Manning Cup: Wolmer’s, Hydel High shine in opening week
With the first week of competition pout of the way, here's the latest of the 2012-2013 ISSA/Gatorate/Digicel/ Manning Cup.
Norman Manley High, the only team in the group to have played two games, leads with the maximum six points after victories over Penwood and Greater Portmore High. Excelsior High, the only other team in the group to register a point, hold a goal difference of plus 12 after their crushing victory over Campion College.
In the 'Group of Death', Waterford High recovered from their opening day loss to Camperdown with a 6-0 hammering of Mona High. Jamaica College opened their season with a win after clipping Camperdown 1-0 while St Jago are also in the mix after their 5-0 whipping of Mona High in their opening fixture. That being said, all teams aside from Mona High are separated merely by goal difference and it will be exciting to see which teams emerge.
Hydel High's positive progression from last season's exploits continued as they rifled eight goals past a deflated Dunoon Technical. Defending champions St Georges -who narrowly escaped defeat against Hydel- looked to be in good touch with a 5-1 thrashing of Denham Town, despite facing a shock deficit early into the game. Cumberland are the other team in the group that currently has four points.
There are no major surprises in this group so far, as Bridgeport and Calabar are leading the pack as was expected. Bridgeport, however, are the better of the two as they managed a 6-0 beating of Haile Selassie, the team that Calabar played out a 1-1 draw with. There 2-0 win over St Mary's College is what is keeping them a point ahead of Innswood who edged Tivoli High 1-0 in their opening encounter.
With two wins and a loss from three games, Holy Trinity are the early leaders of the group. Following them closely are Spanish Town High and Ascot High on four points. After troubling Wolmer's Boys throughout the group stages of last season, Ascot will be looking to create major inroads yet again this year.
After brushing aside Kingston Technical, Wolmer's Boys put Donald Quarrie to the sword with a 6-0 drubbing. With two wins from two games, Wolmer's are the comfortable leaders but Jose Marti signalled their intentions with a 7-0 crushing of Oberlin High. St Andrew College are the only ones yet to feature in this year's installation of the competition.
After his season debut of four goals against Ardenne High, Charlie Smith attacker Lennox Russell continued his impressive start by playing a key role in his team's 1-0 victory over group rivals Kingston College. With 89 minutes played and the game heading towards a likely draw, his guile allowed him enough room on the wing to cross accurately into the path of Patrick Sayles who confidently finish from close range.
St Andrew Technical capitalised on KC's demise to move to second in the group thanks to a 3-0 win over the struggling Meadowbrook High. Ardenne recovered slightly from the beating they took on opening day to play out a 1-1 draw with Pembroke Hall who recorded their second consecutive draw.
Editor's Note: Information provided as at the weekend's slate of matches.