Photo: Rashwan Mackison and Chris-Andrew Dixon carry the hopes of Kingston College and St. Elizabeth Technical High respectively in the final of the ISSA/FLOW Super Cup at the Sabina Park tonight starting at 7pm. Both teams are contesting the final for the first time,
The fourth staging of the glitzy ISSA/FLOW Super Cup competition will have its climax today at Sabina Park starting at 7pm. The competition which has become known for its rich entertainment package and dazzling fireworks has brought out a new set of schoolboy football fans who are expected to pack the venue to the rafters when two of Jamaica's most storied teams take on each other in the second "Town versus Country" final.
With nothing left to play for after a season that promised much but has yet to deliver any silverware, both Kingston College (KC) and St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) will go in hunt of the last trophy available to them when they come face to face at the historic ground.
Both teams have a chance of making history as one of them will become first time winners of the lucrative competition which provides a cash incentive of $1million dollars and a sparkling new crystal trophy. No team has ever repeated as champions in the short history of the competition and at the end of the night one team will become the fourth winner in four years.
In this shortened version of the competition, Kingston College first got by Dinthill Technical 4-1 in the quarterfinals before edging rivals and the first ever winners of the competition, Jamaica College 2-1 in the semifinals last weekend.
St. Elizabeth Technical required penalties to get passed a dogged St. Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) after they had come from behind to draw 1-1 after regulation time. STETHS also required penalties to advance to the final after a come from behind 2-2 draw with first timers Calabar.
After suffering heartbreaking losses in the Manning Cup and DaCosta Cup semifinals respectively, earlier this week, KC and STETHS will need to refocus mentally in what is the last throw of the dice.
KC will be playing in their second final of the season after they were dethroned by main rivals Jamaica College in the final of the Walker Cup a few weeks ago. Ludlow Bernard brought silverware to KC for the first time in 16 years when he delivered the Walker Cup last season and after putting together a team that has played the most attractive football in the urban area this term will feel that landing the Super Cup trophy for his Alma Mater is now minimum requirement.
For Omar Wedderburn, the stunning 5-2 loss to Lennon this week is an event from which his team must recover with haste. STETHS would not only become first time winners should they land the title but they would also the first rural area team to be crowned Super Cup champions, so incentives abound for the team from Santa Cruz.
In Chris-Andrew Dixon, STETHS has a proven match winner and a schoolboy football veteran. He was very instrumental in starting the recovery against Calabar last week when all seemed lost and will need to come up big again today. Demar James who always seemed likely to score against Calabar got the equalizer that got his team a second chance in the semis and he will be a danger up front once more. In defence however, STETHS has been vulnerable this season and the likes of Clifton Woodbine and Kadeam Parchment must keep things tight at the back against a KC attack the likes to score early goals.
Rashawn Mackison scored a hat-trick against Dinthill technical and had an assist in the semifinals against JC which puts him in line for the "Golden Boot Award" which comes with a cash incentive (scholarship). This will provide KC's talisman with enough incentives to get his name on the scoresheet and lead his team to their second trophy in two years. While the staunch supporters of the team have already considered the season a bust after being bounced out of the Manning Cup competition by STATHS on Wednesday, for most of the players a win today would mean their second trophy in as many years and represent progress in senior football at the institution. Skipper Javain Brown and his partner at centre back Davian Shakes were less than spectacular against STATHS in midweek and will need to get it right tonight.
With no extra time to be played, if the teams cannot be separated after 90 minutes, they will go straight to penalty kicks.STETHS have done it twice in order to get to the final and KC will be mindful of this and will want to get the job done from early. STETHS are susceptible to early goals and KC are susceptible to late goals which may lead to lots of entertainment for the neutrals and heart stopping ,moments for the fans of both teams. What is certain is that at the end of the day one team will be left holding a trophy while the other will be left crying.