Photo: Wolmer's Boys coach Rudolph Speid urging on his players during their 0-0 draw with Tivoli Gardens High on Monday.
Joint leaders in Group A, Tivoli Gardens and Wolmer’s Boys played at an exciting 0-0 draw at the Tivoli Gardens High school on Monday while defending champions Jamaica College eked out a 2-1 win over Papine High and the red-hot Kingston College remained perfect after four starts when they got by Greater Portmore 3-1 on a busy day in the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup on Monday.
A lot was expected from Tivoli and Wolmer’s but both teams had a hard time coping with the conditions underfoot on a heavily grassed field that was not properly cut ahead of the game. It made for a less than attractive first half that was edged by the visiting Wolmer’s team.
Wolmer’s came out running in the second half led by Xaviar Llandale and their captain Rivaldo English but could find no way through a stubborn Tivoli defence. Llandale almost found the opening goal but his header from a corner kick crashed into the side netting.
The hosts eventually clawed their way into the contest and all of a sudden it was Wolmer’s who were on the back foot as the boys in orange and black threatened to run amuck. Shackeen Douglas saw his shot charged down just as he was about to pull the trigger before his teammate Kasheem Downer brought out a diving save out of Tajay Griffiths in the Wolmer’s goal. The crowd suddenly got behind Tivoli as they willed them on to break the deadlock.
But the Wolmer’s captain got the next chance of the contest, which on another day would have lodged in the back of the net. A long clearance from Griffiths was flicked on by Llandale into the path of English who attempted to lob the Tivoli custodian Kheil Simpson but his effort went wide of the target.
The chance of the game fell to Rohan Brown nine minutes from time but with the whole goal to aim at from 16 yards, the striker was unable to keep his shot down as the ball sailed over the crossbar. Griffiths was called in to action two minutes later, blocking with his body from a close range effort by Sujae McBean.
Griffiths almost gave the game away two minutes later when he spilled the ball on the edge of the area, but no Tivoli player was able to react fast enough to make use of the opportunity.
Wolmer’s were at the other end in no time, but four of their players had chances to smash the ball into the back of the net but somehow failed to get proper contact as a mad scramble ensued inside the Tivoli goal area.
The last two chances of the game fell to the visitors but Simpson tipped a dangerous corner kick over the bar before English blazed a free kick over the top from 19 yards.
The Tivoli coach Tommy Ricketts was fairly pleased to come away with a point from the game.
“The players accredited themselves very well against a very good Wolmer’s team and if we had converted some of our chances we would have won the game late on.”
Wolmer’s tactician Rudolph Speid, while not happy with his team’s performance echoed the conclusions of Ricketts.
“I am not satisfied with the overall team performance, I don’t think we played particularly well and certainly we should have converted some of our chances. We were wasteful in front of goal and clearly we have a lot to work on.”
In other Group A games, Pembroke Hall scored their first win of the season when they clipped Innswood 2-1 while Haile Selassie thumped Kingston High 5-0.
In Group B, defending champions Jamaica College continued to struggle as they had to come from behind to squeeze by the winless Papine High, 2-1 at home. JC now has two wins and two draws for eight points, but will need to put together a good run of games to signal their intent to defend the title. Meanwhile STATHS remained on the tail of the champions when they thrashed Donald Quarrie 5-0. Mona High and Bridgeport could only manage a 0-0 draw.
Group E leaders Kingston College came away from their first real test of the season with all three points, scoring a come from behind 3-1 win over Greater Portmore High. It was the first time the Purples had trailed all season, but led by a brace from their main man Rashawn Mackison, were able to come away with all three points once more. Spanish Town High were blanked 3-0 at home by Excelsior, which now sets up a mouth watering clash with KC this Saturday when the top two teams in the group will meet at the Stadium East Field.
Meanwhile, over in Group G, Calabar High continues to make a huge statement when they put Campion College to the sword, beating them 5-1 to register their 4th win of the season, as they maintained a perfect start. Charlie Smith who were surprised by Calabar on match day two, continued their pursuit of the boys from Red Hills Road when they got by Eltham 2-1. Jonathan Grant got their second win of the season when they beat Cedar Grove 2-0.
The competition continues on Tuesday with games from groups C,D, and F.