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Race for second-round spots intensifies

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Former champions Rusea's High are among five more schools who could book second-round spots in the ISSA/FLOW daCosta Cup football competition today as competition continues with 17 games.

As the race for places intensifies with return games drawing to a close, Port Antonio High need only to avoid a loss away to last-placed Horace Clarke High to take Zone L honours, after they already wrapped up a qualifying spot last week.

Port Antonio lead with 16 points, and a healthy goal difference, and they could still win the zone even in the event of an unlikely loss to a team that has already conceded 18 goals.

Rusea's will advance from Zone B with a win over Knockalva Technical, while Mile Gully can join Manchester High from Zone F. Seaforth High also look set to make progress from Zone O.

An exciting three-way battle is heating up in Zone N with a game between front-runners Central High and Vere Technical.

Central High, who took over the lead on Monday with a 2-0 win over Kemps Hill in a rescheduled game, handed Vere Technical their only loss of the season in the first-round clash. They go to Vere today where the home team will be plotting revenge.

Central High are on 19 points from seven games, followed by Vere Technical on 17 from eight, while Garvey Maceo are next on 14 points from six.

While the leaders will be battling it out today, Garvey Maceo will be away to out-of-contention Kemps Hill, who they edged 1-0 in the first round.

Of note, neither Central nor Garvey Maceo have conceded a goal all season.

Rusea's High, who are on 20 points, have never lost to Knockalva Technical, and after winning 4-1 in the first round, will start overwhelming favourites to add another three points today at home.

The 10-time champions could wrap up Zone B if Green Island fail to beat Cambridge High in their game.

Both Green Island (17 points) and Frome Technical (16 points) — the latter will be home to Hopewell High — are chasing the automatic qualifying spots.

Mile Gully could wrap up second place in Zone F with a win over Belair High at the Mile Gully Community Centre and need only a point against a team that still has a slim chance of advancing.

Mile Gully are on 16 points, five more than Belair, who are coming off a 4-0 victory over deCarteret College in a rescheduled game on Monday. Belair will fancy their chances of an upset win.

Except for a 2-2 draw against Morant Bay on Saturday, Seaforth High have cruised in Zone O and should have no problems against Robert Lightbourne, who are sitting at the foot of the zone.

— Paul A Reid