Presentation College (San Fernando) succumbed to its first defeat of the season in the Premiership Division of the Secondary Schools Football League yesterday, going down 1-3 to arch-rivals Naparima College at Lewis Street, San Fernando. But 'Pres' as the school is commonly called, still maintained the lead on the 15-team standings with 29 points.
Team manager Andre Benjamin said his team's fate still lies in its own hands, as the school need to win its two remaining matches against St Anthony's College and San Juan North Secondary to retain the title it won last year.
"Kudos to Naparima, they wanted it more than us on the day, but we will be taking our remaining matches one game at a time. In our next game against St Anthony's we have to step it up a notch to ensure maximum points," Benjamin explained.
Presentation drew first blood when the team's prolific striker Jordan Riley scored the opening goal from the penalty spot in the 17th minute to put the host ahead. The visitors lost key central defender Justin Cornwall early in the second half, for his second bookable offence, which left the team vulnerable thereafter. With a man down Naps equalised soon after from Daquon Foster, before Issa Bramble and Seon Shipley sealed the win with item late in the half, taking them one point behind the leaders.
Afterwards, Angus Eve, the Naps coach said he would like to see St Anthony's and San Juan North play Pres with the same fight and quality as they displayed against his team. "I know they both have the tools to play well against Presentation, but the question is if they would produce the goods on the day," said Eve.
The former national midfielder and coach believes in spite of his team's triumph yesterday, Pres still has the title to win, saying it is theirs to lose. "The most we can do now is maintain the pressure on the leaders and hope that if they slip up we will be waiting to capitalize," Eve concluded.
Meanwhile, third place San Juan North also dropped two valuable points in a 1-1 tie with St Anthony's at West moorings which took them to 26 points, but Queen's Royal College (QRC) maintained their seventh position by edging Fatima 1-0, courtesy a late Darlon Guppy strike.
Naparima College (4-2-3-1): 1.Levi Fernandez (GK); 5.Daquon Foster, 4.Tyrike Andrews, 12.Christopher Asukile, 15.Marvin Waldrop; 6.Shoaib Khan, 17. Nathaniel Perouse; 19.Isa Bramble (11.Kern Cedeno), 10.Decklan Marcelle, 8.Kodel Frontin (captain) (9.Ezekiel Kesar); 20.Seon Shippley (24.Jabari Lee).
Unused Substitutes: 30.Enrique Changiah (GK), 3.Chakim Guy, 14.Molik Khan, 18.Caleb Gaspar.
Coach: Angus Eve
Presentation College (San F’do) (4-3-3): 28.Jabari Gray (GK) (captain); 3.Juaval Roberts, 18.Nkosi Chance, 27.Darnell Hospedales, 2.Zion Allen; 5.Justin Cornwall,15.Aleem Barclay,6.Ackeel Jacob; 10.Jordan Riley (29.Jardel Sinclair), 7.Omri Baird (20.Shakeem Julien), 9.Jaiye Sheppard (24.Adica Ash).
Unused Substitutes: 1.Isaiah Williams (GK), 13.Markus Mason, 19.Terrell Noel, 22.Amaal Julien, 23.Christoph John.
Coach: Shawn Cooper
Naps 3 (Daquon Foster 51', Isa Bramble 65', Seon Shippley 69') vs Pres 1 (Jordan Riley 14')
QRC 1 (Darlon Guppy) vs Fatima 0
St Anthony's 1 (Kiron Manswell 40') vs San Juan 1 Renaldo Boyce 28')
St Benedict's 1 (Aaron Rodney 60') vs Carapichaima 1 (Kevon Williams 90')
St Mary's 2 (Nanton Gabriel 10', Tyrese Spicer 42') vs East Mucurapo 4 (Jaheim Patrick 8', Zion Mc Leod 30', David Daniel 63', Kidane Lewis 69')
Trinity Moka 3 (Temesgn Tezera , Kai Phillip) vs St Augustine 3 (Jelani Augustus 22, Kesean St Rose 23, Rivaldo Coryat 49)
Trinity East 2 (Daniel Lake 22, Jarved Elcock 46) vs Valencia 2 (Andre Robinson 13, Zidan Liverpool 43)
SOURCE: T&T Guardian