Cumberland aim to stay on top
Early Group A leaders Cumberland High School square off with preseason group favourites Holy Trinity High School in what could prove to be a decisive ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup match this afternoon at Cumberland. Head coach Wayne Fraser says that their aim is to stay atop the standings and that he is quite upbeat going into the fixture.
After three matches, Cumberland lead the group with seven points, followed by Haile Selassie with six and Holy Trinity, St Jago, and Bridgeport high schools on four points each. Clan Carthy High School are at the bottom of the table without a point.
Cumberland qualified for the second round of the competition last season when they finished as one of the best third-placed teams, and Fraser has revealed that their ambitions are even bigger this season. He believes that getting a win over the group favourites will put them on the path to achieving their goals.
“Last year, we made history, and we want to make better history this year by going to the Champions Cup and the Manning Cup semi-finals,” he said. “So we want to keep the lead by winning tomorrow (today) and go clear of everybody.
“We are feeling good in the position that we are, and our aim is to keep where we are at. We don’t take any team lightly, but our aim is to stay in front. We are at home, and for the past three years, we haven’t lost much at home. We have a good home advantage, so we will try to capitalise on what we have. We will try to go in front early and let them chase us.”
Fraser said that Holy Trinity scouts were at their game Friday observing them but that they have also sent coaches to analyse the east Kingston school, and he believes that they are fully prepared to undertake this challenge.
“They came to see us and what we have in store,” he said. “So we went to their game to see what they have, also, and our guys are well upbeat as we have something to prove that Cumberland is now the champion (high school) of Portmore, and we want to keep that focus towards the competition.
“We have played in patches at times, and everybody complains that Cumberland only scores one goal (a match), but if we win 1-0, it doesn’t matter to us because Spain won the World Cup by scoring 1-0 wins. So if we reach the Manning Cup final and win 1-0, we win the competition.”
Today’s ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup fixtures:
Cumberland vs Holy Trinity
Haile Selassie vs Clan Carthy
St Jago vs Bridgeport
Kingston High vs Donald Quarrie
Ascot vs Charlie Smith
Denham Town vs Jonathan Grant
Northern Tech vs Oberlin
Penwood vs STATHS
Papine vs St Catherine
Ardenne vs Eltham
Norman Manley vs St George’s College
Pembroke Hall vs Excelsior
KTHS vs KC
Cedar Grove vs Dunoon
All matches start at 3:30 p.m.