Sun | Sep 24, 2023

Favourites Wolmer’s wary of Excelsior in ISSA T20 final

Published:Saturday | May 27, 2023 | 12:59 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Wolmer’s Boys School’s Jordan Johnson
Wolmer’s Boys School’s Jordan Johnson

The Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) senior cricket season will come to an end today when the final of the TVJ Super 8 T20 competition bowls off at Sabina Park at 3 p.m. with defending champions Wolmer’s Boys taking on Excelsior High School in an all-urban area clash.

Wolmer’s will start as the favourites having got the better of Excelsior in their Grace Shield two-day semifinal as well as brushing aside the high-riding St Elizabeth Technical High in last week’s semifinal.

Wolmer’s captain Justin Beckford is still playing things cautiously, as he knows very well that Excelsior can produce the goods to come away with the win, similar to what they did against the high-flying Manchester High in their semifinal showdown.

For Beckford, the key is to continue to play aggressive cricket as they seek their third trophy for 2023.

“We want to continue to play as positively as possible and that means capitalising in the first six overs whether we bat or bowl. We know a couple of their players and we know what they are capable of, but we just need to stay as humble as possible and not look too far ahead,” Beckford said.

Once again, the prolific West Indies under-19 batsman Jordan Johnson will be the trump card in a potent Wolmer’s batting lineup that includes a top order with the likes of wicketkeeper opening batsman Jose Northover, Corey Hinds, Beckford and Alex Hinds.

In the bowling department, spin has been the mainstay for the Heroes Circle-based team, and they will welcome a fully recovered Jamaica under-15 captain Nikoli McKenzie as well as left-arm spinner Alex Hinds, and off-spinners Matthew Aljoe and Nicholas Holung.

If Excelsior are to have any chance of making a fist of the final, they will need their captain Brian Clarke to come good again with both bat and ball along with national under-15 spinner Demarco Scott and Tamarie Redwood.

Excelsior coach Kirkland Bailey is already contented with what his team has been able to achieve. However, winning the final will be a fitting finale to the season.

“We are looking forward to playing in the last schoolboy final of the season which is an achievement unto itself. We know that the Wolmer’s aggregation is a very talented one but we welcome the opportunity to take them on for a title,” Bailey said.

The final will be preceded by the third and fourth-place play-off at 10:30 a.m. between St Elizabeth Technical High School and Manchester High.