Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Former champions Rusea's High suffered their second defeat in the Inter-Zone stage of the 2013 ISSA/LIME daCosta Cup football competition when they were tagged 2-1 by St James High in the feature match of the double header at Jarrett Park yesterday.
In the first match, Grange Hill thumped Green Pond 4-1, with Ackeem Shackleford scoring a brace to keep his school in race for a quarter-final spot.
Elsewhere yesterday, Muschett High edged Godfrey Stewart High 2-1 at Drax Hall to be on four points, the same as St James High atop the standings in Zone 2.
At Jarrett Park, St James fell behind early when Rusea's centre forward Dushane Beckford slammed home in the 10th minute.
Kristoff Young came very close to doubling the lead in the 23rd minute when he forced the St James goalkeeper into a good save, as the Lucea-based school controlled the early minutes of the match.
In the 31st minute, however, St James' Romario Clarke produced a torrid effort that the Rusea's goalkeeper could do nothing about, tying up the score at 1-1 in stunning fashion.
Minutes later, St James striker Jaleel Clarke was unlucky not to have scored when he spun and unleashed a powerful shot that a defender did well to block and deny the striker an almost certain goal
Then in the 60th minute, Michael Williams found himself on the end of a beautiful pass from deep midfield and he sped off, leaving his marker in his wake, before sliding the ball past the Rusea's goalkeeper and into the open net for the lead at 2-1.
Proud and happy
The win takes them level on points with Muschett High, while Godfrey Stewart picked up their first win of the round to be on three points and put themselves in line to qualify for the last eight.
"I am very proud and happy for this win today because we did it without a number of our regular starters who weren't getting the job done in recent matches," said St James coach Gregory Palmer.
"I simply told them to enjoy the game and they responded with a very good performance against Rusea's. This is a very important step in our quest to deliver the title to the school again," he told The Sunday Gleaner.
Other results: Glenmuir High 2 Frome Technical 1; Manchester High 1 Munro College 0; Marcus Garvey High 1 Happy Grove High 0 and Paul Bogle High 3 Vere Technical 1.