The ultimate rural-area battle will go down this evening with 10-time champions Rusea’s High School going up against Ben Francis champions Clarendon College in the ISSA/FLOW daCosta Cup final at the Montego Bay Sports Complex, kicking off at 6 p.m.
Vassell Reynolds, head coach at Rusea’s, who were regarded by many as this season’s dark horses at the start of the competition, pointed out that it would be significant for them to come out as champions as it would see them maintaining their great conversion rate of 10 titles in just 14 finals. He, however, noted that they will have their work cut out for them, as they will have to put up a performance like they did against STETHS or even better to overhaul a good Clarendon team.
“The conversion rate points to history being on our side. However, we know that good fortune is not enough. We have to go out and get the job done,” said Reynolds.
“We recognise that nothing less than the best performance of the season will get us over the line because we can’t hide from the fact that we are up against a powerful attacking Clarendon team. We are, however, confident in our abilities, plans, and preparations for this game,” he added.
The players to watch for the ‘Russians’ are the trio Nazine Matalie, Leonardo Fogarty, and Daniel Reid.
Clarendon College, despite their hiccups in the FLOW Super Cup, where they lost at the first hurdle to Calabar High, still boast a 100 per cent win record in all rural competitions, and have been touted as the favourites from as early as the second round, but coach Byjeon Thomas noted there is no such thing in a final.
“I don’t think there can be a favourite in a final because a team we struggled to beat, Rusea’s easily beat them … . What we think about is not losing,” said Thomas.
Going up against one of the best schoolboy coaches in the island, Thomas, who said they will be coming out with a lot of heart, also underscored that his team will be playing their quick-passing game and work to their strengths.
“No team is perfect, so we are always looking to be better for the next game, but I don’t think you can truly prepare beforehand for a Vassell Reynolds team, as he is not one who plays the same way twice,” said Thomas.
Clarendon College is a hard team to stop from scoring with Nicque Daley up top likely to be supported by the midfield machinery of captain Ricardo McIntosh, Demar Phillips, Shande James, and the dangerous Lamar Walker.