Robert Bailey, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Hydel High secured a place in the semi-finals of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Gatorade/Digicel Manning Cup competition with a 3-0 victory over Kingston College (KC) in Group I at the Spanish Town Prison Oval yesterday.
Giovanni Green (24th), Omar Walcott (47th) and Samar Rowe (79th) were the goalscorers for the Geoffrey Maxwell-coached Hydel, who were reaching the semi-finals for the first time in the school's history.
Hydel won the group on goal difference ahead of Jamaica College (JC) after both schools ended the round with seven points. The group winners had a plus-eight goal difference and JC, plus six. They are followed by KC (three) and Denham Town who failed to gain a point in the second round.
In the group's other game, JC thrashed Denham Town 4-1 at the Constant Spring Sports Complex.
JC got their goal through an own goal in the 16th minute, Malique Foster (40th) Kevin Blackwood (56th) and captain Junior Flemmings (84th). Samuel Brady scored the consolation goal for Denham Town in the 90th minute.
"It is a good feeling and the school is very proud of the players," said Maxwell. "They have worked very hard over summer and the president and the vice-president of the school are very proud of the players," he added.
At the Constant Sports Complex, JC, who started the day behind Hydel on goal difference came out firing in the opening minutes of the first half. However, they were pegged back due to poor finishing from the likes of Flemmings and Foster who missed a couple of clear-cut chances in the opening 10 minutes.
They were finally rewarded when Denham Town's defender Rajan headed into his own net. JC were still celebrating when their coach Alfred Henry was ejected from the game for abusive language.
Foster doubled JC's lead when he arrived at the near post and tapped home a cross from Flemmings past goalkeeper Nakoy Reid to give his team a 2-0 lead at half-time.
JC went goal hunting in the second period and Blackwood and Flemmings answered the call for their team.
Delroy Brown, assistant coach of JC, who are still unbeaten this season, said his team tried their best.
"Goals are very vital and it showed in this match because we needed to score as many goals as we could without conceding and that didn't happen for us today," said Brown.
Hydel will face former winners Excelsior in the semi-final.