Holy Trinity, St George's, St Catherine take care of business

Observer staff reporter

Friday, October 20, 2017

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Top seed Holy Trinity made an impressive comeback against Haile Selassie to join many-time champions St George's College in the quarter-finals of the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup after contrasting performances in their return-leg second-round knockout tie at the Constant Spring field yesterday.

Holy Trinity came away 5-3 winners on penalty after goals from Fabrizzio Burton (68th minute) and Travar Littlejohn (76th) saw them fighting back to level the score at 2-2 on aggregate in the curtain-raiser. They had earlier gone down 0-2 to the Payne Avenue team when hosting the first-leg at the same venue.

In the feature contest, number six seed St George's College (STGC) strolled past St Jago 4-0 for a 5-0 aggregate win and are now set to accompany Holy Trinity in Group G of the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, surprise package and number 13 seed St Catherine High will also be among them in Group G after they defeated number four seed Hydel High 3-1 on aggregate, following a 1-1 stalemate in their second-leg tie at Spanish Town Prison Oval.

At Constant Spring, St George's College came into yesterday's feature contest with a slim 1-0 lead, but were never in any danger of being overtaken as St Jago had very little to offer.

The 'Light Blues' were given a brisk start by Romario Harding, who sent them in front with the first of his three goals in the third minute.

Jahmal Pusey later extended the lead in the 36th minute, before Harding, sporting the number eight jersey, notched his second in the 42nd minute to leave the scoreline 3-0 at the break.

St Jago would have been plotting what would have been a fairy-tale comeback, but their second-half display was even worst than the first, despite not conceding more than one goal in the salvo.

The North Street-based STGC picked up where they left off and Pusey signalled their intentions when he rattled the crossbar a mere three minutes into the resumption.

And after knocking the ball around in their transitions, they eventually increased the lead in the 61st minute courtesy of Harding, who fended off a lone defender to pounce on a loose ball in the 18-yard box and fired past the hapless Diandre Burrell in goal for St Jago.

No further goals would come, even though St Jago displayed life in the attacking third but lacked composure in front of goal and failed to salvage anything.

Marcel Gayle, assistant coach of STGC, credited his team for peaking at the right time.

“I thought it was a well-rounded performance today (yesterday), so kudos to the guys up front and Romario Harding for his three goals, but at the end of the day it was a team performance. We wanted to get an early start and we got it, and from there we held the ascendancy going forward,” he told the Jamaica Observer in a post-game interview.

Davion Ferguson of St Jago said all is not lost for his team as they continue to learn and build ahead of next year's competition.

“I think we had a little bit of fear for this St George's team and I don't know why, because based on the balance of the first leg I didn't see that in them and the first half here they got the better of us. So credit to St George's [as] they got some chances and they capitalised,” the national youth coach noted.

Yesterday's results

Holy Trinity 2, (5) Haile Selassie 0 (3)

St George's College 4, St Jago 0 (5-0 on aggregate)

Hydel 1, St Catherine 1 (1-3 on aggregate)




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