Quarters beckon

Quarters beckon

Quarter-final places on the line as D'Cup second round ends today

By Paul A Reid
Observer writer

Saturday, October 19, 2019

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CLARENDON PARK, Clarendon — Defending champions Clarendon College, former champions St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), Garvey Maceo High and Dinthill Technical, as well as eight other schools will take leads into today's return-leg games of the second round of the ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup football competition with spots in the quarter-finals on the line.

Clarendon College, the top-ranked team in the second round, lead Green Pond High 3-1 after Thursday's first leg in Montego Bay, STETHS lead Brimmervale High 5-1, while Garvey Maceo and Dinthill Technical boast slim one-goal leads over Spalding High and Central High, respectively.

While Clarendon College and STETHS are expected to take their places in the next round, another former champion, Rusea's High, will have their back against the wall when they travel to Linstead to face high-flying McGrath High, trailing 0-1 after being ambushed on their own field on Wednesday.

In two other games featuring former winners, Frome Technical and Vere Technical are locked at 1-1, as well as Cornwall College and Munro College.

Meanwhile, despite failing to win in their first-leg games, William Knibb and Manning's School are retuning home down by one goal against Petersfield and Ocho Rios, respectively, and the odds are that they could reverse the positions.

Clarendon College and STETHS are well set to advance as they established big leads away from home and are unlikely to suffer big losses that would knock them out.

Clarendon College pounced on a timid Green Pond on Thursday and were up 2-0 in the first 17 minutes and went on to win 3-1, and playing in their own backyard will have a big advantage over the minnows from Montego Bay.

STETHS had the biggest margin of victory in the first leg, trouncing Brimmervale 5-1 and another big win is expected today, playing at home and in front of what is expected to be a large home support, and it could be a long afternoon for the visitors.

Garvey Maceo have sailed under the radar for most of the season and will be seeking to return to the quarter-finals and lead Spalding High 2-1.

Dinthill Technical are riding their luck and after being awarded points that got them back in the race in the first round, have won back-to-back games by 1-0 margins and need only a draw to advance to the quarter-finals today.

Rusea's High must take their chances if they are to avoid crashing out in the second round for the second-straight year after a dismal showing at home on Wednesday where they hit the woodwork four times while trailing 0-1.

The 11-time champions who last lifted the trophy two years ago in 2017 will be facing a confident McGrath team that lost just once, to Dinthill Technical after they had clinched zone honours and will hope to create school history today.

Annotto Bay High had their spotless record soiled on Wednesday, but return 'home' against old foe Happy Grove hoping they will be able to turn around the advantage.

Former champions Cornwall College will also be high on confidence when they take on Munro College after giving up a late own goal to settle for a 1-1 draw at St Elizabeth Technical sports complex on Thursday.

Cornwall College thought they had won the game but had a goal called back by referee Kevin Morrison for off-side and will hope playing on their own field today will give them an advantage.

The 12-time champions have not lost at Cornwall College in over 10 years and scored 14 of their 22 first-round goals there, while Munro College have scored more than two goals in a game only once over the last two seasons.

Manning's will feel at home at Frome against an Ocho Rios High team that has been inconsistent all season, winning back-to-back games just once.

Wednesday's game was the second time this season they were held goalless and in the first instance they rebounded with a big win.

William Knibb Memorial are hoping they can extend their season as well after giving up a lead and losing to Petersfield. Now playing 'at home' they hope will give them the lift they need.

Cristojay Daley will be called on to carry the team as he has been doing all season, scoring 15 of their 22 goals all year and will attract special attention from the Petersfield defenders today.

The Alston High vs Anchovy High game is evenly balanced and the inexperience of the St James team playing away from home might tilt the odds against them.

Alston did well to come away with a draw on Thursday but Anchovy's coach Hector Wright would have seen enough of the Manchester school that he could exploit.

Manchester High have a slim lead over St Thomas Technical from Wednesday but will enjoy home advantage today, while Oracabessa will have their work cut out for them to try and overturn a 0-2 deficit against Maggotty High.

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