D’Cup Kicks Off!

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After a truncated season last year, and a further 2-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the island’s number one schoolboy football event, the much anticipated Inter-Secondary Sports Association (ISSA) rural area da’Costa takes centre stage, making a grand return to the sporting calendar with kick-off this Saturday starting at 2:30 p.m. Digicel has renewed sponsorship of the competition to the tune of $ 84 million.

Cornwall College, the winningest team with a staggering 12 titles overall, headlines the 22 western schools, including five former champions, down to participate in this year’s grand event expected to run until December 17, when the champion will be crowned.

An overall 81 schools are down to participate in this year’s DaCosta Cup with the Western teams to contest zones ‘A’ through to ‘D’. and Cornwall College, Irwin, High, Green Pond High, St. James High, Maldon and Anchovy High are the teams in Zone ‘A’ while Green Island, Merlene Ottey, Hopewell High, Frome Technical and 11-time winners Rusea’s make up Zone ‘B’.

Zone ‘C’ comprises of Cedric Titus, Spot Valley Herbert Morrison Technical High, Muschett and William Knibb while Godfrey Stewart, Manning’s, Petersfield, Black River High, Belmont Academy and Grange Hill make up Zone ‘D’.

Zone ‘D’ will be lively on opening day with 2005 champions Godfrey Stewart away to Black River at Black River High while at the Belle Isle Community Centre, Manning’s and Grange Hill face off and at Sandals Whitehouse, Belmount Academy and Petersfield collide.

Thirteen other matches will also be played by including the defending champions Garvey Maceo opening the defence of their crown against Kemps Hill in a Zone ‘N’ match-up. Zone ‘B’, comes into focus on Monday with two matches, Hopewell High entertaining Green Island at the Orchard Sports Complex and Rusea’s at home to Merlene Ottey at the Collin Miller Complex. Both games get underway at 3:30 p.m.

The top two teams from each zone and the two best third-placed teams will qualify for the second round of the competition (round of 32), with teams to be seeded to compete in a home and away tie.

The sixteen winners on aggregate will then advance to the round of sixteen (16) with 4 zones of four teams. The first and second-placed teams from each zone (8) will advance to the quarter-final, with 2 zones of 4 teams.

Teams through to the quarter-final round will be allocated additional ranking points, such as defending champions, runner’s up, third and fourth place and quarter-finalists. Teams will receive a high of 5 points, with all quarter-finalists from last year each having a point.

The 8 teams that did not advance from their round of 16 in the DaCosta Cup will play in the opening round of the Ben Francis Cup knockout competition. The top four seeded teams from the da’Costa Cup and the Manning Cup will challenge the ISSA President’s Cup.

The pools from which the best third placed teams will come are POOL-1 which comprises zones A, B, C, D, F, I, J and M and POOL – 2 -Zones E, G, H, K, L and N.

The season, launched in late August, gets underway on Saturday, September 10, with a triple header at Sabina Park, the first time in over 20 years the competition failed to kick off in the second city of Montego Bay. Garvey Maceo is the defending champion with Manning’s, the beaten finalist.