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Intriguing match-ups to unfold as DaCosta Cup begins to take shape

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  • Intriguing match-ups to unfold as DaCosta Cup begins to take shape

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=1 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD><SPAN class=TopStory>Intriguing match-ups to unfold as DaCosta Cup begins to take shape</SPAN>
    <SPAN class=Subheadline></SPAN></TD></TR><TR><TD>By PAUL A REID Observer writer
    Saturday, October 07, 2006
    <P class=StoryText align=justify>MONTEGO BAY, St James - The start of the daCosta Cup inter-zone round is still about three weeks away, but already some interesting clashes are being set up.<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=5 width=200 align=left border=0><TBODY><TR><TD></TD></TR><TR><TD><SPAN class=Description>Andre Bernard (left) of St James High and Romaine Thompson of Herbert Morrison Technical are locked in battle for the ball in the first half of their daCosta Cup Zone A game at Jarrett Park on Wednesday. The game ended 1-1. </SPAN></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><P class=StoryText align=justify>Three schools, former champions Frome Technical and Clarendon College and Spalding High have already punched their tickets for the next round, while another seven schools could secure their places today.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Twenty-four schools, the top two on points from each of the 12 zones, will advance to the next round set to kick off on November 1 when for most knowledgeable fans, the 'real daCosta Cup' will start.
    With the exception of a few zones, most of the zones are packed with teams that are more pretenders than contenders and a win against a 'big school' would define their season.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Maldon who have never advanced from Zone A, won their first two games, beating William Knibb and 11-time champions Cornwall College to be an early leader. Since then the South St James school has lost four straight, conceding 12 goals.
    With the inter-zone qualifiers still less than halfway decided and a few battles still to be fought for places, any debate at this early stage would be pure conjecture. However, given what is known about the teams, there are a few mouth-watering match-ups to come.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Among the inter-zone groups that will attract a lot of attention should be groups one and two that will pit the top teams in western Jamaica against those from St Ann, and groups three and four which will see some battle royales from mid-island.<P class=StoryText align=justify>By comparison groups five and six should see teams such as Glenmuir High and Titchfield advancing to the quarter-finals with relative ease.
    On paper, St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS), who last won in 1999, have been the best team in the competition this year and seem on a campaign to atone for what they will view as injustice meted out to them last season.<P class=StoryText align=justify>STETHS were beaten by a Clarendon College team that included two players who had transferred to the school in the middle of the previous season. An investigation by the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) eventually cleared Clarendon.
    STETHS may have to wait until the quarter-finals to get their revenge as both teams appear on course to win their respective zones and will be kept apart, at least for now.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Zone F front-runners DeCarteret College, who up to last season, were a true daCosta Cup minnow, may not be so lucky as they could be drawn in a zone that includes Clarendon College, Holmwood Technical and either Munro College or Black River who are battling for the second spot in Zone E.
    Based on the form they have shown in the first round so far, the Westmoreland teams - Frome, Grange Hill and Petersfield should have the advantage in the inter-zone round.
    Of the three, only Frome have ever advanced past the inter-zone round.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Zone A has been less than spectacular this sea
    Solidarity is not a matter of well wishing, but is sharing the very same fate whether in victory or in death.
    Che Guevara.