Papine poised to break first-round curse
Since they have been taking part in the competition, Papine High School has never ventured beyond the first round of the ISSA Digicel Manning Cup Football competition.
And despite being beaten convincingly by last year's runner-up St Andrew Technical High 3-0 at STATHS on Monday, coach Mark Scotland believes this is the year they will break the curse.
"We are going to come out of the first round this year. I believe we have the squad to do so this year," Scotland declared.
"We started the programme a little bit late and the boys have not grasped everything they need to learn about how we are trying to play. They are young but as the season progresses they will get better."
According to Scotland, Papine came into the game against STATHS with the intention of eking out a point and managed to do that for the first half of the contest, but the fire power of the Spanish Town Road-based institution proved too hot to contain in the latter stages of the game.
Warner Brown broke the deadlock just after the half-way mark and Anthony Nelson followed up seven minutes later to increase the lead, before 16-year-old Akeil Leachman scored from the spot.
"The game went as expected. We had a game plan coming in to try to contain them but our team is a little bit inexperienced. The first two goals we made some errors and that opened up the game for STATHS and we weren't able to concentrate for the rest of the game," Scotland said.
"But looking at the group, STATHS are the best team, so at least we are over the biggest hurdle."
Papine will host Cedar Grove Academy in their next encounter on Saturday and Scotland is expecting his side to walk away with the win.
"We will be playing at home and I think we should perform much better," Scotland said.
Group A: Cumberland High, Papine High, St Andrew Technical, St George's College, Tarrant High and Cedar Grove Academy.
Yesterday's Manning Cup Results
Pembroke Hall 3, Jose Marti 0
Charlie Smith 4, Jonathan Grant 0
Wolmer's Boys 2, Waterford 0
Camperdown 1, Meadowbrook 0
Holy Trinity 5, Edith Dalton James 1
Norman Manley 2, Eltham High 2