Paul Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Manchester High School's daCosta Cup coach, Sheldon Davis, believes his players have found renewed purpose and it showed in Saturday's Inter-Zone match against the previously unbeaten Munro College.
Manchester left the match with all three points from a 1-0 victory to move ahead of the Andrew Edwards-coached Munro College in Zone 4. Manchester now have four points from two matches, while Munro remain on three, while Spalding High revived their hope of sneaking into the quarter-finals with a surprise 3-1 win over fancied Clarendon College.
BUBBLING WITH CONFIDENCE
Coach Davis told The Gleaner after Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Clarendon at the Juici Patties complex that they had put the devastating loss in the Ben Francis final to St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) out of their minds, and are once again bubbling with confidence.
And so they should, as Munro entered the match as one of the unbeaten schools left in the competition and has impressed in all their outings so far.
"We have got over that loss to STETHS," said Davis, following the drawn Clarendon match. "As a team, it was important to learn from mistakes, and I think we are stronger for it and should continue to do our best in the daCosta Cup."
"I have a bunch of real good players, but we still plan to take it one game at a time, and that is the important thing. Winning our matches comes as a result of us refocusing our attention on the game at hand," he said.
That attention will now be focused on their key battle with Spalding High at the Kirkvine Sports Club. By virtue of winning so convincingly against Clarendon College, Spalding have shown that they are more than capable of knocking over the so-called better teams and that includes Manchester.
A win for their parish rivals will see them leapfrogging them into the lead, something that Davis is well aware of. He is driven to make this Manchester High team a dominant force in the 2013 ISSA/LIME daCosta Cup and advancing to the quarter-finals is one sure way of making believers out of the scoffers.
"So far, we are doing very well and we hope to maintain this run. Getting to the quarter-finals will be a great accomplishment for us, but it would be incomplete, as we not only want to reach the final, but also to win the Cup," Davis said.
If they can achieve their dream, it would be a historic first-time daCosta Cup title for Manchester.