Robert Bailey, Freelance Writer
Jamaica College captain Oliver Walker (left) holds the Manning Cup Trophy aloft after his team's 2-1 victory over Bridgeport in yesterday's final at the National Stadium. - Junior Dowie/Staff Photographer
FOR 33 YEARS, the Manning Cup title eluded Jamaica College, but not even the might of defending champions Bridgeport could prevent the title-hungry boys in blue from taking the ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel-sponsored crown back to Old Hope Road yesterday.
Goals from former Calabar star Ramone Palmer and Deandre Brown propelled them to a 2-1 come-from-behind win in yesterday's final at the National Stadium.
JC last won the trophy in 1974 when they boasted the likes of Martin Woodstock, Stephen Bond and Norman Pennycooke.
JC dominated the early proceedings but found themselves behind after 31 minutes when Andre Clennon fired home a powerful point-blank shot past goalkeeper Oliver Walker.
Two minutes later, former national Under-17 representative Andre Steele came close to doubling Bridgeport's lead but his close shot hit the crossbar.
Palmer gave his team the equaliser on the stroke of half-time when he lobbed the ball over the head of Bridgeport goalkeeper Geovannie Smith after receiving a defence-splitting midfield pass from Kemar Bedward.
Three minutes after the break, Brown doubled JC's lead with a close-range shot which beat Smith at his near post.
Bridgeport's Adrian King thought he had given his team the equaliser 10 minutes from full time but his header went over the bar.
Alfred Henry, coach of JC, describe his team's success as mission accomplished.
"When you work and make sacrifices you expect results and I got the results, I am happy," said Henry. "The first thing is that you just have to make sure you get the guys disciplined and they stuck with me through thick and thin and we worked hard and this is the end result. I don't plan to continue (at JC) because I came here from New Jersey for three years and I did my job, so I am going back to New Jersey."
Anthony Patrick, the coach of Bridgeport, said: "Everything boiled down to indiscipline today, because when you can't play with discipline on the field then you are always going to go down like this.
"We had the game in our hands and we just threw it away. That's how it goes whenever you have indisciplined players who don't want to follow instructions," Patrick said.