CHAMPIONS St George's College gained sole leadership of Zone C in the ISSA Digicel/Gatorade Manning Cup competition by defeating Clan Carthy High, 3-0, while group rivals Hydel High drew 2-2 against Denham Town yesterday.
Both teams came into their latest matches on 10 points after four outings, but while St George's overcame their opponents on a delightful free kick from Gregory Messam Jnr, plus strikes from Amoy Brown and Davion Montique, Hydel squandered a two-goal lead at half-time to share the points with Denham Town at Edward Seaga Complex.
The visiting Hydel dominated the opening half-hour and went ahead when Giovanni Green headed home in the 14th. He added his and Hydel's second five minutes before the break when he redirected another cross past goalie Naheem Kirkpatrick.
However, three minutes into the second half the host pulled a goal back when Samuel Bready fired home from six yards.
Captain Rodica Wellington and play-maker Junior McGregor then came to life and took the game to their opponents and they were rewarded 12 minutes from time when Chimal Daley was brought down by goalkeeper Romaine Hamilton inside the box. Wellington calmly converted the kick to tie the scores at 2-2.
The home team went for the jugular and created a number of opportunities to take the three points, but could not capitalise. Denham Town's coach Desmond Francis was pleased with his team's fightback.
"In the first half they did not pick up the formation they were playing, so I told them to push up and mark in the midfield because they are playing five in the middle... I thought my team executed well and should have won the match," he said.
Hydel's coach Geoffrey Maxwell said he was disappointed with the result and some players' performance.
"I'm disappointed because we have to keep on track with St George's... but this is football... I thought we gave the game away," he said.
In the other Zone C game, Cumberland turned back Dunoon Technical, 3-1, on strikes from Kenrick Francis, Ricardo Belafonte and Clive Forbes.
St George's now lead the group with 13 points — two more than Hydel — followed by Cumberland on seven, and Denham Town on six.
Meanwhile, former winners ]Jamaica College moved five points clear at the top of Zone B after a 4-1 thrashing of Mona High. Junior Flemming led the Alfred Francis-coached team with a brace, while Tevin Brown and Rafiek Bryan added to their school's tally.
Camperdown, who did not play yesterday, stayed second on seven points. However, Waterford (six) overtook St Jago by two points for third spot after beating their St Catherine rivals, 1-0, on Corey Robinson's strike at Waterford.
In the lone Zone D match yesterday, Bridgeport High edged St Mary's College, 1-0, thanks to a Ramone Howell's strike, to regain sole leadership of the group. Bridgeport now have 13 points from five matches, three more than Innswood and five ahead of Calabar.
Ascot also climbed to the top of Zone E after their 2-1 win over Holy Trinity. Daniel Strawn and Oshane Nembhard scored for the St Catherine boys who lead the group with 10 points from five matches. They are followed by Spanish Town High with nine, St Catherine with eight and Holy Trinity with seven.
In the group's other game, Jonathan Grant, through goals from Shaquille Dixon, Ronaldo Clarke and Shawn Barnes, outscored Trench Town, 3-2, for their first win of the season.
In today's games, Wolmer's Boys' host Jose Marti Technical at Heroes Circle in Zone F, while Charlie Smith High take on St Andrew Technical (STATHS) at the Tony Spaulding Complex in Zone G.