Click here to print page

Super thrill - 2017 FLOW Super Cup kicks off today

Clarendon face Calabar, while STATHS oppose STETHS in MoBay double-header

BY PAUL A REID
Observer writer

Friday, November 10, 2017

CATHERINE HALL, St James — Fresh from their victory in the ISSA/FLOW Ben Francis Knockout on Wednesday, red-hot Clarendon College will switch their attention to the FLOW Super Cup that starts today with a double-header at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

After back-to-back extra-time games in the last seven days, Clarendon College will face a well-rested Walker Cup outfit Calabar High in the first game set to start at 3:00 pm, followed by St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) of the Walker Cup taking on St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) of the Ben Francis KO in the 5:00 pm game.

Two more games will be played tomorrow; Walker Cup KO champions Jamaica College will face beaten Ben Francis KO champions Dinthill Technical in the 5:00 pm game followed by beaten Walker Cup finalists Kingston College against Ben Francis KO semi-finalists Rusea's High, starting at 7:00 pm.

Clarendon College, who arrived in Montego Bay Wednesday night after beating Dinthill Technical 4-1 in extra time at STETHS earlier in the day, were in a “recovery session” yesterday prior to a light training session at the Montego Bay Sports Complex.

After 220 minutes of football in the last week, extra time in their 4-2 win over STETHS in the Ben Francis KO semi-finals and another extra time exertion against Dinthill on Wednesday, coach Dyjeon Thomas told the Jamaica Observer that based on yesterday's training session they would be able to decide who was ready to go today or not.

Clarendon College, who are the only team with a perfect win record in schoolboy football with 16 straight wins, will welcome back midfielder Ricardo McIntosh and central defender Sanjay Williams, both of whom were suspended on Wednesday after being sent off against STETHS.

While they would no doubt be included in the starting team, Thomas said they had to evaluate those who played in both Ben Francis KO games before making a final decision.

Asked whether they would prioritise the FLOW Super Cup or the daCosta Cup, he declined to be drawn in any one direction, saying only: “We are taking it one game at a time,” but added that in addition to being fit, “our players are very motivated and they want to win every game”.

The return of McIntosh could take some of the workload off the legs of the mercurial Lamar Walker, who scored vital goals in both the semi-final and final of the Ben Francis Cup, while striker Nicque Daley has also worked hard over the last two games.

Thomas said they had seen Calabar play, describing the losing Walker Cup semi-finalists as “a fast and strong team”.

Calabar's coach Lij Simms will lead his team into their first Super Cup battle and he is looking forward to make a mark.

“Congratulations to Clarendon on winning the Ben Francis Cup first and foremost. We will be looking forward to tomorrow's game and we know that it will not be easy. Clarendon is a hard-running, hard-fighting team as we all can see. But Calabar is also hard-running, hard-fighting and we are here to give of our best. If our best is not good enough, then so be it. We will leave it in God's hand,” said Simms.

“This is a historic moment, we are playing Super Cup for the first time and we are here to represent Calabar to the fullest. We will be giving it our all and we are going out there to advance to the semi-final, although we know it is not going to be easy. Clarendon not going to lay down and give us the game. Once we give of our best we will get the job done,” he added.

Calabar will be looking towards the likes of Orane Ferguson, Tyrick Reid, Collin Anderson, Brandon Freckleton and Matthew Sterling for the upset victory.

After losing in the semi-finals of the Ben Francis KO for the first time in eight years, STETHS' coach Omar Wedderburn contends that his team “has nothing to prove” today when they face STATHS.

STETHS led Clarendon College 2-1 with two minutes to go before giving up the tying goal and two more in extra time last Saturday, but they will hope to stay on course for their first hold on the FLOW Super Cup title.

“The mindset is good,” Wedderburn told the Observer yesterday. “We are actually anxious to get back out on the pitch and do what we do best, which is to play winning football.”

He is well aware of the qualities of the STATHS team and pointed out that they have a solid defence backed by a quality goalkeeper in Jeadine White.

STETHS will be without one of the top scorers after Demar James was sent off late in the game against Clarendon College on Saturday, but Wedderburn said they had the depth in the squad to compensate and will be competitive.

In the absence of James, STETHS could look to Tajay Palmer, as well as Damani Henderson, who was held goalless in both Ben Francis KO games and is due to get back on the scoresheet.

STATHS, like Calabar, will be participating for the first time in the FLOW Super Cup and their coach Phillip Williams said his team really intends to leave its mark in the competition.

“It's our first time in the Super Cup and going up against a STETHS team that had been in all the Super Cup (competitions), so we are expecting a very tough game, but we have the mindset to overcome whatever is before us and we have put in the necessary preparations to achieve just that,” said Williams.

“We are making our mark this season and tomorrow will be no different. It's a knockout and we intend to make progress in the competition and leave our mark on the game tomorrow,” he added.

STATHS, with arguably the best goalkeeper in the country in Jadean White, and the towering defender David Smith, have been tight at the back all season and won't be easily beaten. However, they have also found goalscoring not too easy, but any school that tops JC in a group must be doing something correct and the boys from Bumper Hall could spring a surprise.