JC, STATHS lock horns in Manning Cup final today
Jamaica College are seeking their 22nd hold on the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup trophy.

A mouth-watering showdown is expected when Jamaica College (JC) and St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) clash in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup final at Sabina Park tonight at 6:30 pm

JC, who are seeking their 31st hold on the title, will enter today's contest against their opponents as the favourites to lift the trophy, having defeated STATHS twice in the final of the competition in 2017 and 2019.

JC have also defeated STATHS twice this season, 1-0 in the quarter-finals of the Manning Cup and 5-4 on penalties in the semi-finals of the Champions Cup after both teams played out a 1-1 draw at full time.

However, JC's Head Coach Davion Ferguson said his team's previous victories over their opponents are now in the past and they must now go out and execute to win the title today.

"The two finals that we would have won against them previously would count for nothing where this game is concerned, so we have to approach it with that mindset," Ferguson said.

"We also would have won the two games that we played against them this season and that, again, in itself, counts for nothing because this is a one-off game, it is a final, so they will be super motivated to win the Manning Cup, and we are looking forward to a very exciting game."

JC, who are unbeaten this season, booked their place in the final after their 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Mona. STATHS, who have been having a good season, secured their place in the final with a 3-2 win over last season's champions Kingston College.

Ferguson said that STATHS is a very good all round team, but JC is ready for them.

"We have a lot of respect for them because they are a well-coached team and they have also been playing well," he said. "However, we know what we have to do to win the game and we intend on doing it."

JC will be led by national senior player Tarick Ximines, Kevaughn Wilson, Jhavier Lynch, and Maquan Aldridge.

STATHS Head Coach Philip Williams says that his team has got over those defeats to JC and they are now looking forward to winning for the first time since 1987.

"They want this really badly because they know the value of the work that they have put in and the sacrifice that they have made, in terms of giving up their summer holidays for this cause," he said.

"Based on the type of football that they are playing, they are hungry for this title. They are a young bunch because most of them are coming up from the Under-16 team that won the Under-16 Urban area title a couple of months ago, so they know what it is like to taste victory and to win a competition.

"We have been to the Manning Cup semi-finals five times and the finals three since I have been here, and that is an achievement in itself, but a title will go a far way, in terms of rebranding ourselves, so we will definitely be going all out on Friday to win."

Williams says they have been prepared mentally and physically for this final and once they execute the game plan on the day, they will win.

"We are yet to get over the hump of the two finals, but we still have to knock on the door just the same way like we did the previous two years," he said.

STATHS will be depending on Shakeone Satchwell, Leon Brown, Omar Reid, Alexavier Gooden, and Andre Salmon to lead their charge to victory.

St Andrew Technical High School are into their third ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup final under Head Coach Philip Williams.
FERGUSON...the two finals that we would have won against them previously would count for nothing where this game is concerned, so we have to approach it with that mindset.
BY ROBERT BAILEY Observer reporte baileyr@jamaicaobserver.com

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