issa-sbf-white-logo.png
ssflogo2.png

Which side of North Street will the Manning Cup title head?

By November 30, 2018
Kingston College (KC) and St George's College in action during the quarter-final round of the 2018 ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup competition on October 24, 2018 at the Stadium East field. Kingston College (KC) and St George's College in action during the quarter-final round of the 2018 ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup competition on October 24, 2018 at the Stadium East field.

The 2018 urban area Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Digicel Manning Cup final takes place on Friday, with Kingston College (KC) and St George’s College battling it out at the National Stadium in Kingston at 6:00 pm.

This will be the first meeting between the schools in a Manning Cup final and the battle is the first football final between them since 2011 when St George’s College prevailed 2-1 in the Walker Cup Knockout.

St George’s College are widely considered favourites to pick up their 23rd Manning Cup title by virtue of eliminating five-time defending champions Jamaica College (JC) at the semi-final stage, but KC will be motivated by the prospect of trying to win their first title in 32 years.

The coaches are expecting a good battle, but Bernard believes his team needs the title more.

Bernard said, “there is a lot at stake, 32 years of being in the wilderness and that's the objective of the Kingston College team to end that drought.

“St George's will have their own ambitions, but I think we need it more than them. The boys are very optimistic about their chances and very upbeat about their expected performance.”

Neville ‘Bertis’ Bell, who guided St George's College to five of their 22 Manning Cup titles with victories in 1992, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, said  “we are pretty confident. Preparations have been going well. We wanted to be in the final and we know it's going to be hard work for us. It's been hard work all season.”

Both schools are undefeated in the competition from 16 games, but KC have managed to gain a better record in all areas going into the final. This will be the third meeting between the two North Street-based schools this season as they played to a 1-1 draw in the preseason Roper Cup and then battled to a 0-0 result during the quarter-final stage of the Manning Cup on October 24 at the Stadium East field.

KC came into the 2018 season with arguably the strongest squad on paper, but there were doubts over whether Bernard would be able to get the best out of talent at his disposal.

But after easily getting through the preliminary stages and the second round, KC lost their perfect win record at the quarter-final stage where they dropped four points from two games (0-0 vs St George’s College and 1-1 vs Charlie Smith High) before beating Camperdown High 2-0 to qualify for the semi-finals for a second straight year.

In the home-and-away preliminary round of the competition, KC won their 10 games and during that stage, they rammed in 52 goals and only conceded one compared to St George’s College, which won eight of their 10 games, scored 39 goals and conceded four.

Both teams also secured easy passage to the quarter-final stage. KC defeated Cumberland High 3-1 and 6-1, while St George’s College beat Mona High 4-1 and 3-0.

In the quarter-final round, both schools were placed in the same group and ended with five points each from three games with KC winning the group courtesy of goal difference.

It was at the semi-final stage that St George’s College earned the tag of favourites as they defeated a very tough Jamaica College side 2-1 on November 20 and made the final a North Street affair.

KC had earlier defeated last season’s beaten finalists St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) 2-1 in a repeat of last year’s final-four match to make the final for the first time in 17 years.

Interestingly, St George’s College had hammered STATHS 5-0 in the first round of the rebranded all-island Champions Cup knockout competition, 10 days before KC’s 2-1 Manning Cup victory over the Spanish Town Road-based school.

But although St George's College will enter the final as favourites, the momentum is with KC, which have won two football titles over the last two seasons. In 2016, Bernard led KC to the Walker Cup and then in 2017, he guided them to the all-island Champions Cup and based on momentum, the Manning Cup title awaits KC and Bernard in 2018.

Before the Manning Cup final, both teams will also clash in another championship match - the Under-16 final at 3:30 pm.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Related items

  • If we find something for one position – Klopp relaxed over Liverpool transfer activity If we find something for one position – Klopp relaxed over Liverpool transfer activity

    Jurgen Klopp remains "relaxed" about Liverpool's transfer activity and while he is looking at strengthening one position, he reiterated the European champions would be relatively quiet during the window.

    Liverpool have signed 17-year-old defender Sepp van den Berg from PEC Zwolle this close season, while the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno have left.

    The Champions League winners have been linked with moves for numerous players, including former playmaker Philippe Coutinho – now at Barcelona – and Lille forward Nicolas Pepe.

