Sunday 9 December, 2018

Champions Cup finalists to be decided today

The 2018 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) rebranded Champions Cup all-island football competition takes the spotlight on Friday with two big semi-final matches at Sabina Park.

The semi-final clashes feature two urban area schools in Jamaica College (JC) and St George’s College, both former champions when the competition was called Super Cup before it was rebranded this season, and two rural area schools in Cornwall College and St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS).

St George’s College, the 2015 champions, and Cornwall College will contest the first semi-final at 5:00 pm; while JC, the inaugural winner, will play STETHS, which lost the 2017 final to Kingston College (KC).

St George's College are on a high after securing the biggest victory margin in the quarter-finals last Saturday night. The North Street-based school crushed St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) 5-0 at the Stadium East field. However, they will now face a very fierce rival in Cornwall College, which had a 2-0 victory over Camperdown High in the quarter-finals.

Both schools are undefeated this season, but the statistics favour Cornwall College, which boasts a better record in the qualifying competitions.

The Champions Cup features the eight teams that won their second-round Digicel Manning Cup two-way play-off games and the eight teams that finished as winners and runners-up in their respective Wata daCosta Cup quarterfinal groups. 

On their way to the Champions Cup, Cornwall College won 14 of their 15 daCosta Cup matches while drawing one to secure a semi-final spot in that competition compared to St George’s College, which won 11 of 15 Manning Cup games while drawing four to qualify for the last four of that competition.

But although the statistics favour Cornwall College a highly competitive game is anticipated.

The second semi-final fixture between JC and STETHS looks very interesting as STETHS have been improving with each game.

STETHS made a big statement when they eliminated defending champions Kingston College (KC) in the first round on November 2 at Sabina Park.

STETHS got home courtesy of a 6-5 sudden death penalty shoot-out win following a 1-1 draw at the end of regulation time. That victory earned them a quarter-final spot and they defeated Charlie Smith High 2-1 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex to secure a semi-final spot against JC.

JC, on the other hand, whipped Mile Gully 4-0 in their first-round fixture on November 3 and then qualified for the semi-finals with a 2-1 quarter-final victory over Holy Trinity High.

Both schools had similar statistics in the qualifying competitions with 12 victories from 15 games, two draws and a defeat. However, while JC got into the semi-finals of the Manning Cup competition, STETHS missed out in the daCosta Cup but have looked very well in the Champions Cup. 

The Grand Finale is scheduled for Saturday, November 24. The winner of the competition will receive $1 million along with a redesigned trophy, runners-up $500,000; third-place $250,000 and fourth-place $100,000.

FRIDAY’S SEMI-FINAL MATCHES (SABINA PARK)
Cornwall College vs St George’s College at 5:00 pm
STETHS vs JC at 7:00 pm

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