Tue, Jun

Scarborough Secondary School: 2023 Girls Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Big 5 Champions

Scarborough Secondary put in a dominant performance in the girls' Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Big 5 final on March 5, as they beat East zone champions Five Rivers Secondary by a 6-0 margin at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago to retain their 2022 title.

The Big 5 final was originally scheduled for November 15, 2023, but the students from Five Rivers and Scarborough were almost made to wait four months before they could have one last dance for national supremacy due to several postponements.

Fresh from their participation in the Secondary Schools Track and Field (SSTF) national championship two weeks ago, Scarborough's star pair of J'Eleisha Alexander and Talia Martin both shone brightly in the Big 5 final as the visiting Five Rivers team looked out of their depth in Bacolet. Both Alexander and Martin made their Trinidad and Tobago women's team debuts for coach Richard Hood's squad during the women's Gold Cup qualifying campaign last year, and their quality was just too much for the opposition to handle.

Roughly 68 seconds into the contest, Player-of-the-Match Martin opened her account with a finish from a tight angle after playing a one-two with Alexander in the attacking third.

In the 16th minute, Martin made it 2-0 for Scarborough when she slammed home from close range at the end of an electric solo run which saw her dancing past at least four Five Rivers players after receiving a throw-in on the left flank.

Five Rivers did little to trouble their opposition, and the Big 5 final was a foregone conclusion by the halfway stage as Scarborough stormed out to a comfortable 5-0 lead.

Alexander, the 2022 SSFL MVP, came to life near the half-hour mark when she scored a pair of goals within the space of a minute. In the 30th minute, Alexander saw her long-range free kick deflected into the net by Five Rivers defender Ahmeeda Bowman.

Seconds later, Alexander scored with a deft left-footed volley after Martin breached the opposition defence with a searching lofted pass.

With Alexander and Martin having already filled their boots, Scarborough midfielder Kaleah Duke got in on the act to score her school's remaining goals in the one-sided finale.

In the 40th minute, Duke left the Five Rivers goalkeeper clutching at straws with a firm long-range hit that nestled into the bottom corner. And on the hour-mark, Duke displayed her finesse to the Bacolet crowd when she curled a right-footed shot into the top corner after receiving an unselfish pass from a charging Martin.

They were made to wait much longer than expected, but Scarborough Secondary are the girls' Big 5 champions for a second straight campaign.