Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Two second-half goals propelled The Manning's School to a 2-0 win over St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) and their second-ever daCosta Cup semi-final appearance. The last time they went this far in the competition was in 2005.
In spite of the loss, STETHS also qualified for Saturday's semi-final.
Meanwhile, Glenmuir and Frome Technical also booked their places in the final four with a draw in their quarter-final match at Frome Sports Complex.
A 56th-minute goal from Tevin Daley sent Manning's into overdrive and they sealed victory through a headed goal in minute 68 from Romario Pessoa, as the Aaron Lawrence-coached team kept their hopes of winning a first daCosta Cup title alive.
STETHS almost scored in the 26th minute when Rohan Lindsey outjumped his marker inside the area, but his downward header smacked the upright.
Perfectly weighted pass
Shortly after, the skilful Melvin Blair did wonderfully well on the left flank, beating two STETHS defenders before sending a perfectly weighted pass into the area to pick out Pessoa, but his shot was blocked.
It all changed for the visitors in the 56th minute. Again Blair, arguably the competition's MVP, was the difference. After beating two defenders on the right flank, he passed inside to Daley who made no mistake, firing the ball into the back of the net to hand Manning's the lead.
Pessoa finally made amends for his earlier miss when he buried his header from close range to give Manning's a 2-0 lead.
With the win, Manning's booked a semi-final clash against Group B qualifiers Glenmiur, which will take place at STETHS; while fellow Group A qualifiers STETHS will take on Frome Technical at Jarrett Park. Both games are set for Saturday at 3 p.m.
"It was a great win today," said Manning's Lawrence. "We continue to do well against more highly rated teams. It's a wonderful feeling to achieve this win and now we look to the semi-final on Saturday."