JC hit George’s for six
Defending Manning Cup champions revel in 6-0 win, Bell laments ‘worst defeat of career’
What was billed as a potential tight affair between many-times ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup champions Jamaica College (JC) and St George’s College turned out to be a historic result for St George’s head coach Neville Bell for all the wrong reasons.
JC outclassed St George’s 6-0 in their Group A encounter yesterday afternoon at Stadium East thanks to a first-half hat-trick from Duncan McKenzie (11th, 25th, 39th minutes) and strikes from Martin Pennicooke (15th), Dwight Merrick (52nd), and Tarick Ximines (63rd), giving their chances of second-round qualification a boost.
Bell said that defensive errors effectively doomed them to defeat, acknowledging this one being the heaviest he has suffered in his coaching career.
“Obviously, they outplayed us,” Bell said. “We made too many unforced errors, but quality teams will take advantage of mistakes, and they did. I [always] say that you win or you learn. I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to learn from this one, but we will come again.
“I have never lost six-love in my life, even as a player. But JC deserved it.”
While the scoreline may have reflected a comfortable win for the ‘Dark Blues’, JC head coach Davion Ferguson said that it was still a battle to get the breakthrough that they wanted.
“I didn’t think it was easy,” Ferguson said. “I think we started off slowly, [but we] gradually got into the game. St George’s is a quality team, so we always expect a difficult game.
“I think we forced some turnovers in some very dangerous positions and I think that helped us.”
Those turnovers occurred after McKenzie gave JC the lead after converting from the penalty spot. A poor clearance found a JC player and the resulting cross found the head of Pennicooke, who drilled his effort past St George’s College. The same happened for McKenzie’s second and third goals which saw JC enter half-time with a 4-0 lead.
JC now have seven points from four games while St George’s remain on six with the same number of games played. While the defeat will be tough to swallow, Bell was bullish on his team’s ability to rebound and advance from a competitive group A.
“We don’t have a choice,” Bell said. “We are on six points. We have two games. We have a possible 12 (points).
“We are not out of the Manning Cup. It is a lesson for us and we will learn from it.”
Despite the comprehensive victory, Ferguson says that JC still cannot let their guard down and is confident that his team has the mental strength to avoid a drop in their performance.
“(We are) still not out of the woods,” he said. “But I think these boys are a little bit more focused now. I think the start we had to the competition put a real spin in terms of what we wanted to do. I think that they are level headed enough to maintain that discipline.”
Other Group A results:
Charlie Smith 1-0 Calabar High
Kingston High 0-0 Bridgeport High