MONTEGO BAY, St James — All but one place in the Inter-zone round of the ISSA/Gatorade/Digicel daCosta Cup schoolboy football competition was decided yesterday as the preliminary rounds ended.
The rained-out Zone D game between Petersfield and Godfrey Stewart left second place temporarily undecided as Grange Hill blanked Little London, 4-0, to take zone honours and advance to Wednesday's start of the Ben Francis KO.
Meanwhile, Brimmervale and Maggotty secured historic 'wild card' spots in the 32 team Inter-zone after finishing third place in their respective groups and with superior average points.
Brimmervale, with a 1.8 points, topped Pool A, while Maggotty, who upset Munro College, 2-1 in Zone E, had 1.9 points average to take the spot from Pool B.
Defending Francis KO champions St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) swamped Black River, 8-0, to take Zone E honours and lead eight other schools into the KO reserved for zone winners.
Cornwall College in Zone A, Frome Technical in Zone B, Grange Hill from Zone D, Dinthill Technical in Zone K, Port Antonio in Zone L (despite a loss), Garvey Maceo from Zone M (despite drawing), Kemps Hill in Zone N, and Paul Bogle in Zone O are all through.
Meanwhile, Spot Valley, Lennon High, York Castle and Tacius Golding all secured places in the Inter-zone round on the last day of regular season.
York Castle and Tacius Golding both advanced by thing margins; York Castle edged Marcus Garvey on goal difference after both finished in 17 points in Zone I, while Tacius Golding edged out Central after both had completed their schedules on 11 points behind winners Kemps Hill in Zone N.
In-form national youth representative Alvas Powell scored five goals to take his tally to 21 as he led Paul Bogle High to a 6-2 win over Robert Lightbourne in Zone O.
Kesario Hall of STETHS scored four times against Black River, while Ricardo Wilson of Cornwall also scored four goals in their 6-0 win over Maldon to qualify for the Francis KO for the first time in five years, ahead of St James High, who beat Green Pond, 3-1.
For the second straight year, Cornwall and St James finished tied on points and it took goal difference to separate them. But this time Cornwall finished on top after seeing St James win the zone last year.
Frome will contest the Ben Francis KO fir the first time since 2006 after winning Zone B with 19 points, one more than two-time defending daCosta Cup champions Rusea's by a single point, 19 to 18, after their 5-1 beating of Green Island.
Rusea's, who were held 1-1 by Green Island on Wednesday, beat Cambridge, 3-0, with Curtis Taylor scoring twice and Anthony Walker once.