XLCR too hot for StGC
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 jam-packed 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 dread-locked 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.
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.
Waterford 0 Charlie Smith 1
Ascott 0 Kingston College 5
St Mary's College 0 Denham 4
Haile Selassie 1 Meadowbrook 0
St Catherine 0 Jonathan Grant 1
Jose Marti 0 Wolmer's Boys 4
Edith Dalton 1 Dunoon 1
Camperdown 1 Kingston Technical High 0
Calabar High 2 Cumberland 0
Hydel 10 Campion College 0
Bridgeport 2 St Jago 0
Mona High 1 Clan Carthy 1
St George's College 0 Excelsior High 1