    Klopp, whose team are in the United States for pre-season friendlies, is remaining calm about Liverpool's movements in the market.

    "We are pretty relaxed in that, we will see what's coming up," he told the club's website.

    "How I said, it will not be the biggest transfer window of LFC. We invested a lot in the team in the last two years, I would say. We cannot spend every year in the same manner.

    "People talk about it like, 'Now another £300million or £200m'. There are maybe only two clubs in the world – it looks in the moment like Barcelona and [Real] Madrid can do the same – [Manchester] City and PSG that can do it every year.

    "But we are fine. I'm happy with the team, we are really happy. We have to see if we find maybe one position, if we find something for it, but there's no real pressure because it's not about signing a player. We have solutions for all the situations.

    "Do we have exactly the solution that everybody from outside would be 100 per cent happy? I don't think so because people want to have world class here, world class here and the guy on the bench has to be world class as well. That's not so easy. But we are of course working on it."

    Marko Grujic will remain on loan at Hertha Berlin, while Sheyi Ojo will spend 2019-20 with Rangers.

    But Klopp has no concerns about his squad at Liverpool, who finished a point behind champions Manchester City in the Premier League last season.

    "On the outgoing side, we are relaxed. The young boys are here and enjoyed working with us a lot," he said.

    "Not to forget Naby [Keita] and Shaq [Xherdan Shaqiri] are injured still and are not here with us. Players will come back.

    "I'm really looking forward to the season, it will be really exciting again."

    Liverpool face Borussia Dortmund in a friendly on Friday.

  • There's not another Zlatan – Ibrahimovic jokes about #StormArea51 There's not another Zlatan – Ibrahimovic jokes about #StormArea51

    Can those planning to storm Area 51 expect to see another Zlatan Ibrahimovic? No.

    Almost two million people have RSVP'd to a Facebook event to "Storm Area 51" – a classified US Air Force training base in Nevada which conspiracy theorists believe harbours information about extraterrestrial life.

    A disclaimer in the Facebook event claims it is all a joke, but it has not stopped #StormArea51 from taking the internet by storm.

    When LA Galaxy superstar Ibrahimovic fronted the media on Wednesday, he was asked what might be in Area 51.

    "Not another Zlatan. That's for sure," Ibrahimovic joked with reporters.

    Asked if they would let Ibrahimovic into Area 51, former Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona striker Ibrahimovic replied: "I have my own area 51."

    Ibrahimovic has enjoyed another fine season in MLS, with 13 goals for the Galaxy.

    The 37-year-old's goals have helped the Galaxy to third position in the Western Conference, 12 points adrift of leaders Los Angeles FC after 20 games.

  • Perin in no doubt over Benfica switch from Juventus Perin in no doubt over Benfica switch from Juventus

    Mattia Perin insists there are no hard feelings over his impending Juventus exit as he closes in on a move to Benfica.

    The goalkeeper, 26, is set to join the Portuguese champions subject to a medical – just a year after signing for Juve from Genoa.

    Gianluigi Buffon's surprise return to the Italian champions a year on from his move to Paris Saint-Germain mean chances are likely to be limited at the Allianz Stadium for Perin, who was understudy to Wojciech Szczesny last season.

    A fee of around €15million has reportedly been agreed between the sides, with promising Benfica full-back Joao Ferreira poised to head in the opposite direction to the Bianconeri, who are set to seal the capture of defender Matthijs de Ligt.

    Perin says he is in no doubt over the move and has always hoped to be able to experience playing abroad.

    "I'm happy, I'm going to Benfica to play for the champions," he said. "It's an exciting adventure. I want to show my value and put into practice everything I learned even during the last season at Juventus."

    He added: "In Turin I found a group of exemplary players both outside and inside the field and I learned so much because they are all champions. For this I thank the company because it taught me a lot." 

    Perin, who has been sidelined since shoulder surgery in April, also admitted he needs regular first-team football if he is to force his way back into the Italy squad ahead of Euro 2020.

    "I'm recovering from the injury and I will return to the field between mid-September and early October," added Perin, who has been capped twice by his country at senior level. 

    "I want to return to play with the aim of winning a jersey for next year's European Championship."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.