STATHS hope for winning return
St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) will contest their first schoolboy final since 1987 when they tackle Bridgeport High in the ISSA Colts (Under-16) football final at Constant Spring Sports Complex at 3 p.m. today.
In Monday's semis, St Andrew turned back Jonathan Grant 1-0 and Bridgeport stunned Jamaica College 3-1 in extra time.
The match is the feature of a finals double-header at the venue. In the opening game, set to begin at 1 p.m., Kingston College will look to retain the Under-14 (Pepsi) crown when they face Jamaica College.
In 1987, STATHS, through a Maurice Cyrus hat-trick, ripped apart huge favourites Excelsior High 6-1 in the Manning Cup final, to surprise everyone for the title.
This time, their Under-16 coach, Phillip Williams, is looking to make the most of this historic Colts final appearance.
"The last time we won a major competition was in 1987. Since then, we have been to a few Manning Cup semi-finals but never the final," said Williams. "But this Under-16 team has created history because it is the first STATHS Under-16 team to reach this far. And although it has been some while we have been in a final, we will do our best."
Following a below-par Manning Cup season, Bridgeport's coach, Garnett Lawrence, wants victory.
"We didn't perform well in the Manning Cup, so we wanted to do good in the Colts. But it will be a tough game, as I watched STATHS and they are a very good team. Both of us are in the final and we will try to make the most of this opportunity, although we are looking forward to it as we are here representing St Catherine and this is my first schoolboy final, so this would mean a lot to win it," Lawrence said.
During their semi-final match, national striker and CFU Caribbean Cup finals joint golden boot winner, Darren Mattocks, was observed giving the youngsters of his alma mater (Bridgeport) a half-time team talk, which appeared to have worked as they rallied from a goal down to win 3-1.
Lawrence hopes another motivational appearance from the Vancouver Whitecaps man will do the trick.