Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Defending Manning Cup and Olivier Shield champions, St George's College, have their sights set on the triple crown this year after defeating Hydel 4-0 in their Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/LIME Walker Cup knockout quarter-final match yesterday at Constant Spring Sports Complex.
St George's passage to the semi-final was paved by goals from captain Ryan Miller (14th), Kurt Thomas (43rd own goal), Amoy Brown (49th) and Cardell Benbow (77th).
"We want to win everything...but it is a very, very long way to go and we are not even close yet," St George's coach, Neville Bell, expressed. "We know that whoever we playing the semi-final, whether Excelsior or Jamaica College, it is going to be much tougher than what we had today and we have to be prepared for that."
Excelsior earned the right to meet St George's in the semi-final - at a date yet to decided, according to ISSA's competitions director, George Forbes - after surprising Jamaica College 2-0 in the second match on the double-header.
Excelsior's goals were netted by by Damani Morais (42nd) four minutes after coming on as a sub, and Christopher Thorpe (86th).
"It will be a mountain to climb. They (St George's) are awesome, but hopefully, they will turn up not wanting to play and we can capitalise on it," Excelsior's coach, Leebert Halliman, said.
St George's totally dominated their match against Hydel, the same team they defeated in the final of last year's Manning Cup. It was, how-ever, Hydel that carved out the first clear goalscoring opportunity of the game when a fastbreak in the ninth minute saw three of their attackers up against one of St George's defenders. Jaheel Chamberlin opted to shoot from an angle instead of passing to one of his teammates, allowing St George's custodian, Cordell Irving, to make an easy save.
Chamberlin appeared to pay dearly for his error in judgement, as he was pulled from the game 15 minutes later by coach Geoffery Maxwell without showing any signs of an injury.
JC came into the game with a perfect 10 wins from as many games, but were ambushed by a nifty and very tactically prepared Excelsior. Excelsior's captain, Hishrock Francis, was imperious in his marking of JC's talisman, Junior Flemming, who has netted 14 goals so far this season. He was reduced to just one good sighting of goal and hit a shot which was superbly blocked by keeper Jonah Morgan.
Excelsior, on the other hand, were beneficiaries of two fortuituous goals, with the first by Morais coming after Allendo Brown and his keeper, Courtney Dowdie, were indecisive in dealing with an innocuous-looking ball into the area. Morais stole in between them and poked home.
Dowdie was the only one to blame for Excelsior's second, as despite being under no pressure, he dropped a harmless-looking cross by Thorpe into his goal.