Cup hunt

XLCR, Hydel clash for Walker Cup crown

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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Excelsior High and Hydel High will be hunting their first lien on the newly formatted Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) Walker Cup knockout at the Stadium East field starting at 4:00 pm.

The Mountain View-based Excelsior are the third most successful school in the previous form of the Walker Cup with seven titles, two behind both St George's College and Kingston College (KC) with nine titles each.

But based on the new rules, the North Street giants having successfully reached the semi-finals of the Manning Cup, are ineligible to participate in the Walker Cup repurposed now for the second round losers in the Manning Cup.

So, with Excelsior not advancing beyond the second round, they could capitalised on the top teams' absence and add their name on the Walker Cup once again and move closer to both KC and St George's as the most successful team.

But Hydel High will have other ideas as they hunt their first ever senior schoolboy title, having lost the Manning Cup final in 2012 to St George's College.

The stage is set for an epic battle between two evenly matched teams and both coaches are exuding confidence in lifting the Walker Cup regardless of the controversy created by the new format.

Excelsior, the highest-seeded team from the Manning Cup's first round left in this competition, last won the Walker Cup in 2008 and will start favourites to win their eighth title.

Head coach Daniel Riley is confident that his boys can deliver and add to their previous victories in 1967, 1968, 1979, 1980, 1990, 2004 and 2008.

“It means that after 10 years we are in the same final and we want to win it again and one more in the cabinet,” said Riley.

Excelsior will be depending on the likes of Rohan Beadle, Raewin Senior, Damorney Hutchinson, Chad McKen, Javone Francis, Alinton Frankson, Alex Alexander, Kareem Williams, Tariq Duffus, Joseph Greenswood, Rayon Picton, and goalkeeper Javaughn Bhalai.

Hydel High, formed in 1992, get the chance to really celebrate the school's 26th anniversary with victory in the Walker Cup, and Head Coach Corey Bennett is quietly confident of creating history.

“We went to one final in our high school history and came out on the losing end. We will try our best to come out on top and get some silverware,” said Bennett.

“Excelsior is a quality team and played very well against St Catherine, and I know they played very well against Camperdown in the home-and-away playoff games and barely lost out in the Manning Cup,” he added.

Hydel High will be depending on the likes of goalkeeper Shaquan Davis, Jermaine Reid, Damion Gentles, Deandre Walker, Tyrees Simms, Jahvon Barclay, Fabiki Farquharson, Kemar Reid, Kevin Johnson, Ewan Hamilton, Michael Thompson, and Jordane Cameron for victory.

— Howard Walker

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