Charlie Smith outpower Cumberland
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Former champions Charlie Smith High recorded a hard-fought 2-0 victory over hosts Cumberland in their rescheduled Group B encounter of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/LIME Manning Cup competition yesterday.
Substitute Shamar Pryce (72nd) and Chevon Crooks (83rd) were the goal scorers for the Jerome Waite-coached Charlie Smith, who last won the title in 1995.
The victory moved Charlie Smith to 17 points, with one round of matches remaining in the group.
They are followed by Excelsior and Vauxhall, who are both locked on 11 points, respectively, with the latter having a game in hand. Cumberland (four) and Mona (one) round out the group.
Waite said he was very happy for the three points despite the poor playing surface at the Cumberland High.
"It was another poor field, but I am happy that we get all three points, and that is very crucial for us," said Waite. "This victory is very important for us because we had to play very hard to win, and at the end of the day, we came out injury free."
Waite added: "It is good for these youngsters that we are going to finish atop the group, because we have set out a task at the start of the season, which is to win the group and move on to the next round, and we are on track to achieving this."
No meaningful chances
The first half was evenly contested as both teams failed to create any meaningful scoring chances due to the poor standard of the playing surface and heavy breeze which swept across the group, that forced both teams from playing their normal game.
However, Charlie Smith started the second period very confidently and were finally rewarded for their dominance when Pryce arrived at the back post to tap home a low cross from Bebeto McDonald.
Crooks sealed the victory for Charlie Smith seven minutes from time, when he rose above two Cumberland's defenders to head home from point-blank range.