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Champions oblige in schoolboy openers

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  • Champions oblige in schoolboy openers

    Champions oblige in schoolboy openers

    BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

    Sunday, September 10, 2006

    MONTEGO BAY - Manning and daCosta Cup champions Calabar High and Godfrey Stewart High scored contrasting wins as the ISSA/Pepsi/JN schoolboy season got underway with a double header at Jarrett Park yesterday.

    Calabar got past a nervous St George's College 3-0 in the first game, before Godfrey Stewart were made to toil in beating Mannings High 1-0 in the second game.

    Calabar, who won both the Manning and Olivier Shield titles last season, made an impressive start, leading their opponents 2-0 at half-time before slipping into cruise mode in the second period.

    Calabar's Kirk Duckworth (left) battles Christopher Johnson of St George's College at Jarrett Park yesterday. Calabar won 3-0. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

    Robert Palmer, Akeen Bennett and Marlon Smith scored for Calabar.

    Despite the victory, Calabar's coach David Hunt said there were still some areas that his team need to work on.

    "It's a good start, not as smooth as we would have liked, but I think we will get better as the season progresses," he told the Sunday Observer.

    St George's Everald Campbell said nerves got the better of his team, but he was certain they would improve as the season progressed.

    Palmer headed Calabar into the lead after 13 minutes when he beat goalkeeper Jabari Wallace from a corner kick earned after the skillful Lennox Creary wormed his way into the area and his shot was blocked.

    Haldene James, who had at least two clear-cut chances for St George's, wasted the first in the 23rd minute. Kemar Malcolm got free on the left flank and after drawing two defenders, crossed to a wide open James. Despite having the time and space, the latter shot wide from close range.

    Bennett doubled the margin nine minutes later when he exploited some poor defending by St George's, taking the ball from Tomroy Newman and curling past Wallace.

    Curtis Chickory in the Calabar goal pulled off a stunning save in the 42nd minute to preserve his team's lead when he denied Orville Anderson from point-blank range.

    The defensive midfielder stole the ball from deep in his own half, dribbled straight down the field into the Calabar area and despite a tackle from a defender, got back the ball. However, an alert Chickroy was off his line and despite falling, stuck out a palm to deflect the shot for a corner.

    St George's staged a brief fightback in the second half when James, Kemar Malcolm, Anderson and the substitute Mikhail Hinds combined for a number of good build-ups, but they failed to capitalise.

    Calabar, who were instructed to play behind the ball, hit back decisively in the 81st when Smith put the game out of reach with a thunderous shot past Wallace. Creary was the provider with a nicely weighed pass from the right side.

    While the second game failed to equal the excitement of the first, the Westmoreland neighbours battled for the entire 90 minutes.

    Both coaches - Godfrey Stewart's Carl Palmer and Mannings' Hopeton Gilchrist - agreed that Mannings had the better of play.

    The decider came in the 81st minute when a low shot from Evan Taylor crept between the legs of debutant goalkeeper Antonio James and over the line.

    Mannings were the better team for long periods with the experienced Draion McNain, Oshayne Foote, Jerome Wauchope and Keron Malcolm outplaying their rivals.

    The goal, against the run of play, knocked the wind out of the Mannings team as the defending champions gained in confidence and had a number of shots from well outside the area.
    Solidarity is not a matter of well wishing, but is sharing the very same fate whether in victory or in death.
    Che Guevara.