JC, CC battle for all-island supremacy in Olivier Shield

JC, CC battle for all-island supremacy in Olivier Shield

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, December 07, 2019

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Clarendon College delayed their ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup celebration in anticipation of a successful Olivier Shield defence today.

But Digicel Manning Cup champions Jamaica College will have other ideas, as they seek to reclaim all-island supremacy.

So the stage is set for an epic battle between two talented teams to decide the best schoolboy team of this 2019 season, as they meet in the ultimate showpiece inside National Stadium at 5:00 pm.

It will be a repeat of the 2014 clash between the two schools; and while Jamaica College were victorious then, it is two completely different teams on parade this time around, which means any number can play at the end of the 90 plus minutes.

Jamaica College's (JC) rich tradition speaks for itself, as they have claimed the All-Island Olivier Shield 22 times – 21 times outright, while sharing the other with Munro College in 1919. That complements their now 27 liens on the urban area Manning Cup.

Their five most recent Olivier Shield victories between 2013 and 2017 came under the leadership of Miguel Coley, and his departure paved the way for Clarendon College to grab hold of the crown last year, as JC failed to make a real impression last season.

However, with Davion Ferguson now at the helm, the Old Hope Road-based team has seemingly regained its winning mojo and will be gunning to prove that they are indeed number one.

Last year's victory by Clarendon College broke a lengthy urban area hold on the Olivier Shield, as they are the first rural area team to cop the title since 2006, when Glenmuir High shared the title with Bridgeport High.

It was also the first time a rural area team was winning the Olivier Shield outright since 2004 when Glenmuir defeated Excelsior High.

Clarendon College (CC) first won the Olivier Shield in 1977 and followed that up with victories in 1978, sharing it in 1998 with Dunoon Technical for three titles overall. They also have nine daCosta Cup liens to their name.

The Lenworth Hyde-coached, Chapelton-based players are seemingly hungry to defend the title and add to that tally, while extending the urban area wait for another hold on the Shield at least for another year.

Both schools take contrasting records into the Olivier Shield, with Clarendon College registering a 3-0 win over Dinthill in their rural area final, while Jamaica College were 5-4 winners on penalty over St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS).

As such, the scales are slightly tilted in favour of Clarendon College, who are once again highly touted as the best team in the rural area competition and perhaps the best in the country.

Their only loss of the season came in the Champions Cup knockout final when they suffered a 0-1 result to Kingston College, who they ironically defeated by a similar scoreline for the Olivier Shield last year.

Jamaica College, on the other hand, have failed to win their last three games in regulation time, as all three went the shoot-out route. The first was their Champions Cup meeting against KC, which they lost 2-3 on penalties after a 1-1 stalemate.

Their Manning Cup semi-final and final meetings against Kingston College and STATHS ended goalless, but they were perfect from the 12-yard spot to come out 5-4 winners on both occasions.

That said, the “Dark Blues” will have to come good in the attacking third for this contest and score at least one goal in regulation time, if they intend to topple their rivals.

Captain Earl Simpson, Roderick Granville, Jaylen Larmond, Andre Nicholson, and Tajay Williams are just a few of those in the talented Clarendon bunch, while JC will rely on Tajay Grant, Shadane Lopez, Shaniel Thomas, Omar Thompson, and Phillon Lawrence.

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