Second half changes made the difference, says Patrick, as St Catherine stays in Manning Cup huntSaturday, December 04, 2021
ST CATHERINE, Jamaica – Reigning Walker Cup champions, St Catherine High, kept themselves in the hunt for a spot in the quarterfinal round of the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup with a hard fought 2-1 win over a determined Wolmer’s team, at the Ashenheim Stadium at Jamaica College, on Friday.
Both teams went into the match needing a win to stay in the hunt and knew that anything less than three points would not be good enough to help their cause.
St Catherine High got off to the perfect start when a brilliant team move saw Romaine Walters converting a right sided cross at the back post to make it 1-0 after just seven minutes.
But Wolmer’s roared back when they were awarded a penalty kick for a handball following a melee in the goal area, which was converted by Malachi Sterling to make it 1-1 in the 11th minute.
The game remained an even contest until midway the second half when St Catherine High started to exert themselves. Their dominance of the game would eventually see them earn a penalty which was converted by their captain Joel Palmer, in the 80th minute.
Head coach, Anthony Patrick, was disappointed with how his team played after getting off to the perfect start.
“Yes, we wanted a quick start and an early goal, but after that we went very, very flat.”
Second half changes then became the fix for St Catherine as the substitutes made the desired impact for Patrick in this very crucial game.
“When you look at the second half with the changes that we made, we started to get some passes together and created some opportunities.
“We stepped up the tempo when we made the changes and the players started to put a little more effort in it and that was enough. We got a penalty and that was important. Palmer, the captain, stepped up and put it away,” said a very pleased Patrick.
The win moved St Catherine High on to 10 points, level with second place Mona High who beat Clan Carthy 4-0, also on Friday.
But while Mona High have completed their first-round fixtures, St Catherine High has one game left to go against Group C leaders Kingston College (KC). A point from that game will be enough for St Catherine to claim second spot in the group and a guaranteed place in the quarterfinals.
Unfortunately for Patrick, there is very little time to prepare for the game against the team that is yet to concede this season.
“We have two days to prepare, so we have to sit and analyze the KC team and see what we can come up with in that game,” he said.
The final set of Group C games will be played on Monday with KC putting their unbeaten run on the line against St Catherine at the Spanish Town Prison starting at 3:00pm. The other game, which is now effectively a dead rubber, will see Papine High, who is yet to score a goal this season, going up against Wolmer’s at the Stadium East Field starting at 3:00pm.