Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
With one only point separating them, defending champions Jamaica College (JC) and Camper-down will square off in today's top-of-the-table clash in Group D of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Gatorade/ Digicel Manning Cup competition at the Bellevue field starting at 3:30 p.m.
JC are currently second in the standings on 12 points, behind Camperdown's 13. They are followed by St Jago (eight), Kingston Technical (four) Pembroke Hall (three) and Cumberland (one).
With only the winners of the seven groups guaranteed progression to the Walker Cup knockout, along with the best second-place side, the Hope Road-based JC will be aiming to wrest leadership of the group from Camperdown.
However, when both teams met earlier in the season, Camperdown secured a surprise 1-0 over JC.
"It is a top-of-the-table clash and so it is very important game for us because, based on points, only the winners of the group are assured of a spot in the Walker Cup," said Delroy Brown, assistant coach of JC.
"It is like a final because we are already one behind them and so we cannot afford to drop anymore points at this stage," he said.
Junior Femming, Nicholas Scott and Conroy Johnson will lead JC's charge for victory.
Camperdown will be oozing confidence ahead today's encounter, especially since they are playing at home where they have scored 14 goals while conceding none.
"Our first objective is to consolidate our position in the group, but we are aware that this game is going to be very difficult, so we are preparing for it," said Christopher Bender, coach of Camperdown.
"We are aware that based on the results, JC have improved (since the first game), so we just have to go there and bring our 'A' game to the party," he said.
Bender is aware that there is not much separating the two teams, and knows it will come down to who employs the better tactics.
"What is going to give us the edge is our determination to go into the game and perform at a consistent level over 90 minutes," he added.
Camperdown's hopes will rest on the shoulders of striker Ricardo Oldham, who scored the winning goal against JC earlier in the season, along with André Sterling and Oshane Williams.
Tivoli vs Denham Town
Hydel vs Waterford
Papine vs Campion
Camperdown vs Jamaica College
Pembroke Hall vs Cumberland
Kingston Tech vs St Jago
Donald Quarrie vs Trench Town
Norman Manley vs Ardenne
Penwood vs Kingston College
Oberlin vs St Mary's College
STATHS vs Jose Marti