Lawrence stars as JC hammer McGrath
Former Holy Trinity striker Phillon Lawrence turned in a three-star performance as he netted a hat-trick to lead former champions Jamaica College (JC) to an easy 7-0 victory over McGrath High in the ISSA Champions Cup Knockout competition at the National Stadium yesterday.
The speedy and skilful Lawrence netted his goals in the 15th , 48th and 61st minutes, as JC, who last the won the competition in 2014, romped to a comfortable victory. He received support from Alvarez Cooper, who scored a brace in the 45th and 50th minutes, Oquassa Chong (13th), and substitute Shadane Lopez (85th).
The 18-year-old Lawrence, who was scoring his second hat-trick of the season, said they are very determined to win this year’s competition.
“Our aim is to win this trophy this season and we have been working very hard to achieved this,” Lawrence told The Sunday Gleaner.
“I am very happy with my performance because I think I played well and my teammates also played well too, and so we are looking forward to the next game,” he said.
The Dark Blues dominated the early exchanges and were finally rewarded when Chong fired home a powerful right-footed shot which went like a rocket past the McGrath goalkeeper.
Lawrence doubled the Dark Blues’ lead three minutes later, converting from the penalty spot after Cooper was brought down inside the 18-yard box.
JC, who outplayed their opponents in all departments, increased their advantage on the stroke of half-time when Cooper arrived at the near post to tap home a well-measured cross from Chong, as they eased to a 3-0 lead at the break.
McGrath, who were playing in the Champions Cup for the first time, could not match the speed and strength of the JC team and Lawrence, who has so far scored seven goals in this season’s Manning Cup competition, netted his second goal of the match with a powerful close range volley from 15 yards to add further misery to their rural opponents. The stout striker then completed his hat-trick with an easy tap-in from six yards.
JC’s head coach David Ferguson said he is pleased with his team’s efforts, but warned that they still have a lot more left in the tank.
“We are happy with the victory because this is a good way to start the competition,” said Ferguson. “I think made some errors because we gave away a lot of balls in the build-up and this is something that we can work on and once we do this, then we will be right there when it matters.”
Meanwhile, Jermaine Thomas head coach of McGrath, who are one of the semi-finalists in this year’s daCosta Cup, said he was proud of his team’s efforts despite the heavy defeat.
“It was a tough defeat because I though we were a bit sloppy in conceding some of the goals,” said Thomas. “However, I must commend them because I thought my team stood up and they fought and they gave it their best.”
Meanwhile, in other games, Frome Technical defeated Camperdown 5-4 on penalties after both teams played to a 1-1 draw at full time. St Andrew Technical edged Manning’s 2-1, while former champions St George’s College were leading 3-2 over BB Coke after 56 minutes when the match was called off due to heavy rains.