Lennon’s Thompson caps excellent campaign with title
In 2008, Lennon High School started a run of five consecutive holds on the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Locker Room Sports schoolgirl football title.
That monopoly was broken in 2013, when Excelsior High won, while St Jago, inspired by Khadija Shaw, won last year.
After two years without the trophy fans of the Mocho-based institution consider their own, Lennon were determined to regain the title. They did so in style, with a 3-0 win over Excelsior in the final at Spanish Town Prison Oval on Monday, with national under-20 striker Shantel Thompson leading the charge.
She netted a brace as Lennon eased past defending champions St Jago 5-1 in the semis, and in Monday's final she scored the opening goal against a stubborn Excelsior team.
Central defender Peter Kay Green, the other lynchpin of the team - who had also scored in the semi-final - netted the other two goals.
Thompson, a wily attacker, was devastating throughout the competition, scoring 41 goals in all.
In the first half of the final, Excelsior kept Thompson quiet. But the young star told The Gleaner that she followed the instructions of her coach and everything worked out after the break.
"First half, the team wasn't settled. Most of the players it's their first final, so butterflies were in their bellies. Half-time coach spoke to us ... and he told me to keep driving at them and I got the foul and I executed the free kick. I practise a lot of free kicks," she noted of her goal.
Successful free kick
It was also Thompson's skill that drew the foul from which Green scored the second - the goal of the match.
"Coach told me to keep driving at them, they will kick me, and I just did what he said and got the free kicks," she added.
Thompson was very elated to help return the trophy to their coffers.
"This year we went into this final very confident. I have scored over 40 goals. I told myself at the start of the season that I want to be the leading scorer. In the final I wanted a minimum of three goals, but such is life.
"But words can't explain right now. Three years I have been with the team and this is my first time winning a schoolgirl final, so I am really overjoyed and very pleased about this victory. But it will be up to them now to defend it, as this is my last year," she added.