Sport

STGC make it four straight wins at George's Cup

By Dwayne Richards
Observer writer

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

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As preparations get into high gear ahead of the start of the new Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) schoolboy football season, St George's College (STGC) showed that they were clicking into gear by winning their annual pre-season tournament, the George's Cup at Emmet Park on Sunday.

The two-day competition is different from most other pre-season tournaments in that there is no real round robin format; instead, each of the four participating teams plays two full 90-minute games.

On Saturday, the hosts played against another Manning Cup contender in St Jago High and came away with a narrow 2-1 win, while daCosta Cup contenders Dinthill Technical put away Frome Technical 5-0 to move to the top of the table.

With victory in the tournament in sight Dinthill, with their four-goal advantage over the other day one winners, STGC, just needed a win over St Jago to give themselves a good chance of becoming only the fourth winners in the eight-year-old competition.

But St Jago had other ideas and went ahead early in the game through Jalando Williams, who slotted home into an unguarded net after the Dinthill custodian failed to reach a high ball into the box.

Tactical adjustments by new Dinthill Head Coach Xavier Gilbert led to his team taking control of the contest as St Jago were no longer able to play the short passes out of defence and were forced to go long. For the rest of the first half the team from Clarendon had the team from St Catherine on the ropes, but could find no way through the stubborn defence.

The second half was no different for the luckless Dinthill as their playmaker Rushan Parkinson cut a disconsolate figure after missing numerous chances. In addition to the chances missed by the lanky player, Dinthill struck the woodwork at least twice as St Jago rode their luck to hang on for the 1-0 win.

The second game on Sunday was another low-scoring affair as STGC clipped a much-improved Frome 1-0 courtesy of a second-half own goal.

After being manhandled by their daCosta Cup rivals on Saturday, the Frome team came out looking more assured on Sunday and gave the hosts a run for their money on the pristine Emmet Park pitch.

Despite not scoring in the first half, the Neville “Bertis” Bell-coached team always looked the more likely, and it was through sustained pressure that they were able to get the go-ahead goal midway the second half.

STGC with six points from their two wins retained their title and made it four wins in a row and five overall. Dinthill and St Jago both ended with three points, with Dinthill placing second on goal difference, while the pointless Frome ended fourth.

Despite finishing at the foot of the table, former Reggae Boy Aaron Lawrence was pleased with the performance of his Frome team, especially on the second day.

“We have been playing a couple of practice games and we haven't lost one, and yesterday (Saturday) was a learning curve for us which brought us back down to Earth. I tweaked the team a little bit today (Sunday) and made a few changes because sometimes it is when you lose that you get to see the problems, and then you can fix them.

“They came together today and they put in the shift and they have done well for us. Our preparation had been great so far and the fitness level looks good. We need to work on the tactical part of our game, but game by game we will get it right,” he assured.

For Bell it was 'objectives met' on all fronts at the end of another successful staging of the George's Cup.

“Every year we invite three different teams. We want to give other schools an opportunity to participate and also win some money, and it is close enough to the start of the season for coaches to take it seriously.”

Bell was honest in the assessment of his team after the two days.

“At this time of the season at St George's College we kinda know who should be in the team, and then there are some that you want to look at in a serious competition, so we were able to do that. I don't think we were brilliant over the two days, but I think we were much better today. Also Frome, coming from 5-0 yesterday (Saturday) to come back the next day and look much more organised.”

He also took time out to thank the sponsors who have made the competition possible over the years.

“Micro Labs gives us the money for prize money plus to pay for referees. We always play for the Western Sports trophy. Lasco iDrade has helped us out a lot, Lumitec had the mist for the players to cool down, that was kind of novel, and Toyota also helps us out every year, we couldn't do it without them,” he said.

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