Ex­cel­sior, Hy­del book berths in Walker Cup fi­nal

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Liv­ingston Scott/Gleaner Writer

IT WENT all the way to a penalty shoot-out, but Ex­cel­sior’s coach, Daniel Ri­ley, said that he was al­ways con­fi­dent of vic­tory in their ISSA/Dig­i­cel Walker Cup semi-fi­nals at the Span­ish Town Prison Oval, yesterday.

The Moun­tain View Av­enue-based school ral­lied af­ter miss­ing an early kick in the shoot-out against St Catherine High to ad­vance to the fi­nals 6-5 on penal­ties. The eight-time win­ners will go up against first-time fi­nal­ists Hy­del High, who turned back Cum­ber­land 3-0 in the open­ing game.

In the fea­ture match, both teams bat­tled hard and when nor­mal time failed to sep­a­rate them, the dreaded penalty kicks were re­quired. St Catherine con­verted their first three kicks, and Ex­cel­sior’s Jhe­van Smith missed his team’s sec­ond. Mar­chovich Brown’s fourth penalty for St Catherine was saved, and when the shoot-out went to sud­den death, Christo­pher All­wood fired over the bar to give Ex­cel­sior vic­tory.

“The guys fought and got to penal­ties, and we knew once we got to penal­ties, we would win the game. We knew our goal­keeper had a save in him,” Ri­ley said.

“We brought on our penalty kick­ers, so we were pre­pared for the penal­ties, and all those who came on played their part,” he stated

He added that they also got the op­po­nents they had wished for in the fi­nal.

“It’s one that we wanted. We wanted to re­ally play Hy­del, and it will be a good show­down,” he promised.

St Catherine’s coach, An­thony Pa­trick, be­lieves that they are jinxed by the Span­ish Town Prison Oval turf, their home ground, af­ter throw­ing away a 3-1 lead in a first leg round-of-16 Man­ning Cup game against Char­lie Smith and now this.

“The play­ers have been com­plain­ing that they don’t like to play at Prison Oval. Last year, in the Man­ning Cup, we won the first leg and came back and lost the sec­ond leg against Hy­del. This year, we lost two games, and they were both at the Oval,”he said.

In the first game, Ke­mar Reid led Hy­del with a goal and an as­sist as the Ferry school turned back Cum­ber­land 3-0. Reid fired Hy­del in front af­ter 26 min­utes, and five min­utes af­ter the break he re­leased Jor­dane Cameron, who net­ted the sec­ond. Then in time added on, Ewan Hamil­ton sealed the win from the penalty spot.

Hy­del’s coach, Corey Ben­nett, was pleased to reach their sec­ond fi­nal and first in six years.

“It (fi­nal) will carry a lot of pres­sure. The boys have been com­ing up from Pepsi and Colts, and they haven’t won any­thing. They haven’t been to a fi­nal in years. The last time we went to a fi­nal was 2012. But we are thank­ful we were able to come out on top, and we ex­pect give a good show­ing (in fi­nal),” he said.

ROOKWOOD/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER LIONEL

Hy­del High’s goalscorer Ewan Hamili­ton (left) evades a chal­lenge from Cum­ber­land High’s Leonard James dur­ing their Walker Cup semi-fi­nal match at the Span­ish Town Prison Oval, yesterday. Hy­del won 3-0.

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