Richard Bryan, Gleaner Writer
The first title of the 2013 GraceKennedy-sponsored Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association cricket season will be decided today in Santa Cruz when defending champions St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) face off with emerging rivals Vere Technical in the limited- overs final.
Start time is 10:30 a.m. for the 35-over affair.
It is STETHS's fifth straight trip to these finals. For the Dewit Coleman-coached Vere, it's their third, having made it to the inaugural final against Holmwood in 2008.
It will be back-to-back finals against the rural kings of cricket and Coleman intends to make his third trip successful.
"I was confident last year and I am still confident this year," he told The Gleaner yesterday. "One thing, though, I won't reach the position Manchester High did against them and throw it away," he added.
His direct reference is to Tuesday's semi-final where Manchester looked a cinch to book their third final, reaching 141 for four and requiring a further 22 runs from 30 balls, but lost by two runs, with a ball to spare.
Vere have been a high-scoring team all season, posting over 200 in four of the five matches contested and won in the run-up to the final. Tacky's score of 138 for eight is the best score that has been posted against them. In their semi-final match against York Castle on Wednesday, Vere made 220 for nine off 30 overs. Their best player and captain, Fabian Allen, who is also a current National Under-18 representative, top-scored with 58. York Castle were bundled out for 94.
Not one to make pre-game pronouncements, STETHS's coach Clive Ledgister told The Gleaner that his charges have been prepared to play "tough all-round cricket".
Openers Kerry Holness and Odane McCatty have been the main scorers with strong backup coming from captain Brian Gayle, generally regarded as the best in his age group.