LAST TUESDAY’S 2016 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Shell/First-Citizens sponsored Girls Intercol and the Coca Cola Boys Intercol finals, saw the teams from the East emerging victorious over their opposition from the Southland, as celebrations rocked the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.
Both St Augustine Secondary and San Juan North Secondary lifted their respective titles over their opponents, Fyzabad Secondary and Presentation San Fernando, and while celebrations were taking place, the stadium shook to the magnitude of an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale.
It was a tale of sweet revenge for the East as both camps explained the experiences they went through to get thus far, and the extra push that was needed to claim the title.
St Augustine defeated Fyzabad 3-2 as they went on to lift the trophy and started the ball rolling for the sides representing the East.
Speaking to Newsday after the victory, Sharmila Labban, manager of the St Augustine Girls said, “(Tuesday) was a challenge for the girls as they lost to Fyzabad before and they went in as underdogs.
But they fought hard and deserved the victory.” She explained that the success came because they worked as a collective unit. “The strikers were on point and they defended well.
The whole team gelled and this success belongs to all of them.” St Augustine’s centre-back and captain, Shalisha King, led the team to what would be her third title with the college.
“It was a wonderful experience to win back the title this year, after winning it back-to-back in 2012, and we played well as a team. Our heads did not drop even after conceding the equaliser and the girls continued to play hard and fight till the end.”
A similar story took place in the latter game of the double header, as Presentation San Fernando players were left frustrated on the rocking turf as San Juan prevented them from lifting the trophy in front of the home fans.
Jerry Moe, coach of San Juan North, stated the reason his side emerged victorious on the day. “It went well and we wanted to win as it was shown by the determination of the players. The team defended well and attacked when was necessary.
Football is about scoring one more goal than your opponent and they did just that and defended it till the final whistle.” Kyle Thomas, stand-in captain and Man of the Match stated, “since we got licks in the league, we said to ourselves that we not taking all that licks again so we set out to win all the remaining titles.”
Coach of Fyzabad, Chris Bailey, congratulated his opposing team on their victory as he was sent back to the drawing board for the second time, in a final, this season.
“They (St Augustine) did their research and homework, and it showed in the game that they wanted it more. We knew they would come out fighting and the loss of our main striker in the first minute of the game also forced an early sub and adjustments to the side.”
In the second match, Presentation College squandered a number of chances before conceding the only goal of the game on the brink of half time.
Shawn Cooper, Presentation San Fernando coach, also viewed the result from this vantage point as he explained, “we did not score our opportunities and their (San Juan) game plan worked as they scored one goal and held on to it.
It just was not for us (on Tuesday) because ours didn’t work on the field.”