Groups Three, Four appear strong on paper

Sunday, October 22, 2017

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MONTGEO BAY, St James — On paper, Groups Three and Four in the quarter-finals of the ISSA/FLOW daCosta Cup schoolboy football competition could be termed 'Groups of Death' with strong teams bidding for spots in the semi-finals.

Two teams in each of the four groups will earn the right to continue playing, but only the winners will stay in the race for the daCosta Cup title as well as the FLOW Super Cup with the second-placed teams playing only for the Ben Francis KO title.

Group Three will be led by Glenmuir High, who are yet to drop a point all season and also includes a tough St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) team who are used to playing at this time of the season, making it to at least one final in the last seven seasons; Holmwood Technical, one of the toughest defensive teams, and Little London High.

Manchester High, who have won all 12 games so far, and Dinthill Technical, both of whom have combined to score more than 120 goals all year, headline Group Four that also sees a competent Central High and a Frome Technical led by an astute Aaron Lawrence.

Three former champions — Clarendon College, St James High and a revitalised Garvey Maceo — as well as a potentially dangerous Spot Valley High will battle out in Group One.

Defending champions Cornwall College and long-time rivals Rusea's High, the two most successful daCosta Cup teams ever with a combined 22 holds on the title, lead Group Two that also has Ben Francis KO champions Lennon High and St Mary Technical.

This season the organisers of the competition, the daCosta Cup Committee of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA), introduced a somewhat controversial ranking points to seed teams for the second round.

Among the various methods that teams could earn bonus points from for ranking purposes was 'ranked zones', that is zones that historically proved to be stronger than the others.

The four zones that were ranked this year and where the winners earned an additional point were A, E, F and H and this season only A and E have lived up to expectations with both qualifiers still in contention in the last 16.

Cornwall College and St James High from Zone A are still playing as well as Clarendon College and Lennon High from Zone H, while only the winners of Zone E, STETHS and Zone F, Manchester High are still playing.

– Paul Reid

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