A disciplined but dogged display from Queen's Royal College (QRC) guided them to their second win in the Premier Division of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) on Wednesday, beating St Augustine Secondary 3-1 at their home Ground in St Clair, Port-of-Spain.
A worried QRC coach Nigel Grovesnor, before the match, said his major concern was the extreme talent of former St Mary's College winger Tyrese Spicer, who made the move to the 'Green Machine', as St Augustine is commonly called, with his father Trevor Spicer, who was an assistant coach at CIC last year.
However, his fears were dispelled after the opening 10 minutes as Spicer's surging runs down the flanks were hampered by disciplined defensive work which was quickly converted into attacks.
But Spicer did get the opportunity to put his team in the lead from a nicely threaded ball through the Royalians defence on the right side in the 7th minute, but on his unfavoured right foot, he hit a weak shot that did not trouble Jumaane Mc Neil in the QRC goal.
Later the Royalians were lifted by a goal from Nathaniel James in the 12th minute that gave them an early sight of three points. The diminutive striker was fed a ball from the centre of the park, and after a moment of trickery, he unleashed a powerful grounder that seeped below the grasp of Ajahri Murrien in the St Augustine goal.
However, the cheers of the QRC supporters subsided following another build-up from the left side in the 19th minute. This time Spicer centred from the left, and Kerry Headley's stinging drive was parried into the path of Jardel John to fired into an empty net.
St Augustine should have taken advantage in the 22nd minutes. Murrien was forced into a save from a Rivaldo Patron's long-range effort, which bounced nicely for John, but he drove it against the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.
But this only appeared to have angered a battling QRC, who fired in two more goals in the half for a 3-1 advantage at the interval.
James on another of his troubling runs in the 24th minute was hacked down inside the box causing the referee to point to the penalty spot. And Jude-Anthony John calmly slotted in the spot-kick despite the acrobatics of the St Augustine custodian.
Four minutes later, Miguel Cross, who combined to create a troubling duo with James all afternoon long, headed home from a cross from a free-kick by Johnson before the break for a 3-1 lead.
Afterwards, both teams continued to trade punches, but the home team looked the more likely to score, particularly when Jahiem Granderson picked up the ball unmarked in the 54th minute, but his rasping drive was somehow pushed wide by Murrien.
St Augustine thought they should have scored when a through ball found the skilful Spicer, who turned past his marker in the 78th minute, but his telling drive was pushed wide by Mc Neil.
And they came even closer five minutes from the end, as Spicer drove down the right side and delivered for an unmarked Kyle Carrington, who blazed over a gaping goal.
James though, almost had the last say in the match, when he raced down the left flank but his low shot just whisked the upright.
Meanwhile, reigning champion team Naparima College, despite dropping two points in its last match against East Mucurapo, maintained its unbeaten run with a 3-0 drubbing of rivals St Benedict's at at the school's Lewis Street, San Fernando home, while in the sister isle of Tobago, the home side Speyside High recorded its first win of the league, coming away with a 2-1 victory over San Juan North.
Kern Mc Donald sparked wild celebrations with his opening goal in the 15th minute before Nicholas Sanchez sealed the win in the second half. San Juan, the 2018 National Intercol runner-up, got a lone goal from Salah Chase.
Across in southern Trinidad, Trinity College Moka also came from behind to bag all three points away to Pleasantville Secondary.
And at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella, St Mary's continued its losing streak going down 3-0 to Presentation College of San Fernando.
Queen’s Royal College 3 (Nathaniel James 13, Jude Anthony Johnson 24, Miguel Cross 29) vs St Augustine Secondary 1 (Jardel John 20)
Trinity Moka 2 (Teneson Tezera 47th, Joshua Wilson 83rd) vs Pleasantville 1 (Theon Marcano 25th)
Presentation College 3 vs CIC 0
Speyside 2 (Kern Mc Donald 15, Nicholas Sanchez 62) vs San Juan 1 (Salah Chase 65)
Carapichaima 1 vs East Mucurapo 1
Naparima 3 vs St Benedict's 0
Trinity College East v Malick Secondary (did not play);
St Anthony’s College are on a bye
1. Naparima College*3*2*1*0*8*2*6*7
2. Malick Secondary*2*2*0*0*7*1*6*6
3. Presentation College*3*2*0*1*10*2*8*6
4. Queen’s Royal College*3*2*0*1*7*9*-2*6
5. East Mucurapo Secondary*3*1*2*0*7*3*4*5
6. Trinity College East*2*1*1*0*4*3*1*4
7. St Anthony’s College*2*1*1*0*8*2*6*4
8. Carapichaima East Secondary*2*1*1*0*3*2*1*4
9. Pleasantville Secondary*3*1*0*2*4*6*-2*3
10. St. Benedict’s College*3*1*0*2*5*7*-2*3
11. Speyside High*3*1*0*2*3*13*-10*3
12. Trinity College MOKA*3*1*0*2*3*9*-6*3
13. St. Augustine Secondary*3*0*2*1*4*6*-2*2
14. San Juan North Secondary*2*0*0*2*1*3*-2*0
15. St. Mary’s College*3*0*0*3*2*10*-8*0