Five former champions led by two time defending champions St Elizabeth Technical (STETHS) have qualified for the ISSA/Gatorade/Digicel Ben Francis Knock Out competition that gets underway tomorrow with seven first round games.
The winners of the 15 zones in the daCosta Cup competition qualify for the knock-out competition that will see the finals played on October 27 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall.
With the defending champions earning a berth in the first-round, four other former winners, Cornwall College, Frome Technical, Clarendon College and Garvey Maceo will all be seeking a place in the second round.
Cornwall College winners on a record seven occasions between 1991 and 2003 will take on William Knibb Memorial in a match-up of two teams that have missed the competition for the past five seasons.
Cornwall won Zone A on Saturday's final day of the daCosta Cup regular season, beating Maldon High 6-0, to edge St James High on goal difference after both finished on 13 points.
It was the largest margin of victory for Cornwall since beating Irwin high 10-0 in 2005; they beat Muschett High 7-2 that same season; they also beat Green Pond High 5-0 in the 2008 season.
William Knibb were easy winners of Zone C and were the first team to qualify for the Ben Francis KO competition.
Frome Technical, who won in 2006, edged out Rusea's High for the Zone B spot and will face Westmoreland rivals Grange Hill in what is expected to be a close game between schools miles apart in Western Westmoreland.
Three time winners Clarendon College who won Zone H will take on Zone I champions Cedric Titus while Garvey Maceo who won the Ben Francis KO in 2007 takes on first timers Kemps Hill High.
Also Manchester High and Spalding will meet in what should be a highly charged game while high scoring Paul Bogle High will take on Port Antonio High in the other game.
Meanwhile, all but one spot in the daCosta Cup Inter-Zone round has been filled after Saturday's final set of matches in the return round.
The rained out Zone D game between Petersfield and Godfrey Stewart will be rescheduled to decide second place in Zone D as Grange Hill blanked Little London 4-0 to take the zone honours.
Meanwhile, Brimmervale High and Maggotty secured historic 'wild card' spots in the 32 team Inter-zone after finishing third place in their respective groups and with superior average points.
Brimmervale with a 1.8 points topped pool A while Maggotty who upset Munro College 2-1 in Zone E had 1.9 points average to take the spot from Pool and advanced past the first round for the first time since the 1999 season.
Meanwhile, Spot Valley High, Lennon High, York Castle for the first time in 20 years and Tacius Golding all secured places in the Inter-zone round on the last day of regular season.
York Castle and Tacius Golding both advanced by thing margins; York Castle edged Marcus Garvey on goal difference after both finished in 17 points in Zone I while Tacius Golding edged out Central High after both had completed their schedules on 11 points behind winners Kemps Hill in Zone N.
Ben Francis KO first round:
Match 1 Cornwall College vs William Knibb Memorial
Match 2 Frome Technical vs Grange Hill
Match 3 Manchester High vs Spalding High
Match 4 Clarendon College vs Cedric Titus
Match 5 St Mary Technical vs Dinthill Technical
Match 6 Paul Bogle High vs Port Antonio High
Match 7 Garvey Maceo vs Kemps Hill
(Photo: Paul Reid)