Schoolboy football season underway
IT was contrasting results for last season's schoolboy champions as the 2010 ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel schoolboys football season got underway with pomp and pageantry at Jarrett Park on Saturday.
Under a blazing sun Manning Cup and Olivier Shield champions St George's College scrapped to a 2-1 win over an unlucky St Jago while daCosta Cup winners St Elizabeth Technical came from behind to draw 1-1 against Lacovia High.
In the third game St James High beat Spot Valley High 2-0 to win their seventh straight against the daCosta Cup minnows thanks to second half goals from Dalkeith McPherson and Ricardo Morris.
The Neville 'Bertis' Bell-coached St George's College edged St Jago High 2-1 in their Manning Cup Zone E game with goals from Kareem Manning in the first half and Romario Jones in the 90th minute. Romario Constant scored for St Jago who dominated the second half.
In the daCosta Cup opener, STETHS dominated the game for long periods but failed to capitalise as Lacovia battled hard before taking the lead against the run of play in the 72nd minute through Jermaine Seaton.
STETHS got the equaliser two minutes later when Romero Thompson scored from a close range header.
Despite the close scoreline, St George's Bell thought they deserved the win, "We played badly in part," he admitted "but we had more possession," he told reporters after the game.
Bell said it was a much better start than last year when they had to settle for a point.
St Jago's coach Jermaine Thomas rued the missed chances he team did not take but said they would stay positive as the scoreline could be different.
St Jago settled down earliest with Rochane Smith on the left making inroads into the St George's defence.
It was George's that took the lead, however, when the overlapping Mannings' shot from the left wing found its way between goalkeeper Jordean Bennett and the near post and into the goal.
Bennett did better in the 35th minute when he blocked a shot from Devon Williams taken from close range on the right side of the six yards box.
St George's College's goalkeeper Nico Campbell was forced into action in the 40th minute when he came off his line to intercept Garfield Stewart who had managed to get behind the George's defence.
St Jago's persistence paid off in the 63rd minute when Campbell mistimed his advance off the goal line and was left stranded, allowing Constant a clear run at goal.
Another mistake by Campbell in the 73rd minute almost gave St Jago the lead but Smith lobbed just over the bar.
Jones gave St George's all three points just before the final whistle when St Jago failed to clear a ball out of their area and he beat goalkeeper Bennett with a low hard shot into the far corner of the goal.
STETHS started well and earned five corners in the first 10 minutes but failed to get by the Lacovia defence.
Midfielder Juave Adams got a chance to put STEHS ahead in the 35th minute but his looping shot from just on the edge of the penalty area was pushed over for a corner by goalkeeper Javere Nembhard.
Seaton scored against the run of play in the 72nd minute when he picked up a pass from Romario Brown and powered it through the legs of goalkeeper Gregory McKogg and in to the goal.
STETHS managed to get back on level terms two minutes later when Thompson's header from mere yards out, found the back of the net.
Andrew Edwards who conditions the STETHS team admitted his team did not play up to expectations "this is not the start we wanted," he said after the game, "Some of the players did not look as sharp and we were not as clinical in front of the goal as we liked."
Edwards described the team as "a work in progress".
Errol White, the head coach at Lacovia, said they were happy with the point.
"This is a good start to get a point," but added that they were still working on the passing aspect of the team.