TOUGH battle is expected in the knockout stage of the Tuckers Ice Cream Secondary Schools Hockey Championship today at the National Hockey Centre in Suva.
The pool games in the under-16 and U19 boys and girls divisions went on until late yesterday with no clear favourites in each of the grades.
However, Saint Joseph's Secondary School and St Thomas High School maintained a stronghold on the U16 girls' standings when this edition went to press last night.
St Thomas and Marist Brothers High School have been doing well in the U16 boys' grade.
In the U19 girls, Adi Cakobau School and Levuka Public School are on track while Marist Brothers, Natabua High School and St John's College were leading the battle for the semi-final spot in the U19 boys.
Fiji Secondary School's Hockey Association executive Makelesi Mawi said three more pool games would be played this morning before the top four in each grade was determined.
"The competition so far was quite close and this is shown in the results of the games," said Mawi, who is also the Fiji Secondary School's Hockey Association Lautoka branch vice-president.
"We expect a tougher competition in the finals and maybe we will have to resort to sudden death play to determine the winners."
Mawi said after the completion of the secondary schools competition, Suva, Levuka and Lautoka would battle it out in the district finals later today.
Lautoka is the defending champions in the boys and girls grade.
Under 16 Girls
SJSS 4 Ballantine Memorial School 1, Saint Thomas High School 0 Levuka Public School 0, SJSS 3 Natabua 0, Saint John 0 Levuka Public 0, ACS 6 Natabua 0
Under 16 Boys
Levuka Public School 1 Tilak High School 0, Cathedral High School 0 Saint Thomas 4, Marist 0 Tilak 0, Cathedral 1 Saint John 1, Marist 1 Natabua 0
Under 19 Girls
Saint John 0 Natabua High School 0, Adi Cakobau School 2 Swami Vivekananda College 0, SJSS 0 Saint John 0, SVC 2 SSKMC 0, SJSS 1 Natabua 0
Under 19 Boys
Marist 0 Levuka 0, Levuka Public 0 Tilak 0, Gospel 0 Natabua 1, Saint John 1 Gospel 0, Cathedral 1 Gospel, Natabua 1 Gospel 0, Marist 0 SVC 0