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November 16, 2012
Star Sport


Manchester's final shot
Richard Bryan, Star Writer

Sheldon Davis

Manchester High, the lone hope for the parish of Manchester to get to the daCosta Cup semi-finals, will look to their imposing record at Kirkvine Sports Club to save their campaign, when they take on Clarendon's best, Glenmuir High, tomorrow.

The team will have another game at Kirkvine next Wednesday, but it may be academic. Having lost to Frome, who will travel to Dinthill to play Bog Walk, defeat or a draw will spell the end of Manchester's campaign, again igniting doubts the parish will ever have a daCosta Cup winner.

Manchester High have been to both the daCosta Cup and Ben Francis finals within the last three years, and were Ben Francis semi-finalists this season. With Glenmuir hammering Bog Walk at Brancourt, 6-0, it means Manchester will have to bring much of the fight to the game. It's a back-to-the wall situation, one which coach Sheldon Davis says his team still relishes.

"This is the most important game of the season," he told Star Sports late yesterday.

down but not out

"The team has realised what has happened, in that they have put themselves in a situation where they have to dig themselves out. They are pumped up, so we are down but not out."

Any fear of playing Glenmuir has been countered by the fact that in five matches to date at Kirkvine this season, Manchester have not lost. The games involved two penalty battles against Spalding and Clarendon College, a tough draw against Munro, and regulation time wins against Christiana and Bellefield in the preliminary rounds.

"We have a good record there, so I know the boys will be confident," Davis said.

Glenmuir's coach Jackie Walters holds so many cards that even defeat may not hurt his team's semi-final chances as they would simply need to defeat Frome in the final game to book a semi-final spot. Aware of Manchester's position, he expects a close fight, and is not taking anything from the 3-1 win when the two last met in the preseason.

"We had beaten them 3-1, but they were tired as they had played a number of games that day, so I am expecting a very competitive game. We will, of course, do our best and let the chips fall where they may."

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