Photo: Kingston College captain Javain Brown and Jamaica College captain Oquin Robinson
Kingston College will be looking to paint the city of Kingston Purple on Thursday, but must first overcome Tivoli High in the ISSA/Tru Juice Urban Area Under-14 final at 3:00pm before trying to do the same against Jamaica College in the ISSA/FLOW Walker Cup final at 5:00pm inside the National Stadium.
The Under-14 KC team has won the title on three straight occasions and chase a historic fourth straight lien. Since Coach Raymond Watson has taken over the team, they have gone unbeaten in four years, claiming not only the Corporate Area title but the All-Island title last season. They overcame Jamaica College 3-0 in the semi-finals at Constant Spring on Tuesday, shortly after Tivoli High had surprised Excelsior High 2-1 at the same venue.
It will be a tough task for Tivoli to deny the defending champions, but they will be hoping that luck will be on their side on the expansive National Stadium pitch. The size of the field will certainly have an impact on the game, as the young boys are not accustomed to playing on such large surfaces.
Watson guaranteed a KC victory on Tuesday after winning the semifinal, telling Yardie Sports – “It should be a tougher game (than against JC) based on the quality players that Tivoli have. However, as I have said - there is a bridge between the final and winning the final and currently we are the builders of the bridge. It will be four straight on Thursday.”
The feature game will see the KC coach, Ludlow Bernard, trying yet again, to claim the only senior schoolboy title that he has won. Bernard last won this trophy with Wolmers Boys in 2014 but has since moved on to coach his Alma Mata. The Boys from North Street had an impressive start to the football season and were tipped to go all the way in the Manning Cup before being stopped in the semis by losing to finalists and Super Cup Champions, Wolmers.
Jamaica College won the Manning Cup for the fourth consecutive year last Saturday and will enter the contest as favourites. They are guided by Miguel Coley who in his four years in charge at the institution, has won the Manning Cup and Oliver Shield four times, as well as the inaugural Super Cup trophy. But the Walker Cup has continued to elude Coley and he will be determined to get his hands on this particular cup in order to ‘complete the set’.
Bernard knows that the season will be considered a bust if he fails to bring the title back to Kingston College, and with the Walker Cup being the last major senior schoolboy football prize won by the Purples in 2000, will be determined to keep Coley waiting to get his hands on the elusive trophy, for at least one more season.
JC has been rock solid from front to back all season and with the classy Tyreek Magee influencing the attack from midfield and the dependable and reliable Donovan Dawkins at forward they are a force. Captain Oquin Robinson will be in line for player of the season, so solid has been his performances in central midfield and new addition, Duhaney Williams is a livewire up front. Williams is the team’s leading goal scorer and will be hard to stop.
The young KC team must hold their hands up today if they are to vindicate the early season hype. After scoring goals at will in the first round of the Manning Cup, the offense has sputtered in the knock out stages and the goals have all but dried up.
While the defence, led by captain Javain Brown has done fairly well, the forwards will know that the onus is on them to score and give KC a chance at celebrating what could be a very special day in the history of football at the school. Rashawn Mackison, Andre McCatty and company, will need to report with their goal scoring boots and rise to the occasion if they are to make it a Purple Day in Kingston.