Excelsior puts defending champ Tivoli out of Walker Cup
HEAD coach of Excelsior High School, Keon Broderick says they are aiming to redeem themselves from their Manning Cup disappointment by sending defending champions Tivoli Gardens out of the ISSA/Digicel Walker Cup, coming from behind to win 3-1 in the quarter-final at home on Wednesday.
Excelsior, seven-time champions, had a difficult first half as Tivoli dominated proceedings and were rewarded through a thumping header from Ryan-Oneil Francis in the 24th minute.
However in the second half Richard Andrews scored a scrappy goal to level for Excelsior in the 68th minute.
Renaldino Medwinter gave Excelsior the lead in the 79th minute with a header, causing pandemonium in the stands.
Tivoli tried their best to find an equaliser but Excelsior’s Damarley Williams made it 3-1 deep into stoppage time as they secured their spot in the last four, much to the delight of Broderick.
“Coming into the game, we did a bit of research and assessment of the Tivoli team,” Broderick said. “We understand how they would have played in the game. There was a bit of a tweak in their system and we took some time to interpret what they did and we made the adjustment, especially in the second half. Some alterations really bore fruit and we were able to capitalise on the chances.
“We had high expectations coming into the Manning Cup and we wanted to go all the way, or as far as possible, [but] that was not done. So to reach the semi-finals, we are very elated and we’re just going to focus on the next game and take it one step at a time.”
Tivoli’s Head Coach Christopher Nicholas criticised his boys after seeing them throw away a lead.
“They didn’t follow instructions, and it’s going on for the whole season and these youngsters don’t understand,” he said. “They try to do their own thing, they don’t benefit from it, and I just ask them to just do what the coaches ask and we [will] get the [desired] result. We tried two or three times in the game and it worked and [then] they just went back to what they’re used to.”
Despite being unable to retain their title and failing to advance to the semi-finals of the Manning Cup, Nicholas took some positives from the season.
“I’m very proud of the youngsters. We really fought hard, knowing our resources,” he said. “It’s not really easy so I’m proud of them. That’s just how it goes.; sometimes we win, sometimes we lose but that’s a part of the game.”
Three-time champions Jamaica College needed two late second-half goals from Givoanni Taylor and Jamoy Dennis to beat Jonathan Grant 2-0 and advance to the semis.
Five-time champions Wolmer’s exacted revenge on St Catherine High who knocked them out of the Manning Cup second round. The Heroes Circle-based boys held their nerve to win 5-4 on penalties after a goalless draw at the end of full time.
The last semi-final spot will be decided on Thursday when St Andrew Technical High School visits Haile Selassie.