Jonathan Grant seeking revenge on Excelsior in Walker Cup
Jonathan Grant will face a familiar foe in their ISSA Walker Cup quarter-final clash today when they take on Excelsior High School at the Ashenheim Stadium on the grounds of Jamaica College at 3 p.m.
The other game in the double header sees St Catherine High face Charlie Smith High at 1 p.m.
The Oneil Thomas-coached Jonathan Grant are aware of the challenge that the Mountain View-based Excelsior possess. Their last meeting occurred in the second round of the Manning Cup, where Excelsior won the tie 4-2 on aggregate. Thomas says that the experience gained from their second-round matches will give them a pathway towards success. "[Excelsior] know us and we know them also. We are prepared and we are going to put our best foot forward," he told STAR Sports. Thomas says that although that they lost the tie on aggregate, the team can take many lessons from the second leg where they won 2-1. "The second game where we won 2-1 in the [second round second leg] is basically the same [approach to this game]. [We have to] come hard, keep on attacking," he said.
Jonathan Grant got past Eltham 1-0 in the first round and will depend on their leading goalscorer Gamal Elliston to propel them to the semi-finals.
Critical for victory
Meanwhile, St Catherine are in their third consecutive Walker Cup quarter-final after dispatching Holy Trinity 2-1 in the first round and coach Anthony Patrick says that his team's ability to finish their chances will be critical for victory. "The thing that let us down in the second round was finishing. We got two goals in the first round and that's a good sign going into the quarter finals," he said.
Patrick is confident that his squad's experience will be enough to overturn the challenge of Charlie Smith, whose youthful team managed an unprecedented run to the Manning Cup quarter-finals." They have a lot of ability but with the senior players in our programme [combined with] our youngsters can take us over that bridge," he said.
St Catherine will rely on strong performances from Javaughn Cole, captain Ian Cuppe, Kamau Davis, and leading goalscorer Asani Brown to lead them to a second straight Walker Cup semi-final
The double header at Stadium East will see Mona High battle Camperdown at 1 p.m. while the feature game at 3 p.m. involves reigning champions Hydel High facing St George's College.