Photo: Action from the ISSA/FLOW Walker Cup semi-finals between Kingston College and Bridgeport High recently. KC won the game 1-0 and the two will meet again today in Manning Cup quarter final action to decide who advances to the semi-final.
The most intriguing Group J of the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup may or may not have its conclusion today, as the two match days in the quarter final round have seen identical 1-1 score-lines for the four games played so far.
Kingston College will play Bridgeport High at the Prison Oval Field while St. Andrew Technical High will face off with Charlie Smith at the Constant Spring Field in what is expected to be the group decider for semi-final honours. Both games are set to begin at 3:00pm.
This is probably the first time ever that teams go into the final day of qualification for the Manning Cup semi-finals with identical records and equal chances of going through.
After their dominating performances in the first round where they scored over 40 goals, Kingston College was expected by most to cruise through to the semi-finals, but they have found the going tough in the second round as the goals have deserted them when they have needed them the most.
KC have created enough chances to win both games and coach Ludlow Bernard will be hoping that his strikers will finally come good in this round. Rashawn Mackison, who is the competition’s leading goal-scorer will need to find back his range, along with the wily Rayvone Reid, who is a nightmare for defenders when he starts to dribble. The captain Javain Brown has been very solid at the back and has contributed with assists and goals when given the opportunity to go forward.
The Bridgeport High team has continued to grow in stature in the second round and the likes of Kyle Ming, Donte Green and Jevan Hunter will be up for the challenge when they meet KC for the second time this season.
The two teams met in a tense Walker Cup semi-final that was played over two days due to rain interruptions. KC won 1-0 to advance to the final but will know that today’s encounter will be yet another massive challenge against a well coached Bridgeport team that has it all to play for.
The other game in the group features a STATHS team that has led against both KC and Bridgeport before, succumbing to late goals on both occasions. Alrick Clarke must be cursing his luck, as had his team managed to hold on just once in either of those games, he would now be in pole position ahead of the game later on today.
But as fate would have it, STATHS goes up against a Charlie Smith team that is buzzing with confidence after coming from behind to secure a point against KC on the last match day. Charlie Smith has shown a willingness to fight and will be inspired by their legendary coach, Jerome Waite, who has been here before and will know how to get the best out of his troops. Romario “Grizzly Bear “ Williams has been solid as a rock at the back and is a real threat from set pieces, scoring the equalizer from a corner kick against KC last week.
Like the previous games in this group, today’s encounters will be very close and ISSA has already announced that Monday November 14th is the reserved date for any playoffs that may be necessary if the group remains undecided after today’s final group games.