Adrian Frater, News Editor
Jamaica College (JC) created history yesterday afternoon at Jarrett Park, in Montego Bay, when they completed the season triple - Manning Cup, Walker Cup and Olivier Shield - for the first time, by holding Rusea's High to a 0-0 draw in the second leg of the Shield.
The Alfred Henry-coached JC who won last Wednesday's first-leg game 1-0 at Constant Spring Sports Complex and needed only to avoid defeat yesterday to seal the title, did so by keeping the Rusea's team off the scoresheet, which was good enough to give them the title.
"Our plan coming into today's game was to avoid defeat and we did just that," said a conservative-sounding coach Henry. "I am very happy for the boys, they put in a lot of hard work and truly deserve what they have got out of this season."
Rusea's, who were desperate to win the title to take the monkey off their backs, following their controversial 1-0 daCosta Cup win against Lennon High, left Jarrett Park a disappointed team as, according to coach Anthony 'Follies' Williams, he is convinced his team has the quality to beat JC.
"I am disappointed, very disappointed because I believe we should have beaten this Jamaica College team," said Williams. "Our problem was that several of our top players did not show up today and, as a consequence, we were very flat throughout the 90 minutes."
The game started with Rusea's creating the first attack on goal in the seventh minute when Ramon Foster found himself with space before the goal but curled his shot over the crossbar as the JC custodian looked on anxiously.
JC countered in the 10th minute when Nicholas Scott went high for a cross before the goal but his header was directed inches over the crossbar.
Midway the half, JC gradually began to take control with inspirational skipper, Ashani Walker, taking charge in midfield and spraying accurate passes to his teammates. However, they had difficulty penetrating the Rusea's defence.
With time running out in the half, JC got back-to-back chances in the 39th and 41st minutes. First, Kemar Prince fired inches wide of the right upright and then Walker's shot struck the goalkeeper's hand and hit the upright before rebounding into play.
In the second half, JC again came close in the 49th minute. Scott won possession in the penalty area, but his shot struck the goalkeeper and rebounded into play as the Rusea's defence scrambled to make a hasty clearance.
As the half progressed, JC continued to hold the upper hand, standing solid in midfield as Walker and Scott kept their Rusea's counterparts on the back foot. During this period, much of the action was kept away from the goalkeepers.
Late in the game, Rusea's squandered a golden opportunity to grab a lifeline. Jermaine Woozencraft won possession on the left side of the goal area, but with a clear shot on goal, he directed the ball wide of the target. It was Rusea's last opportunity of the game.
"We are going through a process of transformation at Jamaica College and winning these three titles is a part of the process," said Ian Forbes, manager of the JC team. "However, it is not all about sports, we are looking at the overall development of these young men."