In­tense bat­tles for Man­ning Cup sec­ond-stage spots

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Marc Stamp Gleaner Writer

Ex­cel­sior High’s Thorne Buchanan (left) re­acts un­der a chal­lenge from Cal­abar’s Devaughn Gordon in their ISSA/FLOW Man­ning Cup last sea­son. WITH THE ISSA/FLOW Man­ning Cup com­pe­ti­tion pre­lim­i­nary stage near­ing com­ple­tion, there are still a few things left to be set­tled, with a num­ber of in­tense bat­tles for the re­main­ing spots in the sec­ond stage on the card.

Six­teen teams, com­pris­ing the seven group win­ners and run­ners-up, as well as the two best third-place fin­ish­ers, will qual­ify for the sec­ond stage, which is set to start on Oc­to­ber 24.

They will be di­vided into four groups con­sist­ing of four teams each, with the group win­ners ad­vanc­ing to the semi-fi­nals.

Now, it is down to the wire for the nine re­main­ing spots, which could be de­cided after today’s games spread across the Cor­po­rate Area and St Cather­ine.

Reign­ing cham­pi­ons Ja­maica Col­lege are among seven teams al­ready cer­tain of spots in the sec­ond stage. The oth­ers are Kingston Col­lege and Den­ham Town High; from Group C; Holy Trin­ity High and Charlie Smith High from Group E; as well as Wolmer’s and Cam­per­down High from Group F.

Haile Se­lassie High are look­ing for a win against St Cather­ine High in this af­ter­noon’s game at Bar­bican Com­plex set to start at 3:30 p.m.

The Ge­of­frey Maxwell – coached Haile Se­lassie is in pole po­si­tion in Group D on 21 points from eight games, while St Cather­ine, who are un­der the guid­ance of An­thony Pa­trick, are cur­rently on 17 points in third po­si­tion be­hind Jonathan Den­ham Town’s Shane Pryce (left) heads the ball away from Nor­man Man­ley High School’s Ja­vian Bryan in their ISSA/FLOW Man­ning Cup en­counter at the Ed­ward Seaga play­field re­cently. Den­ham Town won 1-0. Vaux­hall vs Ja­maica Col­lege Greater Port­more vs St Ge­orge’s Col­lege Ex­cel­sior vs Tivoli Gar­dens Nor­man Man­ley vs Kingston Col­lege Den­ham Town vs Pap­ine As­cot vs St Mary’s Col­lege Ar­denne vs Mead­ow­brook Jonathan Grant vs Pem­broke Hall Haile Se­lassie vs St Cather­ine Kingston Tech­ni­cal vs Wolmer’s Dunoon vs Cam­per­down Jose Marti vs Edith Dal­ton James St Jago vs Cum­ber­land Cam­pion Col­lege vs Bridge­port Cal­abar vs Hy­del Clan Carthy vs Holy Trin­ity Water­ford vs Mona (Home teams are named first and all games kick-off at 3:30 p.m.)

Grant High (19).

That means, St Cather­ine will have to gain max­i­mum points to re­main in con­tention for an au­to­matic spot.

EX­CEL­SIOR ATOP GROUP A

In Group A, Ex­cel­sior High are on top on 16 points, ahead of St Ge­orge’s Col­lege (15) after Fri­day’s ex­cit­ing 1-0 win, with Greater Port­more (13) next best.

Greater Port­more must win against many-time cham­pi­ons St Ge­orge’s Col­lege to have a chance of mak­ing the sec­ond stage.

Ex­cel­sior are ex­pected to get the bet­ter of lowly Tivoli Gar­dens and main­tain the lead.

In Group G, Bridge­port are on top on 20 points, ahead of St Jago High (16), Hy­del (15), and Cal­abar (15) as the teams in con­tention.

Bridge­port should con­tinue their im­pres­sive run when they play away to Cam­pion Col­lege. St Jago are ex­pected to get the bet­ter of Cum­ber­land, while it’s any­one’s guess in the Hy­delCal­abar game.

RI­CARDO MAKYN/STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

RI­CARDO MAKYN/STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

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