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daCosta Cup gets rolling

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  • daCosta Cup gets rolling

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=1 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD><SPAN class=Subheadline></SPAN></TD></TR><TR><TD>PAUL REID, Observer writer
    Thursday, July 27, 2006
    </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><P class=StoryText align=justify>First time semi-finalists, Mannings High School will be the first opponents for defending ISSA/Pepsi daCosta Cup champions, Godfrey Stewart High, when the season opens on 9 September at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay.<P class=StoryText align=justify>The two schools, a mere metres apart in the Westmoreland capital, have developed a rivalry over the past three seasons and have helped to continue the good run by schools from that parish in the daCosta Cup after Frome Technical won the parish's first title in 2003.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Mannings, which is coached by Hopeton Gilchrist and former Reggae Boys goalkeeper, Aaron Lawrence, made it to the last four of the competition for the first time in their history last season, while Godfrey Stewart made it back-to-back for Westmoreland when they took home the title.<P class=StoryText align=justify>It took an extra-time goal to give 2004 champions, Glenmuir High, a win over the confident Mannings team in last season's semi-finals as they rallied twice.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Each team has managed just one win against the other in their last six meetings and the last four games have ended in draws.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Meanwhile, Manning Cup and Olivier Shield champions, Calabar, will take on former champions St George's College in the opening game while there are plans for a third game involving one of the Montego Bay schools on the opening day.<P class=StoryText align=justify>George Forbes, ISSA's competitions officer told the Observer West on Tuesday that they were in the last stages of finalising the fixtures and the final draft soon to be announced.<P class=StoryText align=justify>One of the delays in the fixtures, Forbes said, was the withdrawal of Montpelier College who were expected to make their debut this season.<P class=StoryText align=justify>As a result of Montpelier's pulling out, there might be changes to zones B and C, according to daCosta Cup chairman, Dr Walton Small of Anchovy High. Dr Small told the Observer West that his school that is placed in zone A may be moved to zone C to make up for the shortfall.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Montpelier, which took part in the recently concluded ISSA girls' competition, was to have been one of two new schools to take part in the competition.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Irwin High will not take part this year, neither will Merlene Ottey High.<P class=StoryText align=justify>With the non-participation of some schools from the St
    Elizabeth zone, Black River High will return to zone E after competing against Westmoreland teams in zone C for the past three seasons.<P class=StoryText align=justify>ISSA has sought to limit the number of schools per zone to eight in the past few years and a number of schools have played 'out of their parish' after being placed in zones with less teams.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Some 72 schools have been declared to take part in the competition and the zones and changes were announced at the annual planning meeting held at Manchester High School late last month.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Four schools that did not take part last year - including Maude McLeod High and Green Island - will return, while at least three western schools who missed the deadline will not be allowed to take part. Among them are Albert Town High from South Trelawny and Balaclava High from St Elizabeth.<P class=StoryText align=justify>All the schools were given until the end of May to signal their interest as plans were already in high gear for the kit manufacturers to go ahead with the orders for both daCosta and Manning Cup competitions.<P class=StoryText align=justify>Locker Room Sports will supply all the teams taking part in both competitions this year after beating
    "Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance." ~ Kahlil Gibran