Fri | Dec 13, 2019

Good job, but … - No satisfaction for Clarendon College until Olivier Shield retention complete

Published:Tuesday | December 3, 2019 | 12:41 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Clarendon College’s DaCosta Cup championship winning team and principal David Wilson (left) pose with the trophy .
Clarendon College’s DaCosta Cup championship winning team and principal David Wilson (left) pose with the trophy .

Clarendon College (CC) students came out yesterday morning in celebration mode for the school’s retention of the ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup on Saturday. However, team management did its best to keep the festivities as low-key as it could, at least until after their clash with Jamaica College (JC) in the Olivier Shield game at the National Stadium this Saturday.

Students created a party-like atmosphere inside the Stuart Hall Auditorium before the arrival of the team for devotion as they danced up a frenzy to selections from the public address system from minutes after 8 a.m. to about 9:15 a.m. when they school bus arrived with the players. The team was clad in the familiar yellow-and-blue jerseys, but with khaki pants. The DaCosta Cup trophy were carried inot the auditorium by captain Earl Simpson.

However, after a brief acknowledgment of the team’s success, which lasted for a little over 20 minutes, principal David Wilson gave the school an early break period, and the crowd soon dispersed. This meant that the anticipated trophy tour through Chapelton and adjoining communities did not take place.

The team’s performance over the course of the 2019 ISSA schoolboy football season won them many admirers, and most schoolboy football pundits labelled the schoolboy the best in the island this season.

The defending DaCosta Cup champions went through the competition unbeaten and retained their crown after a 3-0 victory over Dinthill Technical on Saturday. But coach Lenworth Hyde is carrying a chip on his shoulder as his team’s only defeat this season came at the hands of Corporate Area team Kingston College (KC), and he believes that to really prove they are the best, CC must beat ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup winners JC.

Point to prove

Last season, CC broke a 16-year drought for daCosta Cup teams’ hold on the Olivier Shield when they defeated KC 1-0 in the one-off match. But Hyde wants his team to help bury the notion that urban teams are generally stronger than rural teams, and he is convinced that victory over JC on Saturday will be crucial if they are to live up to the title of the nation’s number one schoolboy football team.

“Last season, Clarendon became the first rural team to win the Olivier Shield for the first time in 16 years,” Hyde said. “We lost to KC in the Champions Cup final, and so we have to redeem ourselves because if we don’t win this, we can’t say we are the best schoolboy team in the country because two Kingston teams would have beaten us.

“So we have to try and win this one, it’s a very important game as we have to retain the title. The Olivier Shield is the biggest trophy, it’s the best team in Kingston and the best team from rural Jamaica, so this game is very important. We want to win and prove we are the best, so we are going out guns blazing to play good football and try to retain our title.”

Although CC aim to become the first rural area school to retain the Olivier Shield since Rusea’s won then shared the title with Excelsior in 1992 and 1993, respectively, Hyde believesthat JC are likely to provide the toughest test an urban team could offer.

JC won four out of five consecutive Oliver Shield titles outright, from 2013 to 2017, while in 2012, they shared the trophy with St Elizabeth Technical. Hyde said JC’s history and the school having a strong team this season make the task that more challenging. However, it’s a challenge he welcomes and looks forward to.

“That’s what we love, a good team and good football,” he said. “JC is a very good team. I saw them a couple of times this season, and they have a good coach, and they understand the game. But on the day, the better team, the team that makes the least amount of mistakes, will win, and I am confident that we can do it.”

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com