Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Road to the final Clash of colleges - National Stadium the battlefield as CC, KC square off for Champions Cup

Published:Saturday | November 23, 2019 | 12:00 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer
Andre Nicholson (second left) of Clarendon College gets the ball past Kingston College goalkeeper Nathaniel Francis (right) in the 87th minute of their ISSA Olivier Shield game at the National Stadium on Saturday, December 8, 2018.
Clarendon College’s Jahiem Rose (left), one to watch in today’s game, keeps possession of the ball as St Andrew Technical High School defender Sekani Campbell (centre) and goalkeeper Ricardo Laing try to close him down during thier ISSA Champions Cup matchup at the Stadium East field on Saturday, November 9.
Kingston College’s Sajar Blair (left) outpaces Tajay Grant of Jamaica College during their ISSA Champions Cup semi-final game at the National Stadium on Saturday, November 16.
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A new champion will be crowned as Clarendon College CC face Kingston College (KC) in the ISSA Champions Cup Final at the National Stadium today at 5 p.m.

The Lenworth Hyde coached CC are on pace for a possible double winning season, having already booked their place in next Saturday’s DaCosta Cup final. Hyde says that the opportunity would mean a lot to the school.

“One more title to the school is what we want to achieve this season,” he told The Gleaner. “We’ve set goals and it’s good to see that we are near to what we planned.”

He hopes that a maiden Champions Cup title is the perfect send off for the senior players playing in their final schoolboy football season but acknowledges the tough challenge ahead.

“It’s all in their court now,” he said. “We are just there to steer them and see that they go out there and perform to the best of their ability.”

Rodrick Granville is among the five players who will move on from schoolboy football after this season. He has two goals in the Champions Cup, tied with teammate Sheldon Smart, and KC’s Dwayne Atkinson. Jamaica College’s Philon Lawrence is still the tournament’s top scorer this season, with three goals. They dispatched Wolmer’s, St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) and dethroned last season’s champions Cornwall College en route to the title game.

KC head coach Ludlow Bernard says that CC represents, for them, a test of their mental toughness after their Manning Cup semi-final exit to Jamaica College (JC) on Wednesday.

Tactical test

“It is going to be a tactical test for me personally, and it’s going to be a battle mentally for my boys going into this game after suffering a devastating lost on Wednesday,” he said. “Clarendon College is very potent. Their style of play is very attractive, very efficient. I suspect we have to be very cautious as to how we approach this team.”

The ‘Purples’ last tasted victory in this competition in 2017 when it was formerly known as the Super Cup. On their run to the final, KC topped Garvey Maceo in the first round and had a last-minute win against Frome Technical in the quarter-finals.

The semi-finals saw KC to beat JC 3-2 on penalties, only for the ‘Dark Blues’ to gain vengeance four days later in similar fashion. Bernard says that should the match go the distance, he is ready to accept the outcome.

“I have no fear of the penalty shoot-out,” he said. “If it gets to that level, both teams must put their best forward. If the game has to be decided by the luck of the draw, then I am prepared to accept it.”

KC will have added motivation for this game as they seek revenge for their Olivier Shield loss to CC in dramatic fashion at the end of last season. With that game seemingly heading to a penalty shoot-out, CC’s Andre Nicholson received a pass just outside the KC area and unleashed a venomous left footed drive into the far corner of goalkeeper Nathaniel Francis’ net to get the winning goal in the 87th minute.

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com

CC top scorers – Rodrick Granville (2), Sheldon Smart (2)

KC top scorer – Dwayne Atkinson (2)

First round:

Nov 1 – CC 2-0 Wolmer’s

Nov 2 – KC 2-0 Garvey Maceo

 

Quarter-finals:

Nov 9 – CC 2-1 STATHS

Nov 9 – Frome 1-2 KC

 

Semi-finals:

Nov 16 – Cornwall 0-3 CC

Nov 16 – KC 1-1 (3-2 pens) JC