High drama!

Manning Cup holders KC reach semis; Wolmer's, JC also join STATHS in last four

BY HOWARD WALKER
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

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Kingston College (KC), Wolmer's Boys' and Jamaica College (JC) joined St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) in the semi-final of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup following exciting, dramatic action yesterday.

Wolmer's Boys', who were well on their way, leading Charlie Smith 3-0, saw their their game called off because of heavy rains. However, with KC (seven points) defeating Camperdown High 2-1, Wolmer's are through with four points.

Camperdown, who needed to win, finished third in Group G with three points from their three quarter-final round games to once again narrowly miss a semi-final spot.

Shawn Daley had given Camperdown the lead, slotting home in the 30th minute after the impressive Shaquille Bradford split open the KC backline with a sublime pass.

That woke up the defending champions and Dwayne Atkinson sweetly volleyed home from a corner kick on the stroke of half-time, before nodding down into the path of substitute Michael Allen to tap home into an empty net in the 77th minute.

As it stands, KC are atop the group, but Wolmer's can surpass them if they score more goals when the remaining 45 minutes in the game against Charlie Smith is completed today at the same venue, starting at 1:00 pm.

In the curtain-raiser at Stadium East, many-time champions JC advanced to the semi-finals despite crashing 1-2 to STATHS, as St George's College (STGC) and Excelsior High could only muster to a 1-1 draw in the first game at JC.

JC, STGC and Excelsior all finished on two points but the “Dark Blues” of Old Hope Road sneaked through on goal difference.

STATHS drew first blood, scoring in minute 10 courtesy of Romario Campbell's 12th goal of the season. He tapped home after a shot deflected in his path.

JC responded when Phillon Lawrence ripped a powerful left-footer from the edge of the box in the 18th minute. It was his 11th goal of the season.

Mikey Riley cheekily restored STATHS lead, getting the faintest of touches in front of a defender from a corner kick in the 36th minute.

JC came out in the second half full of running, knowing their Manning Cup season was on the line. In the 68th minute they got a glorious chance from the penalty spot.

STATHS goalkeeper Ricardo Laing after collecting a ball, elbowed the attacker and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot.

But JC Captian Shaneil Thomas' feeble penalty kick was blocked by Laing with his feet. He thwarted Thomas' follow-up shot with his hands before his defenders came to the rescue and booted the ball away.

At that point, it appeared JC would not be in a semi-final for the first time in many years. But with five minutes remaining, news filtered through that Excelsior had equalised against St George's College, which meant JC were on their way to the semi-finals if the score remained the same, and that it did.

The 1-1 draw eliminated both St George's College and Excelsior on goal difference on a dramatic evening of football across two venues.


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