The Manning Cup 2013 winner is to be decided soon and based on this weekend’s results, Jamaica College will challenge Wolmer’s for the title. Both had semi final wins over Excelsior and St. George’s College respectively.
The wins were extreme. Jamaica College handed Excelsior a 4 – 0 whipping; while it took over two hours for Wolmer’s to outscore the defending champion, St. George’s 4 – 3 on penalties after a 3-all tie at regular time and a 4-4 scoreline in extra time.
The coaches were all on edge. The players challenged each other and the fans were all-in. We expect a competitive final.
I got to see Jahleel Hyde play for the first time and all I could remember was seeing his dad, Lenworth Hyde play for Boys Town (back in the day). His dad may not have been as fast, but the body language was similar – lingering up front for the opportunity to take it home; engaging his teammates; and just being there when his team needed him. His talent is well known as he is also a good hurdler – what will he choose?
ISSA and Sponsors
I spent most of my time in what is considered the media centre. It was a bad experience. The radio commentators along with a few scribes were left open to screaming fans, plastic bottles being hurled across in clear and close views; missing tables; open plugs; blaring horns (which I think should be banned) among other things. Also, the second semi-final with Wolmer’s and St. George’s was played under dimmed lights, so the TV crew had to use enhanced lighting to capture the images in ‘real’ colour. Those things are unacceptable.
I understand the sponsorship deal for the competition (rural and urban) is J$200 million. Once fans are involved, better care has to be in place for venues, access and fan environment. Now I am not here to tell ISSA and its sponsors how to allocate funds, but here is some advice
- fans must be secure
- media must have better facility
- better planning has to be in place for games that go in extra time
- make sure no bottles are in the National Stadium for any upcoming event. Unfortunately the fans can’t comply with basic rules
- have a more sound friendly public address system
- engage an announcer who can speak clearly
- the half-time shows must have some standard – not screaming MCs , who although is allowed to use the vernacular, has challenges with even that
The young adults and children who ventured out, missed the memo on the dress code. What was appalling was the way the young ladies exposed themselves while the young men looked on. The young lady who went for her ‘bad man’ boyfriend to ‘duss’ a yute was frightening; the bottle throwing incidents were scary and the horns should be banned.
The game was competitive for at least 80 per cent of the time; the young men showed resilience, heart and all those other adjectives that can describe a really exciting game. I hope the final will add similar excitement. I have no plans to go, as I will feel exposed to things I have no control over and I am not going to be happy about that. I will watch on television, providing there is live coverage.
I wish the teams the best of course and may the better team win.