JC, Camperdown in big clash today
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Reigning champions Jamaica College (JC) and Camperdown High will clash in today's feature semi-final game of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/LIME Manning Cup competition.
The match, which will be played at the Stadium East field, is set to kick off at 3 p.m. It will be preceded by the curtain-raiser between Charlie Smith High and Wolmer's Boys at 1 p.m.
Charlie Smith, who last won the title in 1995, will enter today's contest with the psychological edge, this after defeating Wolmer's 1-0 in the quarter-finals of the Walker Cup knockout competition earlier this season.
The Jerome Waite-coached team is also on a high following a 5-0 victory over Vauxhall in the last preliminary round game.
Striker Bebeto McDonald, who is among the competition's top scorers, will lead Charlie Smith's hunt for goals. He is expected to receive valuable support from Shamar Pryce and Chevon Crooks while the hard-tackling Odane Samuels, Lennon Cameron and Anthony Thompson will marshal Charlie Smith's defence.
Wolmer's, last year's beaten finalists, will enter the contest on the back of their 3-0 victory over St George's College in their final-round group game.
Jaheel Hyde, who netted two goals in Wolmer's victory over St George's, will be dangerous. Support should come from Khori Bennett, Demar Rose, Joel Cunningham and Chavez Brooks.
The feature match is expected to be very competitive as both sides will be at full strength. JC will enter the match oozing confidence after defeating Holy Trinity 2-0 to capture the LIME Super Cup knockout last Saturday at Sabina Park.
The Old Hope Road-based school is among the competition's top-scoring teams. Their haul of goals includes 16 against Denham Town in the final match of the second round.
The Miguel Coley-coached unit, who are chasing four titles this season, will enter today's contest knowing a win over Camperdown could put them one step closer to achieving this remarkable feat.
Former national Under-17 captain Junior Flemmings, the competition's leading scorer with 19 goals, will lead JC's attack along with fellow striker Rafique Bryan and Donovan Segree.
Hugh Watson, Sheldon McKoy and Jamar Purrell will lead JC's midfield while Allando Brown, Leon Sewell and Shemar Robbinson will provide the cover in defence.
Camperdown, who last won the title in the 1982, were knocked out at the quarter-final stage of last year's competition, but they are determined to go much further this time around.
Christopher Bender, coach of Camperdown and a member of his school's winning team 32 years ago, has assembled an all-round team for today's semi-final. Camperdown will depend heavily on the likes of Ramiesh McKnight, who is the team's leading scorer with 13 goals and national Under-17 players Fabian Grant and Tajay Brown to lead their charge to victory.