Intense battle for LIME Champions Cup spots
Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU: Like a glass of fine wine, the action in this year's daCosta Cup just keeps getting better and better. That will be the case this afternoon in the final round of matches to determine qualifiers for the quarter-finals, with a clash between title holders St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) and Manchester High taking the spotlight.
The massive bonus, too, will be that teams winning the respective zones will qualify for the LIME Champions Cup, which promises $1 million in winnings.
Head coaches Omar Wedder-burn of STETHS and Donovan Duckie of Manchester High know what the outcome will mean for their respective teams.
After waltzing through the group stage to land in the same interzone grouping, STETHS and Manchester have six points after two victories each and will only settle the argument when they meet at STETHS in Santa Cruz at 3 p.m.
The champions have logged a 5-1 win over Holmwood and 3-0 victory over Edwin Allen, with striker Donjay Smith scoring a hat-trick in their latter victory.
Manchester, too, have been in fine form, with victories over both Edwin and Holmwood. Their leading scorer is Isamnia Cohen, who has hit 12 goals so far.
"It will be a big match-up between two very good teams, but we are confident in what we can do and so far we have been doing it well," declared Wedderburn.
"We always respect our opponents, no matter what team we play, and Manchester is a good team and like them we need to play well and win the zone as we chart a course in defence of our title," Wedderburn added.
The other schools in Zone Three, Edwin Allen and Holmwood, will meet in a game of academic interest only, as neither can advance.
Duckie told The Gleaner his team was in high spirits for the game and will be in attack mode from the opening whistle.
claim a spot
"Just like them, we need to win to claim a spot in the Champions Cup, so the plan is go there prepared and to go at it from the start," said Duckie.
"Playing at STETHS will be like playing anywhere else, so there is no added pressure on us, except that we definitely will be going there to win," he said.
In Zone One, leaders Cornwall College (six points) need only a draw against Rusea's (one) in the battle of the daCosta Cup's two most successful teams, while second-place Petersfield (three) need all three points against Muschett, who can advance, but only with a win.
There is a similar story over in Zone Two, where a double-header will get under way at 1 p.m. at Frome Sports Complex as Godfrey Stewart (three) take on out-of-favour William Knibb. The feature match will pit Green Pond (four) Frome Technical (three) together.
It is expected that zones four, five, six, seven and eight will be won by Clarendon College, Cedric Tutus, Marcus Garvey, St James High and Garvey Maceo, respectively.
1 p.m. Muschett vs Petersfield at Jarrett Park
3 p.m. Cornwall vs Rusea's at Jarrett Park
1 p.m. Godfrey Stewart vs Green Pond at Frome
3 p.m. Frome Tech vs William Knibb at Frome
3 p.m. STETHS vs Manchester at STETHS
1 p.m. Mile Gully vs Christiana at Kirkvine
3 p.m. Clarendon vs Lacovia at Kirkvine Sports Complex
1 p.m. Glenmuir vs Vere Tech at Jamalco
1 p.m. Fair Prospect vs Brimmervale at Snow Hill
3 p.m. Titchfield vs Dinthill at Snow Hill
3 p.m. Cedric Titus vs Old Harbour at Drax Hall
3 p.m. Oracabessa vs Marcus Garvey at Oracabessa Community Centre
3 p.m. Morant Bay vs St James at Lyssons
3 p.m. Ewarton vs Paul Bogle at Dinthill
3 p.m. Kemps Hill vs Garvey Maceo at Jamalco
Holmwood vs Edwin Allen game will be played on Wednesday.