Wolmer's, Trinity seal Manning semi berths
Wolmer's Boys' and Holy Trinity High sealed the last two semi-final spots in the ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup competition with victories against Haile Selassie High and Excelsior, respectively, at Constant Spring the Complex yesterday.
In the first game of the double header, Holy Trinity edged Excelsior High 3-2 in a thrilling encounter, while Wolmer's defeated Haile Selassie 1-0 in the second game.
Holy Trinity secured the top spot in Group H courtesy of goals by Fabrizzio Burton in the 26th minute, Karim Brown (29th) and an own goal by Excelsior's substitute Chavoy Malcolm (76th). Excelsior staged a late fightback courtesy of goals by substitute Jazeel Guthbert (87th minute and an own goal from Sodayne Samuels in injury time.
Holy Trinity finished on six points from their three games, while Excelsior and Camperdown ended on four points apiece.
It is the first time that Holy Trinity are making the Manning Cup semi-finals and coach Devon Anderson was elated.
"It is the first time that we are advancing to the Manning Cup semis. We came to win the game, but almost lost at the end due to tired legs," Anderson told The Gleaner.
Anderson also emphasised that the season was dedicated to former Holy Trinity star player Jordan Foote, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year and died on March 5. He was 18 years old.
"I had dedicated the season to Jordan Foote. Now, we are looking forward to going all the way," he shared.
In the second game, Wolmer's struck early when Mario Sailsman converted a tap-in from a cross by Alphanso Gooden. The winners then stood back and completed a hard-fought victory,
Haile Selassie were reduced to ten players after goalkeeper Mark Williams was issued a red card by referee Kevin Morrison for handling the ball outside of the 18-yard box.
Wolmer's were perfect in Group K with nine points from their three games, St George's College ended on six points, Haile Selassie (3) and St Catherine finished without a point.
Coach of Wolmer's VasseLl Reynolds admitted that they were a bit concerned coming into the game.
"We were a bit worried as we got knocked out at this same stage last year in the Manning Cup. We got the early goal and defended well. I thought the team was focussed for this game," Reynolds said.
Meanwhile, reigning champions Jamaica College will engage Holy Trinity in the first semi-final while Kingston College will square-off against Wolmer's in the second game. Both games are scheduled for Saturday, November 19 at the National Stadium.
Holy Trinity 3 Excelsior 2
Wolmer's 1 Haile Selassie 0
Camperdown 3 Jonathan Grant 1
St Catherine 0 St George's College 6