Champs Clarendon College, STETHS in mega clash
SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — Defending champions Clarendon College and St Elizabeth Technical High (STETHS) will clash in the second game of an ISSA/WATA daCosta Cup Round of 16 double-header at St Elizabeth Technical Sports Complex, as the race for places in the quarter-finals heats up.
Clarendon College and STETHS are among six teams that will be seeking back-to-back wins in the round of 16 to improve their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals set to start next week.
BB Coke High and Manchester High, who will meet in the first game of the double-header in Santa Cruz, were also winners on Saturday, as well as Christiana High and Frome Technical.
The top two teams from each of the four groups will qualify for the daCosta Cup quarter-finals, with the teams that fail to move on going on to the first round of the Ben Francis KO.
The game between STETHS and Clarendon College, their first meeting in the daCosta Cup in several years, will attract the most attention but there are other games that could be as intriguing.
STETHS are coming off a hard-fought battle against Cornwall College, winning 3-2, and are going up against a Clarendon College team that has won all 11 games and conceded just two goals all season.
STETHS have won their last three games — including their home and away second-round games against Irwin High — and will hope to put their first dent in Clarendon College’s armour today.
Clarendon College have been cruising all season but could be pushed hard by a STETHS team hungry for a title, having gone eight years since they won the daCosta Cup/Ben Francis double.
Manchester High will also put their perfect record on the line today, against a BB Coke team that had punched above their weight limit this season.
BB Coke will be looking to end a perfect record in back-to-back games after handing Happy Grove High their first loss of the season on Saturday, coming back from a 2-1 deficit to win 3-2.
Manchester High are overdue for a senior football title, having only a Ben Francis KO final to show, and have been scoring freely all season with 60 goals scored so far.
Christiana High outscored William Knibb Memorial 3-2 on Saturday and will take on a Dinthill Technical team that were held 0-0 at home by McGrath High, ending their perfect run.
The odds are for Dinthill Technical to rebound with a win and keep their quarter-final hopes alive, but they will have to work hard for anything they are to get.
Garvey Maceo High fell at this stage last season, and after being held to a draw on Saturday they will be eager to get three points but face a Frome Technical team that knows how to get results.
Frome Technical carved out a 1-0 win over Port Antonio High on Saturday after getting past Vere Technical in the second round, but they will be on the road for the second-straight game in the round.
Glenmuir High, who drew their game on Saturday, will also hope for a win today and will be at home to Port Antonio High where they will start favourites.
Cornwall College will consider themselves unlucky on Saturday as playing with 10 men from the first half, they rallied twice against STETHS but lost to a late goal.
Today they face a Mile Gully team that were competitive against Clarendon College on Saturday, and will be without influential player Matthew Wilson who got the team’s first red card of the season on Saturday.
They will also hope striker Lincoln Cox will be fit to play after he managed only eight minutes on Saturday.
McGrath High will hope to build on their draw against Dinthill when they take on William Knibb at Drax Hall while Happy Grove and Tacky High will meet at Carder Park.