Five former champions join Ben Francis KO hunt
Paul Bogle High's Ronaldo Perry (second left) battles Cornwall College's Darnel Brissett in their ISSA daCosta Cup Round of 16 game at Cornwall Collège two weeks ago. The game ended 2-2 as both teams were eliminated and will start their Ben Francis KO competition today. (Photo: Paul Reid)

DRAX HALL, St Ann — Five former champions will be part of the hunt for the ISSA Ben Francis Knockout that gets underway today with four games.

Those matchups include Glenmuir High against Paul Bogle High and York Castle against St Elizabeth Technical High (STETHS).

Last season's daCosta Cup champions, Garvey Maceo, Rusea's High, Cornwall College and St Elizabeth Technical, will be among the teams that will be seeking to make amends after missing out on the daCosta Cup.

Up to recently teams could win the 'Rural Area double', that is the daCosta Cup and Ben Francis KO but since the start of the All-island Knock out, both the Ben Francis and its Corporate Area equal, the Walker Cup, has diminished somewhat in value to some as only teams that cannot win the main title, vie for the KO titles.

In response, ISSA has pointed to the fact that more teams have chances of winning a title and the last three winners — Charlemont High, BB Coke and Edwin Allen High as well as 2016 champions Lennon High — were winning their first senior football title.

The eight teams in today's first round should be well rested after they failed to get out of the round of 16 two weeks ago and if the teams show up with the intention to compete, there could be a few good games.

The winners of today's games will be joined by the four teams that failed to advance to the semi-finals after finishing outside of the top two in the two quarter-final groups.

Garvey Maceo will be seeking redemption after failing to get past the round of 16 stage, finishing at the bottom of their group with one goal scored and faces a Cornwall College team that just failed to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Garvey Maceo, who were unbeaten in the daCosta Cup last season and were unbeaten until they got to the round of 16 where they seem to hit a wall, will seek to get another chance at winning a title.

Cornwall College walked a tight rope all season and managed to escape elimination on two occasions but their luck ran out after leading Paul Bogle 2-0 at home in a round-of-16 game they needed to win but ended up with a 2-2 draw and will seek to add to their seven Ben Francis KO titles.

Christiana High will be at Rusea's High in a game that could go any way while York Castle hosts STETHS at Drax Hall in a game that should produce some goals.

Glenmuir High had looked well set to challenge for the daCosta Cup but just missed progression past the round of 16, edged out on goal-difference by Edwin Allen and could take out their frustrations on Paul Bogle High.

Today's games

Cornwall College vs Garvey Maceo @ Garvey Maceo

Glenmuir vs Paul Bogle @ York Oval

York Castle vs STETHS @ Drax Hall

Christiana vs Rusea's High @ Colin Miller Sports Complex

*All games start at 3:00 pm

— Paul Reid

Paul Reid

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