Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Defending Manning Cup champions St George's College and Hydel will square off in today's feature quarter-final game of Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/LIME Walker Cup knockout competition, at Constant Spring Sports Complex.
The match, which pits both teams from last year's Manning Cup final, is set to get on the way at 1 p.m., with the second quarter-final game between Jamaica College (JC) and Excelsior following at 3 p.m.
St George's College, the defending Manning Cup winners, have their sights set on winning the Walker Cup this year, after they were beaten by eventual champions Wolmer's Boys' in the semi-finals last year.
The Neville 'Bertis' Bell-coached George's ended their preliminary round campaign atop Group D with 23 points, bettering Charlie Smith - which ended with the same number of points - on goal difference. The 'Light Blues' have scored 26 goals while conceding 10 in the first round.
Marcel Gayle, assistant coach of St George's, believes that today's encounter will be a tough game, but is confident that his team will come out the victors.
"We know that Hydel is a quality team and they have always played good football, but we are going to go out there to play our game and hopefully we will get it right," Gayle said.
The North Street-based St George's College's hunt for goals will be led by their captain and national Under-17 representative, Ryan Miller, who is the team's leading scorer this season with 11 goals.
He is expected to receive good support from national Under-20 players Oshane Boothe, who has scored 10 goals, and playmaker Cardell Benbow.
Hydel ended the preliminary phase on top of Group A with 23 points. They scored 19 goals while conceding a mere three.
Geoffrey Maxwell, coach of Hydel, hopes his team plays to plan.
"I think my players will have to go out there and follow our instructions and play as how we play in training, then hopefully everything will go well for us," said Maxwell.
"We are going there with that intention to win the game and I think St George's will have the same intention too. But they are the defending Manning Cup champions and so the pressure will be on their players to get a result and not us."