Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
High-flying Spalding will tackle Holmwood in return-leg action of the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Gatorade/Digicel schoolboy football competition today, with three valuable points at stake.
Coming off a 2-0 win over Christiana on Saturday to ease into a six-point lead at the top of Zone G, Spalding enters the game bursting with confidence, having already dispatched Holmwood 2-0 in their first encounter.
"We are full of confidence and should again defeat Holmwood. The last time we met, we came away with all three points, so we are confident of another victory," said Junior Brown, a member of Spalding's coaching staff.
A victory for the team, whose head coach is Courtney Jackson, will see them advance to 21 points and become the first to qualify for the Ben Francis knockout.
Even if they pull off a victory, Holmwood will remain second, but have a game in hand against Christiana on Thursday.
"It will be an interesting game, but we see ourselves as winners, and being the strongest team in the zone, we should go on to win and represent in the Ben Francis Cup," Brown reasoned.
"Our defence line has been good, conceding just three goals while scoring 18. That is a good record, and it bodes well for us going forward in the competition," he added.
Knox College battle deCarteret College in another keen match-up, while Alston host Christiana.
Rest for Rusea's
Meanwhile, defending champions Rusea's, rested on the weekend because of the withdrawal of Merlene Ottey, should be raring to go against backsliding Herbert Morrison in Zone B.
Herbert Morrison have not been having a good season, losing to Frome Technical 3-0 on Saturday. They face a daunting task against the back-to-back defending champions, who have already won against them, on opening day.
Since then, Rusea's' only retreat on their march towards the inter-zone round was their 0-0 draw against Cambridge in what was described by head coach Emerson 'Diggy' Henry as a "muddy affair".
Frome should get the better of Cambridge, while Green Island will be idle.
In Zone E, the impressive STETHS (18 points) will play away at Balaclava, where another three points will hand them a spot in the Ben Francis KO, and rivals Munro College take on Lacovia to seal second spot in the zone.
Herbert Morrison vs Rusea's
Cambridge vs Frome
Lacovia vs Munro
Black River vs Maggotty
Balaclava vs STETHS
Alston vs Christiana
Knox vs deCarteret
Spalding vs Holmwood