Tomlinson issues warning
Last season's beaten ISSA DaCosta Cup finalists take aim at top prize
Manning's School's Jhamaleek Porter (left) gets away from Black River High's Odain Myers in Tuesday's ISSA daCosta Cup Zone D game played at Manning's in Savanna-la- Mar. Porter scored four times as the home team drubbed Black River High 6-0. (Photo: Paul Reid)

SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland - Noting that he expects the games to get tougher as the ISSA DaCosta Cup competition progresses, Manning's School's Head Coach Everton Tomlinson says winning the title will be the only satisfying outcome this season.

Manning's are off to a good start to the season, winning their first two games, beating Grange Hill High 5-1 in the opening game at Llandilo Sports Complex on Saturday and followed up with a 6-0 drubbing of Black River High at Manning's on Tuesday.

In front of a lively home crowd, Manning's shrugged off an average first half and led by four goals from Jhamaleek Porter, put a hapless Black River team to the sword as they extended their unbeaten run in first round to 18 games.

"The expectation is that we want to win, it was our desire last year, we did not make it and so nothing less than winning will be satisfying," Tomlinson told the Jamaica Observer West on Tuesday.

TOMLINSON… nothing less than winning will be satisfying.

Manning's came close to winning their first senior football title last year, losing in their first final to Garvey Maceo High School.

Manning's fast start, 11 goals in two games this season, is not by accident, Tomlinson stressed.

"It's progress, it's part of our plans, we wanted to have a very good win, especially playing on home soil, we were not so good in the first half but I guess the opposition was not that strong but we displayed quality football in the second half and I am glad that we can get more than one players on the scoresheet each game, it is a very positive sign," he argued.

Manning's School led 1-0 at half-time before punishing Black River in the second, almost a mirror of their game on Saturday when they were held goalless in the first half then exploded for five goals in the second half.

"It's not a problem, it is getting them to know they can do it and how to do it and once you remind them in time for the second half, they are expected to do it and they must deliver," said Tomlinson, when asked if he is concerned about the trend.

He described last season's format, which saw a shortened season being played, as "different" and pointed out that "this year the competition goes back to what we are accustomed to and so we make adjustments, we know there are quality teams outside of the zone waiting for us."

"The important thing is to cruise through this zone unbeaten and then we are expecting to step up the tempo," he argued.

He told the Observer West that he is yet to play all of his top players.

"We have not played at our full strength yet, and we have some of our Under-14 players in the team right now and we have key players who have not joined the team yet," he noted.

BY PAUL A REID Observer West writer reidp@jamaicaobserver.com

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