SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — It was little consolation that his recent loss at the Under-19 level was his first in years, but Clive Ledgister, cricket coach of St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), is very happy with last week's triumph in the all-island Under-16 final.
STETHS easily defeated urban champions Excelsior High by an innings and 50 runs to take the ISSA/Grace Under-16 trophy following the two-day final last Thursday and Friday.
"Obviously, we were very disappointed at losing our titles at the Under-19 level, but this victory at the Under-16 level shows we are still in business where the future is concerned," said Ledgister.
"These boys will all be at school for the next three to four years and we expect them to be the nucleus of very strong teams over that period... we are building for the future," he said.
STETHS, victors over Munro College in the all-rural final, owed last week's easy conquest of Excelsior to solid performances with bat and ball. Having won the toss, STETHS lost three quick wickets but recovered as a result of good knocks from Javoy Spence, 76, and captain Michael Frue, 64, to make 202 all out. Excelsior's Orande Pearson took 7-73.
Excelsior were then bundled out for 84 with left-arm orthodox spinner Lenardo Salmon grabbing six wickets for 18 runs. Asked to follow on, Excelsior could only manage 68.
Earlier this season, STETHS were shocked by Vere Technical High in the final of the ISSA/Grace Kennedy knockout Under-19 competition. They were later eliminated at the semi-final stage by eventual champions Manchester High, who took the ISSA/Grace Headley Cup.
Santa Cruz-based STETHS have dominated Jamaican schoolboy cricket for more than 30 years.