Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
The Manning's School's head coach, Aaron Lawrence, said that Saturday's big 7-0 win over Knockalva Technical was just what his team needed to break out of their complacent attitude towards this year's ISSA/LIME daCosta Cup schoolboy football competition.
"That was an important win, as it breathed life into the players and we have believed again that we can do something special," he said "It only gets more important that we stay focused when we come up against Grange Hill."
But if that was a wake-up call, they will have to be wide-eyed and vigilant when they take on Zone D leaders Grange Hill this afternoon, in a big clash to determine who will lead the zone entering the return matches starting on the weekend.
"We just started the competition," said Lawrence, in reference to Saturday's victory.
Coached by Dane Warren, Grange Hill have been impressing all and sundry with their skilful, incisive brand of football, to be the leaders of the zone with nine points. Manning's are next on four points, the same as former champions Godfrey Stewart High.
"Our game plan is to try and keep things tight and compact in defence while taking our chances at the other end. We know that Grange Hill is a dangerous bunch, so we want to make sure we keep them from breaching our defence," Lawrence noted.
Top strikers Melvin Blair and Romario Pesso finally found their goalscoring form against Knockalva and Lawrence is keen to have them scoring against a Grange Hill side which has given up only a single goal entering today's clash.
In the zone's other fixture, Godfrey Stewart, on form, should leave Knockalva with all three points, barring a miracle.
Former champions Rusea's (five points) are in line to go third in Zone B, when they play Cambridge, which would take them above Green Island (six points), while STETHS could temporarily claim sole leadership of Zone E if they defeat Newell High to go to 12 points, three more than Munro, who are idle on the day.
In Zone N, the unbeaten Vere Technical (seven) will look to extend their lead when they play lightweights Foga Road, while third place Central High tackle Kemps Hill.
Anchovy vs Maldon
Green Pond vs St James
Cambridge vs Rusea's
Spot Valley vs Muschett
Knockalva vs Godfrey Stewart
Grange Hill vs Manning's
Newell vs STETHS
DeCarteret vs Mile Gully
B.B. Coke vs Bellefield
Christiana vs Holmwood
Spalding vs Knox
Edwin Allen vs Lennon High
Claude McKay vs Thompson Town
Cedric Titus vs York Castle
Iona vs StMary Tech
Dinthill vs Charlemont
Bog Walk vs Tacky High
Foga Road vs Vere Tech
Central High vs Kemps Hill
Home teams named first. All games start at 3 p.m.