MONTEGO BAY, St James — Former champions St James High, as well as Manchester High and St Mary Technical, confirmed their places in the Inter-Zone round of the ISSA/Gatorade/Digicel daCosta Cup after yesterday's round of preliminary matches.
While St James High scored a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Maldon High in a Zone A game at Jarrett Park, Manchester and St Mary Technical both advanced without kicking a ball following favorable results in their groups.
Eleven schools have now secured berths in the second round which is set to get underway on October 31 with 32 teams, while another nine, led by two times defending champions Rusea's High, could join them today.
At Jarrett Park, Radcliff Dawkins scored twice for St James in their win, while Michael Williams got the other as they joined Cornwall College on 10 points to both secure Inter-zone places.
Manchester joined Bellefield from Zone F after Mile Gully and BB Coke played out a 0-0 draw in a rescheduled Zone F game. Manchester, on 14 points, cannot be surpassed by any of the other four teams in the zone.
Zone J leaders St Mary Technical, on 20 points, stayed on course to for a spot in the Ben Francis KO competition as St Mary High beat Brimmervale, 3-0, to assume sole ownership of second place with 18 points.
For the second straight season, Grange Hill dashed Mannings School's hopes of advancing after a 2-0 win in their crucial Zone D game at the Belle Isle Sports Complex in Westmoreland.
Akeem Shackleford in the first half and Romaine Nelson in the second gave Grange Hill a victory which saw them take over the lead on 15 points, one more than Mannings, who complete their schedule on 14.
Petersfield are on 13 points with a game against Godfrey Stewart High on Saturday.
Meanwhile today, Cedric Titus High can clinch a place in the Ben Francis KO with a win against Brown's Town in Zone I that would see them to an insurmountable 22 points. A point from a draw, however, would still be enough to give them a spot in the Inter-zone round.
Anything but a loss for Rusea's against Green Island would see both Rusea's and Frome Technical advance from Zone B.
Additionally Munro College, Christiana High, Bog Walk, Dinthill Technical, Port Antonio and Seaforth should all advance.