Robert Bailey, Sunday Gleaner Writer
Manning Cup champions Jamaica College (JC) completed the schoolboy football double yesterday after beating daCosta Cup winners St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) 2-0 at the Stadium East field in the return leg of the Olivier Shield.
The Old Hope Road-based institution crowned themselves all-island champions following first-half goals from Sheldon McKoy (10th) and Ramone Howell (35th) to win the two-way tie 5-0 on aggregate. They won the first leg 3-0 in St Elizabeth four days ago.
The Miguel Coley-coached JC were carving their 18th lien on the symbol of all-island schoolboy supremacy and the oldest football trophy in the island.
Coley, who was capturing his first Olivier Shield title, told The Sunday Gleaner after the game that he knew that as long as his team played to the game plan, they would be easy winners.
"I went to watch the daCosta Cup final. I saw that they made a lot of long passes and so we minimised their chances and maximised ours and so we were able to come out victorious," said Coley.
"I am very happy because this is my first Olivier Shield title," he said. "I am also happy for the guys and I am happy for the school that we were able to achieve this because we are now number one," Coley added.
On the other hand, STETHS' coach Omar Wedderburn was gracious in defeat.
"I think JC were excellent in the two legs and so they came out on top," said Wedderburn.
"However, I want to say thanks to all my players, the parents and the technical staff because it was a long season and we had more ups than downs this year," he said.
Wedderburn whose team won the Ben Francis Knockout trophy added: "I think our boys stood up and fought to the very end and we have two trophies to defend next year."
JC came out firing in the first half and were rewarded when McKoy arrived at the near post to fire home a Raffique Bryan pass out of the reach of STETHS' custodian Carson Findlay.
Junior Flemming came close to doubling JC's lead a few minutes later, but his powerful 25-metre free-kick was spectacularly saved by Findlay, who dived full stretch to his left to turn the ball behind for a corner.
JC were unstoppable in the first half as they outclassed their opponents with their swift one-two passing and clever off the ball movement. Howell increased their advantage ten minutes before the break when he collected a pass from Flemming inside the 18-yard box and hit the back of the net with a powerful shot.
Main marksman Khesanio Hall had STETHS' best scoring chance in the first half, but the lanky striker's powerful shot from 12-yards was well saved by goalkeeper Courtney Dowdie.
STETHS came out strong in the second half but had only one chance to show for it, as they were kept at bay by a very organised JC defence.
Dowdie appeared to lose his concentration in the 70th minute and a shot by STETHS' Keano Williams almost got by him at the far post.