Excelsior, Holy Trinity victorious
Excelsior High and Holy Trinity scored similar 2-1 results against Jonathan Grant High and Camperdown High respectively, in the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)-FLOW Manning Cup Group H second round football matches at Constant Spring Complex yesterday.
In the first game of the double-header, Excelsior earned a hard-fought come from behind win.
The Spanish Town-based Jonathan Grant led courtesy of a goal by captain Tahj Beckford in the fifth minute. However, former champions Excelsior were resilient and struck twice through Cadine Graham (13th) and Tyrick Sutherland (53rd).
Following a big 5-0 win against Ocho Rios High in the prestigious ISSA/FLOW Super Cup competition last Friday, Excelsior got another important win in the opening game of the Manning Cup's second round.
Their head coach, Shavar Thomas, was naturally happy for the win to put three points on the board in their bid for one of four semi-final spots.
"We started out slow, but picked up and got an important victory in order to be in contention for the semi-final spot. I felt that the referee made a bad call that led to Jonathan Grant scoring early," said Thomas, who is a former Excelsior High and Jamaica star defender.
WORK IN PROGRESS
"I want to win the Manning Cup as it is a traditional competition. However, we are also in the Super Cup. It is a work in progress, so we will take it game by game," he added.
In the feature game, Holy Trinity, who suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to daCosta Cup contenders St Elizabeth Technical High School in the Super Cup last Saturday at Montego Bay Sports Complex in St James, rebounded with the win against Camperdown.
Holy Trinity took the lead when striker Shai Smith netted in the 26th minute. Camperdown cancelled that goal courtesy of Nicolai Small in the 73rd minute. However, with time running out, Holy Trinity second-half substitute, Orarando Salmon, netted in the 90th minute to hand his team a deserved victory.
"The feeling is good to come off the bench and score the winning goal for my team. We lost on Saturday and it motivated us to come all out today," Salmon, who got his first goal of the season, told The Gleaner.
Coach of Holy Trinity, Devon Anderson, praised Salmon for his positive response after he was left out of the team last Saturday in Montego Bay.
"Salmon did not play on Saturday and cried because he was left out and then the team lost. I spoke with him and he came back today and found the winning goal," Anderson shared.
"We had a long journey back from MoBay Saturday night and in less than 48 hours played again. The team showed heart. We are happy for the win to keep pace with Excelsior in the group," he also shared.
Excelsior 2 Jonathan Grant 1
Holy Trinity 2 Camperdown 1
Constant Spring Complex
1 p.m. - St Jago vs Hydel
3 p.m. - Jamaica College vs Denham Town