Sports

STETHS, Garvey Maceo vie for Ben Francis final spot

...Manchester, BB Coke meet in other KO semi

PAUL A REID
Observer writer

Thursday, November 14, 2019

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FORMER champions St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) and Garvey Maceo High will meet in one semi-final of the ISSA Ben Francis Knockout (KO) at Juici Field today, while Manchester High and BB Coke High will meet in the other at the same venue.

STETHS won all their six KO titles between 2010 and 2015, while Garvey Maceo's lone hold on the title came in 2007. Neither Manchester High or BB Coke have lifted a senior football title in their history.

BB Coke are newcomers at this level, engaged in their first semi-finals of a senior football competition. Manchester High have made it as far as the final before, but lost to STETHS.

Despite the reduction in the importance of the Ben Francis KO — only teams that have lost the opportunity to vie for the more prestigious daCosta Cup can compete for it — it is expected that these four schools will be going all out in their quest to add a title after a long season.

On paper, Garvey Maceo are seen as favourites, getting by Port Antonio High 2-1 in the first round played last week. STETHS came from behind to tie up 1-1 against Manning's School before winning on penalties. Manchester beat a tough Frome Technical team 2-1, while BB Coke edged Anchovy High 1-0 in a matchup of two teams playing in this competition for the first time.

All four teams have had a week's rest and so should be ready to go full tilt as they seek a place in the final set for Thursday, November 21.

Garvey Maceo just missed getting to the semi-final of the daCosta Cup after coming from behind twice to beat Manchester High in Mandeville and are on a three-game winning run.

Gregory Cousins has been the target man for Garvey Maceo this season, and along with Barrington Blake and Tyreke Henry, will carry the fight to the STETHS defence today.

STETHS promised much at the start of the competition before hitting a big hurdle at the quarter-final stage. They finished third in their group, only after beating McGrath High to extend their season and stay in contention for the KO title.

Manchester High and BB Coke are familiar foes, having met twice already in the season, and splitting wins.

Manchester High had a big 5-0 win over BB Coke in their opening first-round game, and led 2-0 early in the return leg, before BB Coke staged a big comeback to win 4-2.

Today's games

1:00 pm Manchester vs BB Coke @ Juici Field

3:00 pm — St Elizabeth Technical vs Garvey Maceo @ Juici Field


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