JC overpowers Hydel - Defending Champs on verge of Manning Cup semis
When pushed, reigning ISSA/Flow Manning Cup holders Jamaica College (JC) responded like true champions, showing composure and depth in quality to overcome a stout Hydel High challenge to win 3-1 at the Prison Oval playing field in Spanish Town, yesterday.
The champions now lead Group I on six points, courtesy of two wins from as many games and seem set for yet another semi-final spot, with only a game against lowly St Jago remaining. Hydel is second, on three points, with a game against Denham Town remaining.
JC began the contest by applying high pressure on the Hydel defence, though it was Hydel who took the first shot at goal through former Under-17 standout Nicholas Nelson, who forced the JC keeper into a save.
The Dark Blues settled in the game without many ball possession, but forced Hydel into defensive errors, with Chavany Willis slicing home a powerful shot into the Hydel net in the 25th minute, which took their defence off guard.
Five minutes later, Tray McKay drew the Ferry-based school level at 1-1 from a direct counter attack, which ended in a tap in by the Hydel attacker in the 30th minute.
Duhaney Williams swung the game back in JC's way 11 minutes later (36th) by firing past a lapse Hydel defence from a JC corner kick.
Forward Donovan Dawkins finished off Hydel's hopes of a late equaliser when he climbed beautifully to head home a powerful 82nd minute goal, to secure all three JC points.
The scorer was subbed on in the second half along with the clever Tyreek Magee, who added much attacking impetus to the JC team.
"I feel good to come on and score. It's been a long time I haven't come on and win a game for my school, but I feel really good to help out my team," Dawkins revealed.
"It's my third goal this season," the player, who has won two Manning Cup titles, and scored the lone goal which decided the Manning Cup final last year, told The Gleaner.
Hydel's coach Donovan Duckie said JC did their homework on his team and knew their deficiencies, noting that his team "could have done better scouting of JC", as well.
Meanwhile, in the day's curtain-raiser Denham Town held on for a 1-1 draw with St Jago High at the same venue, despite having a controversial goal disallowed.
Denham Town 1 St Jago 1
Jamaica College 3 Hydel 1
Bridgeport vs STATHS 1 p.m. @ Constant Spring
Charlie Smith vs Kingston College 3 p.m. @ Constant Spring