Regional

Battle for places in daCosta Cup second round heats up

BY PAUL A REID
Observer West writer

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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LUCEA, Hanover — Zones B and D of the ISSA/ Flow daCosta Cup schoolboys' football competition are shaping up to be a battle to the end for places in the second round, even before they are halfway through.

With the first round of both zones — two of the four zones in western Jamaica — set to be completed this Saturday, three schools are vying for the two spots from Zone B with another three locked in battle in Zone D.

Just two points separate the top three teams in either zone, Rusea's High lead Zone B with 10 points, followed by Frome Technical on nine, and Green Island High on eight in third place.

Once again Zone D is proving to be one of the closest zones in all of the daCosta Cup with Petersfield High leading Little London on goal difference, both are locked on eight points, and Manning's School rests in third place on six points.

On Saturday there could be a major shift in Zone B when Rusea's host Frome Technical at the Colin Miller Sports Complex in Lucea, while Green Island will play away to minnow Hopewell High, who are at the foot of the tables on one point, with Cambridge High and both are yet to win a game.

While the odds will heavily be in favour of wins by Rusea's High and Green Island, which would push Frome to third place, Aaron Lawrence, who was in charge at Rusea's last year is now at Frome, and will be hoping to put a spoke in their wheel.

Frome, the only one of the six contenders who have already lost a game, surprised 3-0 by Green Island and must win on Saturday if they are to stay in the race for one of the two automatic promotion spots.

Green Island, who are yet to concede a goal in 320 minutes of football, have won three in a row after being held 0-0 by Knockalva Technical in their opening game and on Tuesday whipped Cambridge 6-0.

Little London was one of the feel-good stories of last season's daCosta Cup, coming virtually out of nowhere to earn an inter-zone spot as one of the two best third-placed teams, then riding their luck all the way to the quarterfinals and a first-round berth in the lucrative Flow Super Cup KO, their best season ever.

Despite scoring only three goals in four games, Little London are on eight points and have not allowed a single goal, and earned a point at leaders Petersfield on Tuesday.

It does not get any easier on Saturday when Petersfield play away to a Godfrey Stewart team desperate for a win as they fall further away from the top half of the tables with three draws.

Little London will host Grange Hill, while Manning's School have theoretically the easiest game against last-placed Black River High, who have failed to win a game and have conceded 10 goals, while the other five teams in the zone have combined to allow 15 goals.

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