JC begin hunt for sixth-straight Manning Cup title

Saturday, September 08, 2018

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All-island champions Jamaica College (JC) start the defence of their Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/Digicel Manning Cup title when they tackle Hydel High at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Catherine Hall today at 3:30 pm.

There will be seven games in the ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup across three groups, with the JC versus Hydel encounter the only one from Group F.

In Group C, Meadowbrook High host Charlie Smith; Norman Manley High travel to Jonathan Grant High and Eltham High host Camperdown High.

Former champions Wolmer's Boys' take on Jose Marti High in Group G, while Waterford High battle Holy Trinity High and Edith Dalton James High face Pembroke Hall High.

The opening ceremony will also be held in St James where Rusea's High start the defence of their ISSA/Wata daCosta Cup title against Green Island High at 6:00 pm.

JC have won the last five Manning Cups and are favourites once again to make it six- straight triumphs, although they are expected to receive stiff competition from the likes of last year's runner-up St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS); Super Cup champion Kingston College; former champions St George's College, Wolmer's Boys and Excelsior High.

The rich and exciting Super Cup knockout has been replaced by the newly named Champions Cup and the corporate area Walker Cup knockout will now be contested among the runner-up second-round teams in the Manning Cup.

However, the format of the Manning Cup, which was changed in 2017, remained the same with teams being seeded from last year's positions and given ranking points to start the competition.

Defending champion JC are allocated five points with second-placed STATHS starting on four points. Third-placed Holy Trinity and fourth-placed KC have three and two points, respectively, and the other quarter-finalist Calabar, St George's College, Bridgeport High and St Catherine High, are allocated one point each.

Each team will get one point for a win in the preliminary round and the group winners will collect an additional six points and the runners-up five points. The best third-placed team collects three points.

So entering the second rounds, based on the accumulation of points, the teams will be seeded, with the top ranked team paired against the 16th ranked team and the second against the 15th ranked team.

There will be eight match-ups and no team coming from the same first round group can be paired together. The teams will play two matches, home and away, with the winner determined first by aggregate with the away goal rule in effect.

The eight winners will then be placed into two groups of four with the top four teams advancing to the semi-finals. The Manning Cup final is set for Friday, November 30.

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