MONTEGO BAY, St James — High-flying Red Stripe Premier League team Montego Bay United (MBU) will seek to avoid being a first-round casualty for the second-straight year in the St James FA Captain's Bakery Knockout competition which gets underway this afternoon with three matches.
MBU were knocked out in the first round last year, beaten 2-1 by Division One team Lilliput Rovers, but will hope to get past Barrett Town FC at Wyndham at 3:00 pm.
Two other games will also be played today. Western Confederation Super League clubs Catherine Hall and Norwood Strikers will face Paradise DC and Copperwood FC, respectively.
Thirty teams will take part in the competition which kicks off the belated start to the St James season with the winner, or best non-Premier League team, qualifying for the Jamaica Football Federation's (JFF) All-Island KO contest later this year.
The draw was made last week and will see four more matches on tomorrow.
Eight games will be played between Friday and Saturday to complete the first round before the start of the second round next week.
MBU will, no doubt, start favourites as the only Premier League club in the competition, while there will be five Super League clubs, as well as 12 Senior League and 12 Division One clubs taking part.
Today, MBU's coach Dr Dean Weatherly could use the game as a practice fixture after the Christmas break as they prepare to host Sporting Central Academy on Sunday.
Catherine Hall lead their zone in the Super League and should be better than Division One club, Paradise, but Norwood Strikers — who are yet to score a goal in their first ever season at the Super League level, losing all three games played — need a win.
Meanwhile, Tomorrow's People, who are now taking orders from Paul 'Tegat' Davis, will be away to Marl Road. Granville United, who are struggling in the Super League, face Irwin FC. Wadadah FC meet Juniors, while Montego Bay Boys' Club and Seaview will seek a second-round berth in their clash.