Rural teams ready to challenge for ISSA T20 trophy
The semi-finals of the ISSA/TVJ Super 8 Twenty20 (T20) competition will be played on Saturday, and two teams are eagerly anticipating the match-ups with another chance of silverware on the line.
Last year's beaten finalists St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) and Manchester High School are the two remaining rural teams, and they are gunning to exit this year's schoolboy season with another feather in their cap.
The unbeaten STETHS will face defending champions Wolmer's Boys' School in the opening fixture at Sabina Park at 10 a.m.
They are keen to get things right this time, to turn their fortunes around, and cap off a season that has been nothing short of excellent so far, having won the Headley Cup, the all-island Spalding Cup and the rural T20 championship.
"We have been dominating schoolboy cricket for some time, and all we need to do is to go out and play without any tension on our backs and play to our ability and not play the opponents," said Clive Ledgister, coach of STETHS.
Last season, STETHS had it to win the final against Wolmer's after looking to chase down a paltry 88, but the St Elizabeth-based STETHS folded for 83 runs, and coach Ledgister said they learnt a lot from last season's capitulation.
"The match last year, we were more self-destructive than beaten, and this year will be a lot different as all the players are more mature."
Manchester are a couple of miles east of STETHS, and they have something to say about lifting the final schoolboy cricket trophy on offer, as they have been in imperious form, heading into the penultimate round of the championship.
Last Saturday, they brushed aside a hapless St George's College to top their zone and book their place in the final four.
Having not got to the other finals, the talented Manchester feel this is their best chance to lift a title this season, and their captain Sanjay Walker is keen to get things right come Saturday at 2 p.m. against urban area outfit Excelsior High.
"We didn't get to play in the Headley Cup final, and we want to make sure that we make this final and give ourselves a chance to win a trophy. We went back to the drawing board and put in some hard work, and right now, it is all about executing," Walker said.