Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Former champions and favourites Excelsior began their quest to win this year's Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/LIME Manning Cup with an easy 2-0 victory over Waterford at the Courtney Walsh Oval yesterday.
Romario Hosang (12th) and Kareem Banton (85th) were the goalscorers for the Mountain View-based institution.
Leebert Halliman, coach of Excelsior, was somewhat pleased with his team's efforts. "I think we played a bit poorly in the first half, probably a bit of nerves, but at the end of the day we wanted three points and that what we got," said Halliman, whose team last won the competition in 2004.
"We got the three points, but there is still a long way to go because we still have a lot of work to do with our boys, but I think in the last 15-minutes we played a much better game than we did earlier in the game," Halliman added.
On the other hand, Jermaine Thomas, coach of Waterford, was very dissatisfied with his team's efforts.
"We are most definitely disappointed with our performance," said Thomas. "This is our first game and we would have to go back and review the tape and see where we went wrong and try to correct them."
Thomas added: "Our players are young, but no excuses because we could have done better. I think our decision-making in the final third was very off today.
The speedy and skilful Hosang gave Excelsior a dream start when he arrived at the back post to tap home a well measured right-sided cross from Akeem Coombs past goalkeeper Shakkur Smith.
Excelsior created a number of clear-cut chances in the remainder of the first half, but they were let down due to poor shooting from their strikers. Banton, Samuel Halliman, Hosang were all guilty of missing for Excelsior.
Steve Williams received Waterford's best in chance in the 40th minute when his long range effort was tipped over the crossbar by custodian Jonah Morgan.
Excelsior dominated ball possession in the second period and were finally rewarded when Banton fired a powerful 25-yard right footed shot past Smith to seal the victory for his team.
Yesterday's results: Jamaica College 5 Tivoli 0; Calabar 1 Jonathan Grant 0; Bridgeport 2 St Andrew College 1.
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Kingston Technical vs Wolmer's
Papine vs Clan Carthy
Donald Quarrie vs Vauxhall
Charlie Smith vs Oberlin
Spanish Town vs Penwood
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