STETHS, Manchester blockbusters highlight daCosta Cup second round kickoff
With the first round of the 2016 Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)-FLOW daCosta Cup now out of the way and the sifting of teams done, attention now turns to the inter-zone battles, of which several blockbuster matches are scheduled for today.
One such is the Zone C clash between defending champions St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) and Holmwood. This game will be played at Manchester High School, starting at 3:30 p.m.
STETHS, one of five teams identified with having the best chance of lifting the title this year, along with Dinthill, Cornwall College, Rusea's and Clarendon College, have been slowly getting into gear. According their technical director, Wendell Downswell, the inter-zone round is the part of the competition that will trigger the usual STETHS tenacity.
"We look forward to this part of the daCosta Cup. The players know what is to be done and now that we have passed the first stage, it is now time to just become bolder and stake our claim," Downswell told The Gleaner.
"The first round we kind of took it in stride. We didn't need to push ourselves, but the inter-zone is a different thing. Here we will need to push because other teams are coming for our scalp. We wear the crown that others want and we will need to defend," he added.
STETHS are in Zone Three alongside Holmwood (first in Zone G), Mile Gully High (second in Zone F) and last year's semi-finalists, Lennon High, out of Zone E. Mile Gully will tackle Lennon to complete today's schedule in the zone.
PERFECT WIN RECORD
Meanwhile, the competition's most prolific team, Dinthill Technical, face strong opposition in Port Antonio. Dinthill have scored 49 goals. They are one of two teams with a perfect win record, the other being Cornwall College.
Over in Zone One, Cedric Titus will take on a Cornwall College team high on and confidence.
The former many-time champions breezed through the first round, racking up 35 goals along the way. Also in that zone, Petersfield High will be in the hunt for all three points against Green Island.
In Zone Two, Godfrey Stewart meet Rusea's, while the improving Spot Valley take on St James High.
Another big clash will see Paul 'Tegat' Davis' Clarendon College locking horns with the always consistent Manchester High in Zone Four, while Lacovia and Spalding do battle at the Lacovia Community Centre.
Second round zones
Zone 1: Cedric Titus, Cornwall College, Green Island and Petersfield
Zone 2: Godfrey Stewart, Rusea's, Spot Valley and St. James
Zone 3: Holmwood, Lennon, Mile Gully and STETHS
Zone 4: Clarendon College, Lacovia, Manchester and Spalding
Zone 5: Alston, Fair Prospect, St Mary Tech and Steer Town
Zone 6: Brimmervale, Dinthill, Port Antonio and BB Coke/Alston
Zone 7: Glenmuir, Seaforth, Vere Tech and Ocho Rios/-Browns Town
Zone 8: Garvey Maceo, Kemps Hill, Little London and Paul Bogle
Cedric Titus vs Cornwall College
Petersfield vs Green Island
St James vs Spot Valley
Godfrey Stewart vs Rusea's
Lennon vs Mile Gully
Holmwood vs STETHS
Clarendon College vs Manchester
Lacovia vs Spalding
Dinthill vs Port Antonio
Glenmuir vs Bog Walk
Seaforth vs Vere Tech
Paul Bogle vs Kemps Hill
Garvey Maceo vs Little London