St Ge­orge’s face tough Ex­cel­sior in group de­cider

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Marc Stamp Gleaner Writer Paul Clarke Gleaner Writer

EX­CEL­SIOR HIGH will look to avoid de­feat when they face St Ge­orge’s Col­lege in an un­fin­ished ISSA/-FLOW Man­ning Cup Group A foot­ball game at Sta­dium East today. Match time is 3:30 p.m.

The game is a con­tin­u­a­tion of the aban­doned one, fol­low­ing the death of for­mer St Ge­orge’s Col­lege cap­tain, Do­minic James, on Septem­ber 20. James col­lapsed less than five min­utes into the con­test and was pro­nounced dead at the Univer­sity Hospi­tal of the West Indies.

When the an­nounce­ment of the player’s death came, Ex­cel­sior were lead­ing 2-1 at the half-time break.

Now, the teams will do bat­tle for 45 min­utes in a cru­cial en­counter to de­cide the group win­ner.

Ex­cel­sior lead on 19 points from seven games, while St Ge­orge’s have 18 points. With one game re­main­ing in the group, a point for Ex­cel­sior will ce­ment their spot at the top.

Both teams have al­ready qual­i­fied for the Man­ning Cup sec­ond stage, but the bat­tle is also hot for an au­to­matic spot in the pres­ti­gious FLOW Su­per Cup, as well as the Walker Cup KO com­pe­ti­tion.

With all that at stake it should be a gru­elling sec­ond half and spec­ta­tors should brace for a hot con­test. Ex­cel­sior de­feated St Ge­orge’s 2-1 last Fri­day in their re­turn match at Winch­ester Park and the lat­ter is fully aware that only a win can put them in a po­si­tion to de­fend the FLOW Su­per Cup, hav­ing won last year.

Ex­cel­sior’s tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor, Xavier Gil­bert, says that his team will be men­tally ready for this bat­tle.

“We know the sit­u­a­tion, the play­ers are some ma­ture young men and should be able to man­age the game. It is a fresh start and teams lose games in a minute,” Gil­bert told The Gleaner yes­ter­day.

“I’m sure that St Ge­orge’s want some sort of revenge fol­low­ing the loss on Fri­day, in or­der to win the group. We have to be men­tally ready to de­fend our slim lead,” added Gil­bert, a for­mer St Ge­orge’s Col­lege cricket star. WEST­ERN BUREAU: WITH THE first round of the 2016 In­ter-Sec­ondary Schools Sports As­so­ci­a­tion (ISSA)FLOW daCosta Cup now out of the way and the sift­ing of teams done, at­ten­tion now turns to the in­ter-zone bat­tles, of which sev­eral block­buster matches are sched­uled for today.

One such is the Zone C clash be­tween de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons St El­iz­a­beth Tech­ni­cal (STETHS) and Holm­wood. This game will be played at Manch­ester High School, start­ing at 3:30 p.m.

STETHS, one of five teams iden­ti­fied with hav­ing the best chance of lift­ing the ti­tle this year, along with Dinthill, Corn­wall Col­lege, Rusea’s and Claren­don Col­lege, have been slowly get­ting into gear. Ac­cord­ing their tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor, Wen­dell Down­swell, the in­ter-zone round is the part of the com­pe­ti­tion that will trig­ger the usual STETHS tenac­ity.

“We look for­ward to this part of the daCosta Cup. The play­ers know what is to be done and now that we have passed the first stage, it is now time to just be­come bolder and stake our claim,” Down­swell told The Gleaner.

“The first round we kind of took it in stride. We didn’t need to push our­selves, but the in­ter­zone is a dif­fer­ent thing. Here we will need to push be­cause other teams are com­ing for our scalp. We wear the crown that oth­ers want and we will need to de­fend,” he added.

STETHS are in Zone Three

DOWN­SWELL

Ex­cel­sior will rely on se­nior play­ers such as Thorne Buchanan, Ca­dine Gra­ham and cap­tain Christo­pher Thorpe.

The Neville ‘Ber­tis’ Bell-coached St Ge­orge’s will cer­tainly be in at­tack mode as only max­i­mum points today will see them win­ning the group.

