Lennon shocker! ... Underdogs beat Cornwall College for spot in Ben Francis KO final
Lennon's head coach, Merron Gordon said his team showed class and a strong determination to reach the final of the 2016 ISSA/FLOW Ben Francis Cup Knockout competition, after tagging Cornwall College 1-0 in their semi-final clash in Santa Cruz yesterday.
They will now meet the defending champions St. Elizabeth Technical in Friday's final to be played at the Manchester High School field.
Fitzroy Cummings, the Lennon captain fired home the lone goal of a rather dull contest from the penalty spot in the 61st minute, after he was brought down inside the area by Cornwall College's Dwayne Harding.
"I told my players to enjoy the match, and you saw that in this match. We were bouncing about with our passes, while keeping Cornwall's danger players in check. Tactically, it was a great match for us to make the final from," said Gordon.
Cornwall College, it seemed, were still suffering from last Saturday's loss in the final of the Flow Super Cup, and their coach Dr. Dean Weatherly put it all down to fatigue, as a result of the long travels in recent days.
"We weren't pouncing today. We lacked the punch you normally see from us," said Dr. Weatherly, "I think it has to do with the travelling, which took a lot out of our players against a team like Lennon."
Fatigue, or not, Lennon never gave them any real look at goal, except late in the second half, when their goalkeeper Tyrone Mullings was twice forced into superb saves to keep his team in front, both off corner kicks from Jourdaine Fletcher.
His strike partner Peter-Lee Vassell had little to no impact on the game and that in fact summed up their afternoon, as the two are arguably the best front two in schoolboy football.
Ryan Morrison should have scored for Lennon in the 20th minute, when the Cornwall goalkeeper Jamario Hines let the ball slip from his grasp, but the follow-up effort slid wide of the goal.
They then turned on the skill, with Christopher Randall, Kwesi Watts and Morrison putting their respective skill set on open display, as the half ended in a 0-0 scoreline with little effort from the highly-rated Cornwall College unit.
Then in the 61st, Watts won a penalty, after he was pulled down while on the attack for the referee to point to the spot.
Up stepped the big defender Cummings to fire home for the lead, leaving the Cornwall team dejected.
They would respond with a series of raids with only the goals being the missing component, as Lennon will meet a familiar foe in Friday's title match, which is promising to be a real humdinger in waiting.
"It is a very good feeling; I think we deserve the win. We came into the match not worried about our opponents, who are a quality bunch, but we played like how we planned and that's all that matters in giving us this important victory. Now it's onto meeting STETHS," stated Gordon.