North Street Derby with neighbours, St George’s College. The game included five goals and had all the drama and plot twists of good final, with KC coming from behind twice to earn a hard-fought 3-2 win.

“A little birdie told me today that coach you’re going to have to work for this one. A lot of goals are going to be scored and you’re going to have to play catch up,” Bernard told SportsMax’s Shawana Ebanks after the game.

“I have a bunch of boys who are full of fortitude. They told me when they were down 2-1. My captain said to me, ‘coach, wi goin’ win it’,” said a more-animated-than-usual Bernard.

Bernard singled out Nathan Thomas for praise, saying he was going to substitute him but found an obstinate player demanding that he remain on the field.

“I was going to take off Nathan Thomas and he said, ‘no coach, don’t take me off. Believe in me. Believe in me.’ And he scored the winning goal. That man neva score a goal yet!,” said Bernard.

“I have a bunch of boys who are full of fortitude. They told me when they were down 2-1. My captain said to me, ‘coach, wi goin’ win it’. We are not going to lose this.”

Bernard said even as his spirits waivered, the boys remained full of belief and for that, all credit should go to them.

“’We owe you this one’,” Bernard said his charges told him.

“I must take my hat off to these boys. They won it. They said they wanted it and they delivered and that was what the brave is made of.”

Kingston College (KC) are Manning Cup champions againt after 32 years of watching others lift the coveted urban area football crown. 

The 2018 urban area Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Digicel Manning Cup final takes place on Friday, with Kingston College (KC) and St George’s College battling it out at the National Stadium in Kingston at 6:00 pm.

This will be the first meeting between the schools in a Manning Cup final and the battle is the first football final between them since 2011 when St George’s College prevailed 2-1 in the Walker Cup Knockout.

St George’s College are widely considered favourites to pick up their 23rd Manning Cup title by virtue of eliminating five-time defending champions Jamaica College (JC) at the semi-final stage, but KC will be motivated by the prospect of trying to win their first title in 32 years.

The coaches are expecting a good battle, but Bernard believes his team needs the title more.

Bernard said, “there is a lot at stake, 32 years of being in the wilderness and that's the objective of the Kingston College team to end that drought.

“St George's will have their own ambitions, but I think we need it more than them. The boys are very optimistic about their chances and very upbeat about their expected performance.”

Neville ‘Bertis’ Bell, who guided St George's College to five of their 22 Manning Cup titles with victories in 1992, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, said  “we are pretty confident. Preparations have been going well. We wanted to be in the final and we know it's going to be hard work for us. It's been hard work all season.”

Both schools are undefeated in the competition from 16 games, but KC have managed to gain a better record in all areas going into the final. This will be the third meeting between the two North Street-based schools this season as they played to a 1-1 draw in the preseason Roper Cup and then battled to a 0-0 result during the quarter-final stage of the Manning Cup on October 24 at the Stadium East field.

KC came into the 2018 season with arguably the strongest squad on paper, but there were doubts over whether Bernard would be able to get the best out of talent at his disposal.

But after easily getting through the preliminary stages and the second round, KC lost their perfect win record at the quarter-final stage where they dropped four points from two games (0-0 vs St George’s College and 1-1 vs Charlie Smith High) before beating Camperdown High 2-0 to qualify for the semi-finals for a second straight year.

In the home-and-away preliminary round of the competition, KC won their 10 games and during that stage, they rammed in 52 goals and only conceded one compared to St George’s College, which won eight of their 10 games, scored 39 goals and conceded four.

Both teams also secured easy passage to the quarter-final stage. KC defeated Cumberland High 3-1 and 6-1, while St George’s College beat Mona High 4-1 and 3-0.

In the quarter-final round, both schools were placed in the same group and ended with five points each from three games with KC winning the group courtesy of goal difference.

It was at the semi-final stage that St George’s College earned the tag of favourites as they defeated a very tough Jamaica College side 2-1 on November 20 and made the final a North Street affair.

KC had earlier defeated last season’s beaten finalists St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) 2-1 in a repeat of last year’s final-four match to make the final for the first time in 17 years.

Interestingly, St George’s College had hammered STATHS 5-0 in the first round of the rebranded all-island Champions Cup knockout competition, 10 days before KC’s 2-1 Manning Cup victory over the Spanish Town Road-based school.

But although St George's College will enter the final as favourites, the momentum is with KC, which have won two football titles over the last two seasons. In 2016, Bernard led KC to the Walker Cup and then in 2017, he guided them to the all-island Champions Cup and based on momentum, the Manning Cup title awaits KC and Bernard in 2018.

Before the Manning Cup final, both teams will also clash in another championship match - the Under-16 final at 3:30 pm.

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