Clarendon College hold celebration until defence of Olivier Shield

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

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It was being celebrated as the sweeter of their last two ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup victories, but Clarendon College seemed excited in a subdued way by the accomplishment, which sent a signal that something was off-centre.

In fact, as brisk as the puzzled thought came to mind, so did the response from Principal David Wilson, who declared that a full-scale celebration is on hold until they take care of business in their Olivier Shield tie against Manning Cup champions Jamaica College for all-island supremacy.

“As we always say, if you win and you win, it becomes a normal thing. So we still feel excitement, but in terms of celebrating to go on the road, we were saying we can't do that because the team has another job to accomplish come weekend,” Wilson told the Jamaica Observer during a subdued celebratory devotion ceremony at their Chapelton base in Clarendon yesterday.

Clarendon College continues to be true to its Latin motto Prestare et Praestare (Persevere and Excel) as they registered their ninth hold on the daCosta Cup last Saturday with a 3-0 beating of Dinthill Technical in a lopsided final at Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall.

Captain Earl Simpson, Andre Nicholson and Tajhay Williams got the goals that saw the Lenny Hyde-coached team once again asserting their dominance in the rural area competition.

It was also their third time winning back-to-back titles after previous feats in 1977 and 1978, and again several years later in 1996 and 1998. There was no competition in 1997.

“It's an absolutely fabulous feeling to have won the cup, and to retain it is even sweeter because, you know, we had some setbacks in that we did not have a couple of our players who did not come back this year and who featured in our win last year, in particular Lamar Walker and Nique Daley.

“Daley has gone on to professional status, and Lamar was deemed to be a professional so he couldn't play and we still won,” Wilson beamed.

Even though there wasn't the usual party-like atmosphere, the student body had lots to smile about, as they engaged in a brief period of frolicking prior to the arrival of the triumphant team and its coaching staff.

With the tone already set, the deafening sounds of vuvuzelas intensified as Captain Simpson, clutching the prized daCosta Cup, and his teammates nonchalantly made their way through a sea of their schoolmates, similar to the Biblical Moses parting the Red Sea.

Recollecting the journey where they only lost once this season to Kingston College in the Champions Cup, Hyde lauded the character of his team in getting the job done without any proverbial 'star player'.

Hyde's Clarendon College team was once again highly touted as the best team in the rural area competition and perhaps the best in the country.

“It's not easy, but if you plan and you know your team and the players that you have, you have to look ahead sometimes and you know you have to plan that when you lose a particular player this year, who is going to fit in. So it was a total restructure for our programme and we saw where we were going.

“So I think [this one is sweeter than last year] because this one we didn't have the make up of some stars like last year you know, the Lamar Walker, Nique Daley, national representatives. This year we don't have a national representative, but we came through,” Hyde told reporters.

Meanwhile, Manager Richard Palmer spoke highly of his team ahead of their Olivier Shield defence against Jamaica College on Saturday.

“The Olivier Shield is the ultimate... that's what we are preparing for; if you noticed today [yesterday] we were not all that excited because the focus is right on the Olivier Shield. So expect a good game, our best performance; you will see the king's rise on that occasion because our players are all kings, so you will see them rise on that day,” Palmer said with an air of confidence.


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