St Ge­orge’s will look to play­ers such as new cap­tain Alex Mar­shall, Hakim Wil­liams, Ron­aldo Wat­son and for­mer Wolmer’s striker Akiki Jack­son.

CRU­CIAL EN­COUNTER

In an­other cru­cial en­counter, Jonathan Grant High and Haile Se­lassie High will meet to de­cide the win­ner of Group D.

Haile Se­lassie are in front on 24 points, ahead of Jonathan Grant (22), St Cather­ine (17), Ar­denne High (10), Mead­ow­brook (3) and Pem­broke Hall, who are yet to score a point.

Haile Se­lassie, un­der the guid­ance of vet­eran coach Ge­of­frey Maxwell, have been per­form­ing well with eight wins and only one loss. Now, they need a point to top the group.

Jonathan Grant must win today’s game in or­der to march past Haile Se­lassie and win the group. In the re­verse fix­ture, Haile Se­lassie edged Jonathan Grant 3-2. An­other close and ex­cit­ing game is ex­pected.

Also, St Jago High and Hy­del will square off in a key game in Group G. Bridge­port are the group win­ners after fin­ish­ing on 23 points from 10 games, fol­lowed by St Jago on 19 points from nine games and Hy­del on 16 points from nine games.

That means Hy­del and St Jago are bat­tling for sec­ond spot in the group. Hy­del need to win against St Jago to move into sec­ond spot.

STETHS, Manch­ester blockbusters highlight sec­ond-round kick-off

TODAY’S GAMES

along­side Holm­wood (first in Zone G), Mile Gully High (sec­ond in Zone F) and last year’s semi-fi­nal­ists, Len­non High, out of Zone E. Mile Gully will tackle Len­non to com­plete today’s sched­ule in the zone.

PER­FECT WIN RECORD

Mean­while, the com­pe­ti­tion’s most pro­lific team, Dinthill Tech­ni­cal, face strong op­po­si­tion in Port An­to­nio. Dinthill have scored 49 goals. They are one of two teams with a per­fect win record, the other be­ing Corn­wall Col­lege.

Over in Zone One, Cedric Ti­tus will take on a Corn­wall Col­lege team high on and con­fi­dence.

The for­mer many-time cham­pi­ons breezed through the first round, rack­ing up 35 goals along the way. Also in that zone, Peters­field High will be in the hunt for all three points against Green Is­land.

In Zone Two, God­frey Stewart meet Rusea’s, while the im­prov­ing Spot Val­ley take on St James High.

An­other big clash will see Paul ‘Te­gat’ Davis’ Claren­don Col­lege lock­ing horns with the al­ways con­sis­tent Manch­ester High in Zone Four, while La­covia and Spald­ing do bat­tle at the La­covia Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

SEC­OND ROUND ZONES

Zone 1: Cedric Ti­tus, Corn­wall Col­lege, Green Is­land and Peters­field Zone 2: God­frey Stewart, Rusea’s, Spot Val­ley and St. James Zone 3: Holm­wood, Len­non, Mile Gully and STETHS Zone 4: Claren­don Col­lege, La­covia, Manch­ester and Spald­ing Zone 5: Al­ston, Fair Prospect, St Mary Tech and Steer Town Zone 6: Brim­mer­vale, Dinthill, Port An­to­nio and BB Coke/Al­ston Zone 7: Glen­muir, Seaforth, Vere Tech and Ocho Rios/Browns Town

Zone 8: Garvey Maceo, Kemps Hill, Lit­tle Lon­don and Paul Bogle

FILE

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 foot­ball matchup at Winch­ester Park Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 7. Ex­cel­sior won 1-0. The teams re­new bat­tle this af­ter­noon in a fix­ture that will de­cide the group win­ner.

TODAY’S MATCHES

Cedric Ti­tus vs Corn­wall Col­lege Peters­field vs Green Is­land St James vs Spot Val­ley God­frey Stewart vs Rusea’s Len­non vs Mile Gully Holm­wood vs STETHS Claren­don Col­lege vs Manch­ester La­covia vs Spald­ing Dinthill vs Port An­to­nio Glen­muir vs Bog Walk Seaforth vs Vere Tech Paul Bogle vs Kemps Hill Garvey Maceo vs Lit­tle Lon­don

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Jamaica

© PressReader. All rights reserved.