Sport & Entertainment
JAM | Dec 5, 2023

Former champions, debutants battle for supremacy in upcoming schoolboy football finals

Shari-Lee Crooks

Shari-Lee Crooks / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

With Glenmuir High School claiming the Champions Cup over the weekend, the rest of the major schoolboy trophies are still up for grabs and the remaining teams will have a chance to add their names to the pantheon of winners in schoolboy sporting lure.

The two main, most popular competitions are the rural area DaCosta Cup and corporate area Manning Cup, with the winners of each facing off in the Olivier Shield.

The Manning Cup was founded in 1909 and named after a former Governor of Jamaica, William Manning and is the older of the two major competitions.

It was established to have a platform to showcase the prowess of the skillset of the footballers at the high-school level.

The most successful school in Manning Cup history is Jamaica College with a staggering 31 titles. The Old Hope Road-based school has become synonymous with football excellence and has nine more titles than their closest rival St George’s College, with 22 titles of their own.

The Manning Cup has been hotly contested since its inception and has fostered stiff competition among the schools.

This year’s fixture saw the emergence of two teams not previously seen among the usual giants of the competition. This year’s trophy will be engraved with a new name, with two finals debutants doing battle for the ultimate prize.

Both Mona High and Hydel High booked their places in the big show with semi-final wins over historical juggernauts. Hydel High beat St George’s College, while Mona High knocked out Kingston College on penalties.

This is the first time since 2001 that two teams who had never previously won the title will face-off in the final, and the first time since 2006 that the winner will be a team other than Jamaica College, Kingston College or St George’s College.

This competitive drive and desire for excellence have been staples of the rural area competition as well.

The daCosta Cup is contested by schools outside of the Corporate Area and has been a mainstay since its inception.

The competition began in 1950 and was named after entrepreneur and philanthropist Herbert Henry daCosta to encourage the transformative nature of sport in the lives of young men.

The Montego Bay-based Cornwall College has the most daCosta Cup titles, having won 12 times. They are closely followed by Rusea’s High School with 11 wins.

This year’s competition final will be a repeat of the recently concluded Champions Cup final, with Glenmuir, fresh off their first hold on that trophy, hoping to make it 2 for 2 when they square off once again with Clarendon College.

The Clarendon-derby will be a chance for the beaten finalists Clarendon College to avenge their recent loss against their cross-town competition.

Of course, the season finale is the Olivier Shield, which is contested between the Manning and daCosta Cup winners. The Olivier Shield was also founded in 1909 and named after Sydney Haldane Olivier, a former governor of Jamaica.

The most successful school at this competition is once again Jamaica College, who have claimed an impressive 21 titles. Their lead is much smaller in this tournament, with second place being Munro College’s 19 titles.

The Shield will belong to whichever team ultimately prevails after winning their respective competitions, and will mark the sign of national supremacy.

The Manning Cup final will be played on December 8, with the daCosta final being played on the following day on December 9. The winners will play each other for the Shield on December 13.


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