Classy Clarendon College retains Olivier Shield with 4-0 win over Mona High

By December 13, 2023
Clarendon College share a photo opportunity with the Olivier Shield Clarendon College share a photo opportunity with the Olivier Shield Marlon Reid/Loop News

For a fourth time in five seasons Clarendon College delayed their ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup celebrations in anticipation of Olivier Shield triumph. And for a fourth time in five seasons the decision was justified, as they reclaimed the badge of all-island supremacy after hammering Mona High 4-0 in the showpiece at the National Stadium on Wednesday.

Much like they did in a rampant display against neighbours Glenmuir High in the rural area decider, Clarendon College again demonstrated their class, seasoned with some individual flair at times, to secure their seventh Olivier Shield lien, with aplomb.

Christopher Hull with a brace in the 84th and 87th minutes, followed goals from the prolific Keheim Dixon (35th) and Deandre Gallimore (69th), and ensured that the title they first won in 1977 — then 1978, 1998, 2018, 2019 and 2022 — returned to their Chapelton base to complement their 11th daCosta Cup hold.

Winning Coach Lenworth “Teacha” Hyde was delighted that his players enjoyed themselves in the process, particularly the seven players, who were in their final schoolboy football season. Clarendon College just missed out on the treble after they lost the Champions Cup 2-3 to Glenmuir.

“I am very happy about it; I think we worked pretty hard this season; the boys wanted it really bad and as I told you before seven of the players are leaving us, so they were hell-bent on defending the Olivier Shield and it showed. They didn’t start out well in the first half but as the game went on the got into rhythm and they enjoyed themselves which is what I told them to do,” Hyde said in a post-game interview.

The much-anticipated clash between two of the most talked about teams this season, started as expected with Manning Cup champions Mona High showing first, as they got a warning shot off 30 seconds in.

Clarendon College gradually got into their rhythm and responded in the seventh minute with a series of chances after Mona failed to clear their lines.

Both teams continued their push for the go-ahead goal, and Mona again went close in the 27th, when a neat build up ended with ended with Kshaine Gordon driving a pass across the six-yard box, but none of his teammates was around to apply the finishing touch.

They rued that missed opportunity eight minutes later when an unmarked Dixon finished a free header at the far post from Gallimore’s weighted corner, for his 32nd goal of the season.

That goal knocked the wind from Mona, and gave life to Clarendon College’s attack, as they applied pressure in a decent passage of play at the backend of the half, but couldn’t get on target.

With the score unchanged at the break, the momentum stuck with Clarendon College and they almost doubled the lead in the 58th when Dixon twirled his way into space for a right-footed shot deep that was charged down at the near post.

Mona responded three minutes later and it took a big save from Clarendon College’s Roshae Burrell to deny Romarion Thomas’s head from close range.

But, any hopes Mona harboured of a comeback, were dashed when Gallimore fired home under pressure, for his seventh of the season.

The Craig Butler-coached Mona didn’t give up though, and Thomas again found space for a right-footer from a distance that was pushed over the crossbar by Burrell.

From there, it was all Clarendon College and Hull, who first rose above Mona’s custodian Ackeem Bernard to head home from a Jahmelle Ashley corner.

And three minutes later, the player sporting the number eight jersey secured a 14th goal for the season, when he struck a sweet left-footer from close range, that proved too much for Bernard, who helped the ball into the net.

Despite the loss, Butler was gracious in defeat.

“It was about not taking the chances and we eventually broke down. But I think the boys played well but Clarendon College was the better team on the day, and so we have to give them their respect for that,” Butler said.

Sherdon Cowan

Sherdon Cowan is a five-time award-winning journalist with 10 years' experience covering sports.

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