Cornwall, Frome, STETHS, Clarendon take early lead
Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU: At the halfway point in the group stage of the 2014 ISSA/LIME daCosta Cup competition, some groups remain wide open, while defending champions St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), Cornwall College, Frome Technical, and Clarendon College lead among those getting ready for inter-zone play.
Eleven-time winners Cornwall are making a mockery of their Group A rivals with their skill and endeavour, especially in attack, scoring 22 goals in only four matches while conceding none. They lead the group on 12 points, five more than St James High (seven).
Cornwall have been equally proficient in attack as in defence. They are yet to concede a goal in over 360 minutes of open play and were able to withstand their keenest test to date, beating arch-rivals St James High 2-0 on Saturday.
Their impressive run took them to big lopsided wins against Anchovy (7-0) and Irwin High (11-0). Green Pond evaded heavy defeat but were handed a 2-0 loss as Cornwall waltzed into the lead.
St James High are their biggest rival and even they at this point will be hard-pressed to stop Cornwall's rampaging bunch.
Group B is led by 2003 champions Frome Technical, who have amassed a maximum nine points from three outings, including a classic come-from- behind 2-1 win over Rusea's on Saturday.
The Russians have six points at this stage of the competition and they and Frome look set to emerge from the group as neither Green Island nor Merlene Ottey seem up to the challenge.
Muschett, meanwhile, have dominated Group C from the onset and are clearly the standard-bearers, with nine points from three games.
William Knibb were supposed to be their main threat, but they have suffered badly this year, with just one victory that puts them joint second in the group alongside Herbert Morrison, on four points.
In Group D, 2005 winners Godfrey Stewart lead with 10 points, closely followed by the promising Petersfield High (eight). These two will most likely qualify from this group, barring any unforeseen situations.
Meanwhile, STETHS (13 points) have had it rather easy so far, scoring more than 20 goals to lead Group E. But surprise package Lacovia High (12) have looked solid in spite of their 3-1 loss to the champions to be in unfamiliar company.
Munro College are outside looking in at the likely inter-zone qualifiers on six points.
Elsewhere, the superbly talented Manchester High, which thrashed Cross Keys High 10-0 on Saturday, already have a lock on Group F with 12 points. Their nearest challengers, DeCarteret College, are some way off the pace looking at the back of the leaders, for whom striker Isamnia Cohen has scored 10 times already.
Holmwood are tipped to take Group G honours, while Clarendon College (12) appear destined to top Group H for a second straight year. Edwin Allen are on 10 points, while Cedric Titus (15) lead Group I.
Group J, K, and L are led by St Mary Technical (eight), Ewarton, and Dinthill (10 each), respectively. Port Antonio lead Group L.
Glenmuir High carries the torch in Group M with 10 points, three better than both Garvey Maceo and Denbigh on seven each.
Old Harbour High, on 14 points, hold the lead in Group N, with Kemps Hill (12) right in the thick of things. Vere remain a threat with 11 points and could spoil the party for either Kemps Hill or Old Harbour.
Paul Bogle continue to struggle in Group O, with Morant Bay (seven) leading the race to qualify. Seaforth (five) and Paul Bogle (four) battle for the final qualifying spot.