(Left) Hugh Ferguson of Caribbean National Weekly Newspaper, (Centre) Bridgeport high School’s captain Omar Campbell and (right) President of the JHSASN Lavern Deer…poses with the winning cheque just after the presentation.
Bridgeport High School created history yesterday after becoming the first Manning Cup School to capture the Caribbean National Weekly Cup, at the ninth staging of the Jamaica High School Alumni Sports Network Soccer(JHSASN) tournament at the Lauderhill Sports Park in Lauderhill, Florida.
T’was sweet victory for Bridgeport who lost in the 2015 final to St Elizabeth Technical High School. However on Labour Day here in the USA they would not be denied their first hold on the crown. In the grand final The St Catherine based school clipped former champions Cornwall College 6-5 on penalties after both teams had earlier battled to a two all draw in regulation time.
Former Portmore United player Adrian Reid opened the scoring for Bridgeport in the second half before Khashif Brown pulled Cornwall College level, but Shemar Shelton on a counter attacking play for Bridgeport found goal keeper Greg Warlock without defensive support and fired past him to restore the lead for Bridgeport. However with time winding down Cornwall College drew level again when Javier Paulton penetrated in the box and picked up a pass before slotting home a second for the western Jamaica based school and the referee’s whistle came shortly after to end the proceedings at 2-all.
In the dreaded penalty shoot out, Alex McFarlane was the saviour for Bridgeport as he scored in sudden death to guarantee his team the US$2000.00 and the Trophy on offer.
Bridgeport Winners of Zone A’ reached the championship match with a 2-nil win over Calabar in the quarterfinal, before clipping Clarendon College 1-nil in their semi-final. On the flip side Cornwall College second in Zone C’ reached the Championship game after turning back Dinthill 2-nil in the quarterfinal, thanks to a double strike from former National player Dane Richards, before stopping Ferncourt 3-2 in the semi-final.
Adrian Reid was named the Best Defender, while his team mate from Bridgeport Shemar Shelton was adjudged the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Winning captain on the night Omar Campbell who was a member of the team that became the first St Catherine based school to win the ISSA Manning Cup title in 2001, said ” I am very proud of my team, very satisfied that my players after putting in the hard work and sacrifice could hold it together and walk away with this prestigious title.’ He continued, ” We have a talented and exciting team, and while I am not perfect and we may not always agree, I am glad that the team had the confidence in me and I am happy that as a unit we were able to successfully complete the job.”
Earlier six schools entered the revival of the Netball Competition, and it certainly lived up to the billing of excitement and competitiveness that was expected, and in the end Denbigh High School won the trophy following a 19-6 triumph over the Queens School.
From the jerk chicken and fried fish vendors , to the sugar cane and jelly man, the disc jockeys on the sound system led by Mikey Mikey and the terrific performance by Rudy Live, ….a play area for the children that was full of life and the fun activities on both days, with a child face covered in sweat from a hard day’s play…. with goody bags for almost if not all spectators, the organizers delivered and in most areas exceeded expectations.
The presence of former West Indies cricketer, Lawrence Rowe, and former International Cricket Council (ICC) Elite Umpire Steve Bucknor, along with the Commissioner of the City of Lauderhill Howard Berger, the JHSASN Organizing Committee led by President of the JHSASN Lavern Deer hit the mark of par excellence in execution and protocol in this year’s staging.
Said Deer when she spoke with Irie Fm Sports, ” When I look back at all that we accomplished, the hours of hard work, phone calls, meetings, loss of sleep, and the support from my team of volunteers, and to see how well both days turned out, I could not have asked for more.” Added Deer, ” I have seen the effort of everyone to help in their respective areas to make this year’s staging a success, and to that end I just want to thank all my sponsors who had the faith in either staying with the tournament and others who had just come on board I am eternally grateful, and to all the people in the Diaspora who gave of their time presence and support, I just want to say how grateful I am.”