STETHS, Campion launch battle for Spalding Cup
Defending champions, St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), and Campion College will begin their three-day battle for all-island supremacy in the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Grace Financial Spalding Cup final at Melbourne Oval, beginning at 10 a.m. STETHS are seeking their 28th hold and sixth win in the last seven years.
Despite that record, STETHS' coach, Clive Ledgister, is cautious'.
"Not taking anything away from Campion, I think they have done well," Ledgister told The Gleaner.
"They have quite a few good players, but it's a game of glorious uncertainties. So even though we think we have a stronger team, they are the champions of the urban area, and we cannot take them lightly," he said.
"There is not much that I know about Campion. What I know is that the rural teams have dominated the urban teams for a long period. The standard of cricket is a lot different, so this is not only about STETHS, it is about the rural area dominance that we are coming to Kingston to defend,"he stated.
Campion's coach, Donald Bedward, believes STETHS weren't tested in the Headley Cup final and says disciplined cricket can give them the title.
Odds against them
"I respect all opponents, but the odds are not in our favour. We know what we can do, and we are going there to play positive cricket. The records have shown that they (STETHS) are a formidable batting team, but cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties. It is played session by session, and the team that plays the better cricket usually wins," Bedward said.
Ledgister declared that his team is not only representing STETHS, but rural cricket and their dominance over the urban area.
STETHS' captain, Ramaal Lewis, has been in sparkling form all season and, once again, he is expected to lead the way with bat and ball. He should get good support from Shaheed Lewis, Odaine McCatty, Romaine Morris, Javon Spence, and Michael Frew.
Bedward acknowledges that STETHS are vastly more experienced, and that beating them will be no small order.
"Our team is a disciplined team, and if we play disciplined cricket, I don't see why we shouldn't win, unless St Elizabeth comes with something special. We need to bring our A game to the table, and we will be competitive," he said.
"Most of our players are Under-16s, so the (difference in) experience could play a vital role. But we have persons who have gone through the ranks of Jamaica's youth programme. Once we seek to be discipline, play at our highest level and play serious cricket, anything can happen," he said.
Campion's hopes will rest on their talismanic captain, Abishai Mansingh, with bat and ball, his brother, Atishai Mansingh, Neil Johnson and Dominic Samuels.