November 17th, 2010
Lynden Reid of Excelsior (left) tries to block Wolmer’s captain Desmond Campbell (centre)
Norman Mannley High advanced to the ISSA/Pepsi/Digicel Manning Cup semi-finals yesterday after an easy 4-1 win over Tivoli Gardens High to top Group Three with maximum nine points.
The Miguel Coley-coached boys who won all their three second-round matches, was the only team do so in this round of the competition.
They finished five clear of Excelsior and Wolmer’s Boys’, who played to a 1-1 draw in the other group game at Cloverley Park.
Norman Manley will now face Group One winners Waterford High in the semi-final, while Group Two winners, Jamaica College (JC) will face Group Two runners-up Bridgeport in the other.
At Excelsior, Norman Manley went ahead through a double strike from Dean Phillips. Oshane Roberts added another before the break to give his team a 3-0 advantage.
Tivoli pulled a goal back after the interval through David Biggs, but Andrew Thomas restored Norman Manley’s three-goal cushion with a late goal.
Coley, who was reaching this stage for the first time since taking over from Alrick Clarke three season ago, said it felt good to carry his team this far.
At Cloverly Park, Excelsior and Wolmer’s who both had a chance to qualify as the best second-placed team, failed to get the required points after drawing 1-1.
Meanwhile, last year’s champions St George’s College crashed out following a 1-1 draw with Group Two rivals JC at Constant Spring.
Nicholas Scott scored a spectacular opener for JC before Romario Jones pulled St George’s level with a deft finish just after the half-hour mark.
JC topped the group with seven points from three matches. They will be joined by 2006 champions Bridgeport, who finished as the best second-placed team with six points and a healthy goal difference after their 5-0 win over Kingston College at the Prison Oval.
Jermaine Morgan notched a hat-trick, while Kenrick Preston and Damani Williams also scored for the Portmore boys.
At Constant Spring, JC went ahead in the fourth minute after a clinical side-footed volley from Scott left Nico Campbell beaten.
Knowing they had to win handsomely to have a chance of reaching the semis, the Light Blues poured forward in search of the equaliser, despite slippery underfoot conditions caused by afternoon showers.
They got it in the 31st when Deshawn Forbes’ free-kick was flicked into the corner of the net by Jones.
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