Fireworks expected as first round ends

Fireworks and drama are expected today as the first round of the ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup football competition comes to an end with 38 games across all 15 zones.

At least 23 teams are chasing the 12 second round spots that are still available, 10 automatic qualifiers and the two best third-placed teams that will join the 20 that have already booked their spots.

Eleven of the 15 zone winners have already been decided as teams will be going after bonus points as they seek to get preferred spots in the rankings in the second round.

The fireworks will be expected to come from three zones — G, I and L — where the race for the automatic spots are still too close to call, and are expected to go down to the wire.

Meanwhile, two former champions Clarendon College in Zone H and Garvey Maceo High in Zone M will be hoping to complete a perfect first round, winning all games.

Christiana High have locked up the top spot in Zone G with 19 points but four teams, separated by a single point, will be battling out head to head for the other automatic spot and hopefully a best third place spot with all four needing to win.

Christiana High will be away to out- of-contention Troy, while Alston and Spalding High, both on 15 points will meet, with Holmwood Technical and Knox College, both on 14 points, also meeting.

In the first round, Spalding High had beaten Alston High 2-0, while Knox College shocked Holmwood Technical 1-0.

On Thursday, Zone I leaders Brown's Town missed an opportunity to not just qualify for the second round but to top the zone when they lost to out of contention Marcus Garvey.

Today they will face Ocho Rios High where a draw could see them advance, on goal difference, but a win would see them topping the zone.

The four contenders are separated by two points, including York Castle High and Oracabessa High who both on 16 points and will meet at York Castle.

Brown's Town and Ocho Rios had played out a draw in their first round game while Oracabessa had beaten York Castle 1-0.

Three teams, separated by two points, are also in contention for one automatic spot from Zone L where Port Antonio High have already secured zone honours and will face Annotto Bay High, who must win today to stay in contention.

The other two contenders, second-placed Titchfield High and Fair Prospect High who lead Annotto Bay by a goal difference of one, will meet in the other game.

In Zone A, former champions St James High must beat Green Pond High to secure second place behind zone winners Cornwall College, as Anchovy High are breathing down their neck.

After being awarded points from their unplayed game against Maldon High on Thursday, Anchovy are in third place on 15 points, two behind St James and will play Irwin High today.

A win for Anchovy High would see them advance if St James High fail to get maximum points from their game.

There is a similar situation in Zone E where Maggotty High are in second place on 15 points, behind St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), and face out of contention Munro College.

Lacovia High are on 13 points and face STETHS who despite having already won the zone will be seeking the extra bonus point offered for a win.

St Mary Technical appeared to be cruising to a third-straight second-round appearance but hit a skid and are now in a race with Brimmervale High, both on 17 points, for second place behind St Mary High.

Brimmervale High, who are ahead on goal difference, face St Mary High while St Mary Technical face Guys Hill High.

Vere Technical, who are in third place in Zone N, could leapfrog second-place Central High who completed their schedule on 12 points.

Vere Technical will face Porus High who are yet to win a game while second round qualifiers Old Harbour High will be home to Kemps Hill.



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