Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Who will sing the Blues?

Published:Saturday | November 28, 2015 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman
Gregory Messam Jr of St George's College.
Jamaica College's Ronaldo Brown.
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It's a battle of the blues in today's ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup final at Sabina Park.

When the opening whistle blows at 5 p.m. dark blues Jamaica College (JC) will come face to face with the light blues of St George's College.

Before the grand final Jonathan Grant High and Denham Town High will meet in a third place play-off at 3 p.m.

Defending champions JC will be seeking their 27th title today, while St George's College, with 22 liens on the trophy, are hunting their 23rd crown.

JC have lost in other competitions this season but are unbeaten in the Manning Cup. They do not have an outstanding scorer to match last year's top man Junior Flemmings, but their attacking players have done enough to get them to the final.

The Miguel Coley-coached JC only failed to score once in a 0-0 draw with Holy Trinity in the second round. Senior players Donovan Dawkins and Ronaldo Brown are among their leading scorers, with 15 goals between them. Dawkins has six and Brown nine.

JC's main strength lies in defence where versatile captain Allando Brown has been outstanding in both midfield, and at the back. Most of his impressive work has come while he playing in the heart of his team's defence at centre half.

Meanwhile, St George's, who lost two preliminary round matches, have bounced back emphatically after every defeat, and are strong favourites to win today after an impressive 4-0 win over JC in the FLOW Super Cup final two weeks ago.

Neville 'Bertis' Bell is aiming to win a sixth Manning Cup with the light blues.

His attacking front three of Alex Marshall (26 goals), Shevon Stewart (14) and Gregory Messam (14) have been hard to contain all season.

St George's have also done well in defence as only JC have conceded fewer goals. They are also the only team to have scored in all their games.

Today's main battle should be between JC's tough defender Allando Brown and St George's wily forward Marshall. Marshall is difficult to contain and if he is allowed to roam freely in the JC half he could ensure another miserable evening for the dark blues.