XLCR too hot for StGC

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT - Shayne Fair­man

THORNE BUCHANAN’S clever 17th-minute penalty pushed for­mer cham­pi­ons Ex­cel­sior High to the top of Group A, while con­demn­ing many-time ISSA/FLOW Man­ning Cup cham­pi­ons St Ge­orge’s Col­lege to a nervy 1-0 de­feat at Winch­ester Park yes­ter­day. With group hon­ours and three valu­able points up for grabs, the vis­i­tors showed that they were up to it from the on­set, con­strict­ing their hosts’ nor­mal free-flow­ing game, while show­ing their own abil­i­ties in what was an ex­cit­ing con­test in front of a jam­packed venue. Ex­cel­sior’s dan­ger­ous Tyane Wil­son made him­self a nui­sance to the op­po­si­tion’s de­fence from the get-go, slip­ping be­hind the St Ge­orge’s de­fend­ers be­fore he was bun­dled over by goal­keeper John Wil­son in the 16th minute. The cool and con­fi­dent dread­locked Buchanan stepped up, spot­ted his penalty and fired clin­i­cally into the far left hand corner. With this goal, they grew in con­fi­dence, and Buchanan could have scored a sec­ond, hav­ing been fed through clev­erly by team­mate Wil­son, but with only the keeper to beat, he fired high.

“Well, it’s a great feel­ing scor­ing against St Ge­orge’s Col­lege. Any­time scor­ing against STGC is a great feel­ing, I am very happy,” Buchanan said fol­low­ing the game.

“This can be a big year for me. I just need to con­tinue putting in the work and per­form­ing. I am look­ing for­ward to scor­ing atleast 12 goals,” he added in ref­er­ence to his fifth goal of the sea­son.

He later hopped off in­jured, but gave the as­sur­ance that it was not a se­ri­ous in­jury.

PASS­ING GAME

St Ge­orge’s spent much of the first half string­ing their usual pass­ing game to­gether and cre­ated a few open­ings, but just couldn’t score as their stand­out player, Akeem Robotham, fired in a few tame shots, while oth­ers were saved by Ex­cel­sior’s cus­to­dian, Ro­mario Palmer.

The vis­i­tors closed the chan­nels and did well to wres­tle pos­ses­sion away from St Ge­orge’s, who were forced to start play­ing long balls in the sec­ond half.

Voshawn Wil­liams had an op­por­tu­nity to dou­ble Ex­cel­sior’s lead late on af­ter pick­ing up a bad give­away by

the St Ge­orge’s keeper be­fore drib­bling into space and fir­ing a curl­ing shot at an open goal wide of the tar­get.

Ex­cel­sior’s coach, Shavar Thomas, said his charges came ex­pect­ing a hard-fought game from St Ge­orge’s and was happy with the win.

“We could have got some more goals, but we are happy with three points. We have a con­fi­dent bunch, and we give our guys con­fi­dence to go out there and ex­press them­selves,” said the win­ning coach.

His St Ge­orge’s coun­ter­part, Neville ‘Ber­tis’ Bell, said: “We are al­ways dis­ap­pointed when we don’t win, but credit to Ex­cel­sior, they played very well, and this was a won­der­ful school­boy foot­ball game.”

This was St Ge­orge’s Col­lege’s third loss at Winch­ester Park since 2007.

GLADSTONE TAY­LOR/ PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Matthew Wil­son of St Ge­orge’s Col­lege (right) and Raewin Se­nior of Ex­cel­sior High bat­tle for pos­ses­sion of the ball in their ISSA/FLOW Man­ning Cup match-up at Winch­ester Park yes­ter­day. Ex­cel­sior won 1-0.

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