Manning Cup heats up - KC, Calabar clash in feature quarter-final match
Traditional rivals Kingston College and Calabar High will meet for the first time in many years as the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup quarter-final round kicks off today.
The teams have been drawn into two groups of four teams each. In one group are St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS), St Catherine High, St George's College, and Holy Trinity High.
In the other group are former champions Bridgeport High, Jamaica College, Calabar High, and Kingston College.
At the end of the quarter-final stage, next Saturday, the winners and runners-up will advance to the semi-finals. The two semi-final winners will advance to the final.
The 'Purples' of North Street and the 'Lions' of Red Hills Road will square off in the feature of a double-header at Stadium East, starting at 5 p.m.
This matchup is expected to draw out massive support from both schools as they both have a rich tradition in schoolboy sports.
Pre-season favourites KC cruised into the quarter-final group stage with a massive 10-1 aggregate victory against Tivoli High after 4-1 and 6-0 scores over the two legs while Calabar won the two-way tie against Excelsior 2-1 on aggregate.
The KC team has been very dominant but could face a stern test from Calabar today. The Ludlow Bernard-coached unit will look to captain Javain 'Trigga' Brown, top attacker Rashawn Mackison, Fabian Grant, Omar Thompson and Trayvon Reid.
Calabar, under the guidance of head coach Lij Simms, will rely on Collin Anderson, Navardo Thomas, Orane Ferguson and Matthew Sterling.
In the curtain raiser, Bridgeport High and Jamaica College will meet for the third time since this year's competition kicked off last month. The two group stage games between the teams ended 1-1 and 2-2.
Since then, JC beat Charlie Smith 5-2 on aggregate in the second-round format and Bridgeport eliminated Wolmer's Boys 2-1 on aggregate.
Now, the teams will hunt three points to be in a better position to move from the quarter-final stage.
JC's main players are Maliek Howell, Shaniel Thomas, and Kevin Rochester. Bridgeport will look to captain Kyle Ming, Javaughn Dunn, Javon Bascoe and Shane Moodie.
At the Constant Spring Complex, surprise team STATHS face St Catherine in the opening game, starting at 1 p.m., to be followed by St George's College against Holy Trinity at 3 p.m.
Record on the line
STATHS have been unbeaten so far and will look to continue that run under coach Phillip Williams. They will look to captain and outstanding goalkeeper Jadean White, David Smith, Noel Walker, AndrÈ Smith, Barrington Bailey, Armani Reid, John Henry, Geovanni Howell, and Jevaughnie Johnson who has scored six goals.
St Catherine's coach Anthony Patrick, will rely on captain Maliek Miller; goalkeeper Raheem Henry; Marcovich Brown. Paul Planter and top striker Javaughn Cole, who has netted eight times in the competition.
In the feature game, top- ranked Holy Trinity and many-time champions St George's College will meet in what should be an interesting and close encounter.
Holy Trinity came back from a 2-0 deficit against Haile Selassie in the second-round first leg to win the return leg by the same margin on Thursday. They then eliminated Haile Selassie 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out.
The key players on the The Devon Anderson-coached Holy Trinity team are captain Shai Smith, central defender Fabrizzo Burton, and central midfielder Dante Green.
The Neville 'Bertis' Bell-coached St George's are not highly fancied to take the title for the first time since 2012, but having reached this far must be seen as serious contenders.
St George's main players are forward Romario Harding who scored a hat-trick in his team's 4-0 second round victory against St Jago. Arsenio Hamilton; Paul Young; Nathaniel Campbell; and Akeem Robotham.
- 1 p.m. - STATHS vs St Catherine High at Constant Spring
- 3 p.m. - St George's College vs Holy Trinity at Constant Spring
- 3 p.m. - Bridgeport vs Jamaica College at Stadium East
- 5 p.m. - Calabar High vs Kingston College