Curtain call! KC, CC battle for Olivier Shield supremacy

By Howard Walker
Senior staff reporter
walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, December 08, 2018

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It will be a battle for supremacy inside National Stadium today as Kingston College (KC) and Clarendon College (CC) clash in the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Olivier Shield to decide the best schoolboy team in the island. Match time is 6:00 pm.

KC, who ended their 32-year wait to lift the Manning Cup for the 15th time, will be defending the pride and dominance of the urban teams that have won the last 12 Olivier Shield titles.

Clarendon College, who won their eighth daCosta Cup crown, will be hoping to break that dominance and give the rural area teams their first title since 2006 when Glenmuir High shared the title with Bridgeport High.

The last time a rural team won the Olivier Shield outright was in 2004 when Glenmuir defeated Excelsior High.

Kingston College, who first gained the All-island Olivier Shield in 1949, have won six other times by themselves in 1952, 1957, 1964, 1965, 1975, and 1986. They have also shared it twice, with Dinthill (1981) and Rusea's High (1985) for nine titles overall.

CC on the other hand first won the Olivier Shield in 1977 and followed that up with victories in 1978, sharing it in 1998 with Dunoon Technical for three titles overall.

So the stage is set for an epic battle between two talented teams.

In 2014 the current Clarendon College coach Lenworth Hyde Sr was sacked as head coach of KC following a humiliating 0-7 loss to St George's College. A disappointed Hyde at the time told the Jamaica Observer that “it was KC's loss and they are not professional down there, and that's what I went to teach and let them know how football is run”.

Four years later, Hyde faces the school that dismissed him unceremoniously but he has no animosity towards the North Street giants.

“No man, I don't want it look like a vengeance thing, it's just football. I am friends with Luddy (Bernard) and I know a lot of the players, so it's a fun day and the best (better) team will win,” said Hyde.

“We will approach this one seriously; that's what we did in '77 and we want to replicate that. It's a tough one and this one is very important. I think this one will show you who is the all-island champion, not the Champions Cup, this is the Olivier Shield, the best in town versus the best in rural, so I am looking forward to that,” he noted.

“It's going to be tough. KC have a good team and you know Luddy is a good coach and we looking forward to the challenge,” he added.

Meanwhile, KC's coach Ludlow Bernard, whose status has risen considerably since the Manning Cup triumph, said just like the Manning Cup, it's been a long time since KC has tasted victory in the Olivier Shield, and they are just as hungry.

“It has been 32 years since we have won the Olivier Shield so the impetus and objective remains the same for us to go after these pieces of silverware that have eluded us for so long,” Bernard explained.

“This one is the symbol of schoolboy supremacy and to be considered the best in the land we definitely have to win it,” he added.

Bernard also noted this will be a very intriguing game as both himself and Hyde know each other well.

“The team (Clarendon College) is a very good team and they have some players that can really make a difference and the coach is very astute and is very knowledgeable of my tactics and strategies, so that is really setting up for a very interesting engagement,” said Bernard.

Clarendon College will be without their first-choice goalkeeper Tafari Chambers, who was red-carded in the final against Cornwall College last Saturday, while KC will be without the wily Arymanya Rodgers who damaged his ankle in the win over St George's College.

Both teams are loaded with talented players, the edge going to Clarendon College with the likes of national Under-20 striker Nicque Daley, the super-talented Lamar Walker, captain Ricardo McIntosh and Roderick Granville.

KC will again be depending on Manning Cup MVP Trayvone Reid, Oneeko Allen, National Under-20 players, captain Casseam Priestly and Nathan Thomas, Jahmal Pusey and the promising Dwayne Atkinson, for victory.

This matchup was anticipated from last year, when it was widely considered that both KC and Clarendon College were the two best teams in 2017. KC failed at the Manning Cup semis stage while CC lost in the daCosta Cup final. However KC went on to win the Super Cup, nevertheless while CC won the Ben Francis knockout.

Hence, a season finale friendly game was arranged between the two teams in which Clarendon College won 2-1. KC would return the favour winning 2-1 in a preseason game this year.


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