Friday 22 March, 2019

Cornwall College, JC in big Champions Cup final today in Montego Bay

Action from the Champions Cup semi-final match between Cornwall College and St George's College on November 16, 2018 at Sabina Park. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid).

Action from the Champions Cup semi-final match between Cornwall College and St George's College on November 16, 2018 at Sabina Park. (PHOTO: Marlon Reid).

The Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) rebranded Champions Cup all-island knockout football competition will witness history on Saturday when Cornwall College and Jamaica College (JC) meet in the Grand Finale at the Montego Bay Sports Complex at 5:30 pm.

Cornwall College will try to become the first rural area school to win the competition, while JC will become the first team to win the title on two occasions should they prevail.

The teams earned the right to contest the Grand Finale after three rounds of matches in a competition that 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. 

The teams secured their spots in the championship match on November 16 following good victories in the semi-finals at Sabina Park in Kingston.

Jamaica College's players celebrate a victory.

JC, the inaugural winner in 2014 when the competition was called Super Cup before it was rebranded this season to Champions Cup, easily defeated last season’s beaten finalist St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) 4-0 in their semi-final clash; while Cornwall College, which lost to Wolmer’s Boys in the 2016 final, blanked St George’s College 2-0 in the other semi-final contest.

Prior to the semi-finals, Cornwall College opened their campaign on November 3 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex by defeating Wolmer’s Boys 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 scoreline at the end of regulation time, while JC dismissed Mile Gully 4-0 at the Stadium East field. And in the quarter-finals on November 10, JC turned back Holy Trinity High 2-1 at the Stadium East field, while Cornwall College blanked Camperdown High 2-0 over in Montego Bay.

Cornwall College will enter the Grand Finale with the momentum heavily in their favour as the last time they were in action, four days ago, the team defeated Frome Technical 4-2 on penalties in the semi-finals of the Wata daCosta Cup to set up a December 1 final against Clarendon College.

JC, on the other hand, suffered defeat the last time they took the field, five days ago, when losing 2-1 to St George’s College in the semi-finals of the Digicel Manning Cup, a competition they won five-years in a row.

With JC booted from the Manning Cup, the Champions Cup represents their last chance of a senior football title this season and that alone provide motivations for them going into the Grand Finale.

Of the two teams, Cornwall College have a better record this season. Both teams have played 19 games each this season and while JC suffered defeat twice, Cornwall College have managed to secure an undefeated record going into the Champions Cup and daCosta Cup finals.

Cornwall College have won 18 of their 19 games while drawing the other. Fifteen of those victories came in the daCosta Cup and during that run, the Dr Dean Weatherly-coached team pumped in 48 goals and conceded eight.

From their 19 games, JC secured 15 victories, while losing two and also drawing two. Twelve of JC’s 15 victories came in the Manning Cup where they scored 57 goals and conceded eight.

The winner of the Champions Cup will receive $1 million along with a redesigned trophy, runners-up $500,000; third-place $250,000 and fourth-place $100,000. 

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