Excelsior look to book semi-final spot in ISSA football

By Gerald Reid
Observer writer

Thursday, April 11, 2019

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DEFENDING champions Excelsior High and Meadowbrook High will come face-to-face in their top-of-the-table clash in the 2019 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Locker Room/TIP High Schoolgirls football competition, as the second round continues today at Waterhouse Mini Stadium, at 3:00 pm.

Both teams have six points from two games each in Group Three going into today's very important final match to complete second-round action with the winner advancing straight to the semi-finals.

Excelsior, who have been dominant all season, are expected to compete the second round with another convincing win.

The Xavier Gilbert-coached unit, which is yet to lose, draw or concede a goal, looks unbeatable this season, but they could be surprised by this Meadowbrook outfit if they take the Neo Oxford-coached Meadowbrook lightly.

Christina Salmon with 54 goals, and Davia Richards who have so far scored 49 goals are the leading strikers for Excelsior. However, players such as Nevillegail Able, Tarani Clarke and Shania Harris are also capable of finding the net.

Excelsior blanked Old Harbour 12-0 last time out and are firm favourites to continue winning ways.

Meanwhile, Oxford said his girls are ready and confident for the battle with Excelsior. “We have lost only two games and that was to Denham Town in the preliminary round, but we are now unbeaten in the second round and that's important at this stage.”

According to Oxford, the players will not be afraid playing against Excelsior as they have beaten two good teams, St Jago High and Old Harbour High in this second round.

At this stage he said the team has nothing to lose but should put more pressure on the champions, as they cannot afford to slip-up in this encounter. “It is still a very important game for both teams, especially Meadowbrook, and whatever Excelsior produce the players should counter.”

He said Excelsior have a host of national players in their line-up and they are expected to come out winners, but this is football and anything can happen.

“I respect Excelsior as they are a very experienced team that has scored over 200 goals without conceding any, but we are not expected to be any easy walkover for our opponents as I respect my team's chances,” said a confident Oxford.

His leading goalscorers in the competition are Vanessa Stephenson with five goals, 12-year-old Tyesha Neslon with four goals, and 13-year-old Dana White with three goals.

Elsewhere, last season's runners-up Denham Town will be looking to beat McGrath to clinch a berth in the semi-finals from Group Four where they are on top with six points. This game is scheduled for Edward Seaga Sports Complex.

Greater Portmore have a slim chance from Group Four to deny Denham Town a place in the semis, as they need to defeat McGrath and hope that the leaders lose and goal difference favour them in the end.

In Group One, Holmwood should beat Glenmuir, but Mount Alvernia still have a slim chance of qualifying for the semi-finals. Both Glenmuir and Mount Alvernia have lost a match in this second round. Holmwood will have a game in hand against St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS).

Other matches scheduled are Group One — Mount Alvernia High vs STETHS; Group Two — Lacovia High vs St James High, Central High vs Mile Gully High; Group Three — Old Harbour vs St Jago.

All matches are scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm.

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