Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
Fourteen-time Manning Cup champions Kingston College (KC) will seek to secure their passage to the second round of the competition and take a step closer towards qualifying for the Walker Cup, when they host Eltham in the penultimate group F match today at the North Street institution's base starting at 3:30 p.m.
KC currently leads the group by virtue of a superior goal difference of +19, as they, along with second- placed Spanish Town High (+6) have amassed 13 points. The group is rounded out by Greater Portmore (nine), Eltham (six) and Penwood (two).
Spanish Town will play away to Penwood in one of eight rescheduled matches to be contested today.
Despite KC having not won the Manning Cup in 26 years, coach Donovan Hayles does not believe there is any pressure on his team.
"No pressure is really on us; our main concentration is to get through the zone, and we see topping the zone as a real possibility," Hayles said. "We are going to go in the game relaxed and look to take all three points."
The result of this game is likely to prove vital, however, as KC will travel to Spanish Town for the final game of the zone.
"Two games to go and six points to get and that is our approach," Hayles shared. "It is not only just about topping the zone, but to build a momentum going into the quarter-finals."
Kashane Jones leads the purple and whites in scoring, having netted six of his team's 21 goals, but Hayles still desires more productivity from his offensive players.
"We have been working on finishing and composure," Hayles disclosed. "We have to make sure that we take more care in the last third."
Eltham, though not being in contention to progress out of the zone, are not about to surrender three points to KC according to coach Glenville Holmes.
"Eltham is a very proud school, so even though this year is not our best, we still have that pride and passion," Holmes said. "We intend to compete to the best of our abilities; we are not going to lie down and die."
The meeting between the two teams in the first round ended goalless and Holmes expects his team, which has been out of the competition for two years, to put up another strong performance.
"We tend to play our best football against Kingston College and come tomorrow (today) it should be no different," Holmes expressed. "So we are not going to roll over and die for Kingston College even though they are at the top of the table - we are coming to play football."
Kevon Richards leads the 2006 Walker Cup winners in scoring, having netted six of their 11 goals.
Waterford High vs Excelsior High
Cumberland High vs Haile Selassie
St Jago High vs Norman Manley
Jose Marti Technical vs Jamaica College
Ardenne High vs St Andrew College
Penwood vs Spanish Town
Kingston College vs Eltham High
St Mary's College vs Innswood High