JC, STATHS, STGC, St Catherine take first-leg leads

Senior Staff Reporter

Thursday, October 18, 2018

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Defending champions Jamaica College (JC) and St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) grabbed important first-leg wins over Calabar High and Hydel High, respectively, in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup second round at the Spanish Town Prison Oval yesterday.

In the feature encounter, JC whipped Calabar 3-0 while last season's beaten finalist STATHS edged Hydel High 1-0 in the curtain raiser.

The wily Norman Campbell, who was unstoppable all day, opened the scoring for JC in the seventh minute before Tajay Grant doubled the advantage in minute 32.

Although outplayed, Calabar created their best chances from set plays and got a glorious chance to reduce the deficit from the penalty spot in the 56th minute, but Navardo Thomas' tame effort was easily gobbled up by goalkeeper Khari Williams.

It was a missed opportunity that Calabar would live to regret and they paid dearly as substitute Earon Elliott tapped home in the 77th minute for three “away” goals for JC.

With the return leg set for Saturday at the Stadium East field, JC are well on their way to the quarter-finals with a decent advantage.

It wasn't the most attractive display from the “Dark Blues” from Old Hope Road, but an efficient one as they were clearly the better team.

The likes of Campbell, Javain Thompson, Shadane Lopez, Tajay Grant, Okeefe Cunningham, Tahja Reynolds and Saqlain Waul dominated but failed to really kill off the two-legged contest.

Calabar will need something close to a miracle to overturn this deficit on Saturday and look set to contest the Walker Cup.

Earlier, Anthony Nelson fired home a beauty from just inside the box in minute 58 which turned out to be a crucial away goal for STATHS heading into the return leg on Saturday.

But things could have been different for both teams as Rowan Davis could have equalised in the 90th minute for Hydel then seconds later Asprellia Alexander got a glorious chance to add another crucial goal for STATHS but kicked high of an empty goal.

Unlike the JC/Calabar game, this tie between STATHS and Hydel is still up for grabs as only one goal separates the teams.

In the Stadium East double-header, St Catherine High defeated Charlie Smith 3-1 and St George's College beat Mona High 4-1 for decisive leads going into Saturday's return-leg games.

Javaughn Cole got a brace in minutes 41 and 87, and John-Christoff Pringle added the other (penalty) in the 59th minute for the victors, while Renaldo Cephas scored Charlie Smith's consolation in the 21st minute.

Emelio Rousseau hit the net twice in the 45th+2 and 59th (penalty), and was ably assisted by Nathaniel Campbell in the 12th minute and Damani Harris in the 42nd minute.

Substitute Dellneil Pinnock grabbed one for Mona in the 74th minute.

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