CLARENDON PARK, Clarendon — Four days after their crushing loss to St Elizabeth Technical in the final of the ISSA/LIME Ben Francis Knockout, Manchester High must pick up the pieces and continue their quest for their first major schoolboys' football title when the Inter-zone round of the daCosta Cup continues with 15 games today.
Manchester High will play Clarendon College in the second game of a double-header at the Juici Patties field in what could be one of the best games on today's schedule that will see three-repeat match-ups from last season.
Port Antonio High will meet St Mary Technical in another repeat from the Inter-zone round last year, while Kemps Hill and Dinthill will also face off.
Newly-crowned Ben Francis Knockout champions St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) will launch their quest for their first-ever double when they take on Christiana High at Kirkvine.
Three first time qualifiers — Green Pond High, Green Island high and BB Coke — will also make their debuts in the Inter-zone phase today.
Meanwhile, Frome Technical, one of the best third-placed teams, got off to a big win in the Inter-zone round blasting former champions Vere Technical 5-1 in one Zone Seven game played yesterday at the Frome grounds in Westmoreland.
Eran Vassell and Jermaine Clarke scored two goals each and Romaine Bowen got the other as Frome welcomed back Vere to the Inter-zone round after a 12-year absence.
Today, Manchester High will take a two-game winning streak into their game against Clarendon College, whom they defeated 1-0 in the Ben Francis KO quarter-finals and 2-0 at this stage last year.
While Manchester are coming off a tough loss on Saturday, Clarendon have had more than a week to rest and could be the fresher of the two teams.
How coach Sheldon Davis will get his Manchester High team to rebound from their loss against STETHS could determine their fate in what on paper looks to be the toughest zone with just one team advancing to the quarter-finals.
Munro College, touted by some as a title favourite, are also in the zone and will take on Spalding High at the St Elizabeth Technical Sports Complex in Santa Cruz.
STETHS, meanwhile, fresh from their morale boosting fourth straight hold on the Ben Francis KO, take their high scoring machine to Kirkvine where they will face Christiana High in the second game after Holmwood Technical meet Happy Grove High.
With 27 goals under his belt and scoring in every game his team has played so far this season, Khesanio Hall will be expected to once again lead the STETHS team in their quest for victory.