Hydel High School head coach Nicholy Findlayson says all of their effort will go into defending their ISSA Walker Cup title after their Manning Cup exit. Defending champions Hydel and Mona High School advanced to the quarter-finals of the Walker Cup yesterday, after wins over Vauxhall High School and St Jago High School, respectively, at the Spanish Town Prison Oval.
Hydel, came from behind to beat Vauxhall 2-1, while Mona turned back St Jago 2-0 on a brace from Mario Simms.
Findlayson said that their second-round Manning Cup elimination was majorly disappointing but that the school has now directed all its efforts into retaining their Corporate Area knockout title.
“Defending the title will be a great honour for the school,” he said. “We won it last year and we don’t intend to give up the trophy as yet. So moving forward, we just want to give 100 per cent.”
Findlayson said that their preparation for the game wasn’t ideal but they intend to step up the training for the remaining matches.
“We give thanks for the win, a win is a win and we just have to train this week and come ready for the quarter-final,” he said. “I was pleased with the win but not with the efforts of the boys’ first half. They came out and dragged their feet although second half we came out and turned it up a notch, hence we got two goals but we could have had more.”
Vauxhall took the lead in the 14th minute when Troy Nosworthy’s attempted cross deceived goalkeeper Shaquan Davis and dipped in at the far post. However, both teams had good opportunities to score afterwards, but neither could make use of their chances.
After the break, Shahidi Hart came close to an equaliser when he rattled the crossbar with a 30-yard volley. But in the 60th minute, Hydel got the equaliser when Tyrese Simms fired home from 12 yards after Hydel put the Vauxhall’s goal under some considerable pressure.
Hart and Ronel Hines missed good opportunities to give Hydel the lead but could not make their chances count. However, four minutes from time, Hines broke away and slotted past Mikhail Reid, in the Vauxhall goal, for the winner.
In the opening game of the double-header, Simms fired Mona in front in the 15th minute before adding a second eight minutes after the interval. However, Jago had themselves to blame for not getting something out of the game after wasting a number of easy chances to score, especially in the second half.
Mona head coach Anthony Bennett, like Findlayson, hopes to use the Walker Cup to compensate for their disappointment in the Manning Cup.
“The aim after we dropped out of the Manning Cup was to see how far we can go in the Walker Cup and hopefully win it,” Bennett said. “We came here and did a good job and got the win, so we move on to the quarter-finals and we will take it from there.
“We are pleased with how the team performed because they lifted themselves after the disappointment against St George’s, so I am excited and happy with what I saw. But we are taking it one game at a time and hopefully we’ll win the next game and move on to the semi-finals and then finals.”
Hydel and Mona join St Catherine High School and Jonathan Grant High School in the last eight.