09-07-2013 3:00 PM
Sat. Sept. 07, 2013


C’Down hold STGC 2-2

‘It was a good performance,‘ says C’down’s coach

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer
Sunday, September 08, 2013

St George’s College’s Shevon Stewart (foreground) shields the ball from Camperdown’s Shavar Henry in their Manning Cup opening game at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, yesterday. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (PHOTO: PAUL REID)CATHERINE HALL, St James — Cordel Benbow scored twice as two-time defending champions St George’s College salvaged a 2-2 draw with Camperdown High in the opening Manning Cup game as the ISSA/Lime schoolboy football season got under way in rainy conditions at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall, yesterday.

The national junior representative scored the opening goal against the run of play in the 22nd minute, then scored the equaliser in the 86th minute after Camperdown had rallied to take a 2-1 lead through Rohan Scott in the 37th minute, and Kevin Clarke in the 65th minute.

Camperdown dominated the run of play for most of the game, but failed to replicate their second-round win over St George’s College, who are seeking their third straight Manning Cup triumph, after winning four of the last five titles.

Despite coming close to a big opening win, Camperdown’s coach Christopher Bender was not disappointed with his team’s performance. “It was a good performance,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “I am not happy with the result, but we gave a good performance,” he said, adding that a lack of concentration cost them the three points.

Neville Bell, the St George’s College coach, was happy with the point. “We lost nine starters form last year’s team (that won the treble), so to get a point against a good Camperdown team is not bad.”

Early afternoon showers affected the start, but Camperdown settled first and should have scored after 10 minutes when goalkeeper Cordell Irving was beaten by a bouncing ball, only for a defender to clear the ball off the line.

St George’s capitalised on their opponents’ negligence when Benbow finished off a good move, beating goalkeeper Leon Lee with a low hard shot in the 22nd minute.

Scott levelled the scores 15 minutes later when he controlled a ball on the left side of the St George’s 18-yard area, and given time by the defence, lashed the ball low into the far corner of the goal.

Clarke sent Camperdown into the lead when he outsped the St George’s defence and beat Irving with a well-placed shot, sending his teammates into wild celebrations.

The east Kingston-based school took over control of the game, forcing St George’s back into their own half, and despite creating several chances, failed to add to their lead.

Two minutes after Oshane Boothe missed what should have been an easy conversion from a cross from substitute Martin Davis, Benbow gave his team the equaliser from yet another wonderful piece of work from the diminutive Davis.

Davis, who spent the last three years in Spain on a football scholarship, knifed his way past three Camperdown players on the right flank and crossed the ball to Benbow, who crashed it off the underside of the crossbar to salvage a point for his team.