Race is on!


Race is on!

Three teams to join STATHS in Manning Cup semis

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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The four semi-finalists for the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Digicel Manning Cup will be known today, as six schools fight for three spots in four intriguing games to be played at two venues.

At the Stadium East facility, St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) tackle Jamaica College (JC) at 2:00 pm, before Kingston College (KC) play Camperdown High at 4:00 pm.

At JC's Ashenheim Stadium, St George's College (STGC) take on Excelsior High at 2:00 pm, then Wolmer's Boys' oppose Charlie Smith High at 4:00 pm.

STATHS are the only school to have already booked their spot from Group H, having won their first two games while racing to an unassailable six points. JC are second with two points, while STGC and Excelsior High are on one point apiece.

In Group G, KC and Wolmer's are on four points, with Camperdown sitting in the catbird's seat with three points, while Charlie Smith, the only team out of contention, are pointless after two games.

With STATHS already through, the pressure is certainly on former champions JC and STGC to deliver, as one of them will be going home, while the lesser fancied Excelsior could sneak through the side door and surprise both.

JC, the most successful school with 29 titles, have their destiny in their own hands. They just need to beat STATHS to book their spot regardless of what transpires in the other group game between St George's and Excelsior.

The Davion Ferguson-coached JC can also afford to lose by a one-goal margin and still advance on goal difference, if both STGC and Excelsior play to a draw. JC have goal difference of zero compared to a (-2) for the “Light Blues” and (-4) for Excelsior.

Still, JC's task remains a difficult one, as they have to beat a tough STATHS team to be safe, as a draw could see them being eliminated, if either STGC or Excelsior win.

That said, both STGC and Excelsior, will be hoping to win their game and pray that JC does not.

KC, who lead Group G, just need to avoid defeat against Camperdown High to book their fourth-straight semi-final berth.

Camperdown, on the other hand, will be hoping to avenge last year, when they only needed a draw, but lost 0-2 to KC who advanced at their expense. The positions are reversed with Camperdown now in a must-win situation.

However, KC with a (+5) goal difference could still lose and advance, but only if Charlie Smith, with nothing to play for but pride, upset the applecart and beat Wolmer's Boys, who have a (+1) goal difference.

As it stands, both KC, Wolmer's Boys and Camperdown have their destiny in their own hands. A draw is good enough for both KC and Wolmer's, while if Camperdown, who have a (+3) goal difference draw, Wolmer's Boys must lose for them to advance.

The stage is set for four epic matches across two zones at the end of which, three teams will be celebrating, while there will be weeping and mourning for others.

—Howard Walker

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