'It's not over!'

Rusea's High eye Olivier Shield

Observer West writer

Thursday, December 07, 2017

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LUCEA, Hanover - In the midst of Monday morning's joyous celebrations of their 11th daCosta Cup title, the Rusea's High School coaching staff and players were aware that they had more work to do as they prepare to take on Manning Cup champions Jamaica College in the Olivier Shield play-off at the National Stadium in Kingston on Saturday.

Rusea's High pulled off a stunning come-from-behind 2-1 win over title favourites Clarendon College in the final played at the Montego Bay Sports Complex last Saturday to win their first title since back-to-back wins in 2010 and 2011.

The prolific Nique Daley had given Clarendon College the lead in the 35th minute, but Daniel Reid equalised in the 55th minute before Leonardo Fogarthy scored the winner in the 80th minute.

A day earlier, Jamaica College completed their fifth straight Manning Cup triumph after outlasting St Andrew Technical 5-3 on penalty kicks, after they played out a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time.

Rusea's High, who last tasted Olivier Shield success in 2002, will have the weight of all rural Jamaica on their backs, as they seek to snap a 10 -year run by urban area schools.

The Hanover-based school have won the title six times, and shared it on three occasions.

On Monday, as the entire school population celebrated their achievements at a special devotion, coach Vassell Reynolds and the players had already started thinking about the work they still have left to do.

Reynolds told the Jamaica Observer West then, that Monday was the day to enjoy, but it was back to work on Tuesday.

“We will continue to enjoy today but it's back to the training ground (Tuesday); for the past two weeks it has been about getting the minds in place and refocus and regroup and continue the mental preparations that we have been doing.

“For the past 10 years no daCosta Cup team has won the Olivier Shield and we want to break that jinx. we know it's going to be difficult against a tough Jamaica College team that have done well over the past five to six seasons, but we will do our best to get ready for this,” said Reynolds.

Shawn Bradford, the Rusea's High captain, who will be putting on the green, blue and gold shirt of Rusea's for the last time on Saturday, says it is crucial that they win.

“The Olivier Shield is very important to us, we dropped out of the Ben Francis KO and the Flow Super Cup early, so we want to prove that we are champions,” he emphasised.

Fogarthy, whose late father Anthony had won several titles for Rusea's, including the Olivier Shield, also wants to add the title to his tally.

“Winning the daCosta Cup is nice,” he said, “but it is not enough for me. we still want to win the Olivier Shield, that is one thing he (Fogarthy senior) won, that I also want to win.”




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