C'down end unbeaten; JC, Tivoli book quarter-final berthsSunday, December 05, 2021
Despite already securing their spot in the quarter-final of the shortened Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Digicel Manning Cup season, Camperdown High were in no mood to lose their unbeaten record, as they came from behind to secure a 3-3 stalemate with Excelsior High in Group B action at Ashenheim Stadium yesterday.
Devonte McCrea came off the bench to grab a brace in the 65th and 68th minutes to ensure the near-perfect Camperdown ended the group stage on a high, after Omario Dennis (13th) had earlier pulled them level in the six-goal thriller.
Jevaughnie Simms (6th) and Captain Rojaughn Joseph (31st and 33rd) were the scorers for Excelsior, who at one point seemed all over a winner in what was a crucial fixture in their quarter-final hunt.However, while Camperdown ended with 17 points from their seven games, Excelsior inched up to 12 points, but will have to wait to see if they progress as one of the best third-placed team.
This is as a result of Tivoli High's 3-1 beating of St Jago at the Spanish Town Prison Oval, which saw the West Kingston team securing the second automatic spot on 13 points.
Meanwhile, 2019 beaten finalists St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) clipped Jonathan Grant 2-1 in the other Group B encounter at Stadium East. They joined Excelsior on 12 points, but misses out due to a slightly inferior goal difference, while Jonathan Grant, who was in the running, was relegated to fifth on 11 points.
Over in Group A, defending champions Jamaica College made their quarter-final berth safe with a 5-0 drubbing of Bridgeport High in the feature contest of the Stadium East double-header.
The Davion Ferguson-coached Jamaica College, who recovered from a slow start, topped the group with 13 points, one ahead of Kingston Technical, who went down 0-2 to Calabar at Prison Oval.
Despite the loss, Kingston Technical seems safe for the second automatic spot, as Charlie Smith (nine points) would need to beat out of contention St George's College by seven or more goals in their contest which was suspended due to a waterlogged field at Ashenheim Stadium.
Calabar will occupy third position on 10 points until that rescheduled encounter is played.
In the early encounter at Old Hope Road, Camperdown and Excelsior placed their attacking prowess on display with both teams giving as good as they got.
Though Camperdown had nothing to lose, Donovan Lofter's side had no intentions of letting up.
After Dennis squandered Camperdown's very first effort of the game when he headed wide from three yards out, Excelsior made use of the life and broke the deadlock a few minutes later against the run of play.Joseph played Simms into space and the lanky player sporting the number 19 jersey released a shot from an angle which caught Camperdown's custodian Alphanso Clacken going the wrong way in anticipation of a cross.
But Camperdown replied shortly after through Dennis who made space for sweetly struck right-footed shot from just outside the 18-yard box that gave Michael Clarke in goal for Excelsior, no chance at a save.
The game remained evenly poised, but Excelsior knowing what is at stake, gradually asserted some authority on the half-hour mark, and before long opened up a two-goal cushion.Joseph, who orchestrated a tidy build up, got on the receiving end of the final pass and made no mistakes from deep inside the 18-yard box.
And Joseph found himself in the perfect position later to collect a long pass from Javier Edwards two minutes later, to lob the hapless Clarke, whose defenders were caught flat-footed out of position. Two goals down and nothing to lose, but Camperdown refused to throw in the towel and came out spiritedly on the resumption.
Their first effort on goal came 11 minutes in when Craig Johnson dragged a shot wide.But as the heavens opened, McCrea, who replaced the injured Nadio Lowe, a relative of Reggae Boyz defender Damion Lowe, came to life to fire Camperdown back on level terms.
The number nine's first goal came five minutes after the hour mark when he beautifully turned two defenders before calmly slotting past Clarke.
Three minutes later, McCrea was favoured by fortune, as the ball held up in a water puddle for him to burst through space and drive a right-footed effort home before the heavy underfoot conditions robbed the quality of the game. Yesterday's results
Calabar 2, Kingston Technical 0
Jamaica College 5, Bridgeport 0
St George's College vs Charlie Smith (Suspended due to waterlogged field)
Tivoli High 3, St Jago 1
Excelsior 3, Camperdown 3
Jonathan Grant 1, STATHS 2