JC look to finish off STETHS in Olivier Shield decider
Shield in sight
JAMAICA College (JC), after Wednesday's big step in the first leg, will look to wrap up the 2013 ISSA/LIME Olivier Shield all-island title when they battle St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in today's second leg.
The game is scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm at the Stadium East field.
JC, the Corporate Area champions, were rampant in strolling to a 3-0 victory in the opening game of the two-way series at STETHS' home base in Santa Cruz, and short of a miracle, will be celebrating their 18th hold on the Shield.
The team with more goals over the two legs will lift the Olivier Shield crown, which means STETHS have an uphill road to travel to even share the spoils.
The tall creative attacker Raffique Bryan, a national youth player, and disciplined defending were standout elements for Jamaica College in the first leg.
Another dose of solid defending and assured attacking from Bryan, former Under-17 captain Junior Flemmings, and from another Jamaica youth representative Malique Foster, should close the door on STETHS.
Despite the massive advantage, JC coach Miguel Coley suggested his team was not about to lift the foot off the accelerator.
"We have one leg in the bag, but we still have another game on Saturday, so we have to prepare for that," he told the Jamaica Observer after Wednesday's rout.
STETHS, who only last Saturday comfortably won the daCosta Cup to complete the rural area double, have shown unique resilience, highlighted by a comeback win over Paul Bogle High to claim the Ben Francis Cup Knockout competition title.
Unsurprisingly, talk coming from their camp has been spiked with defiance.
Seeking a second Olivier Shield crown, after first winning it in 1999, many onlookers felt JC — their most recent win coming in 2010 — were at an advantage; after having more rest ahead of Wednesday's leg, but the STETHS coach Omar Wedderburn brushed aside those claims.
Wedderburn added that "it's not over yet," and insisted that he, his staff and the players "don't intend to give up, and we will play to the final whistle on Saturday".
But recent history is not with the St Elizabeth school.
Glenmuir High was the last daCosta Cup team to secure sole claim on the Olivier Shield when they won in 2004. Glenmuir later shared it in 2006.
STETHS, who were suffering their first loss of the season, will again plant hopes on the shoulders of strike pair Khesanio Hall and Jovan James. Hall has been the top scorer in the rural area, with 35 goals, while James has been in fine goal-scoring form towards the latter end of the campaign.