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12
Thu, Dec

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It could be a ma­jor toss-up for the sec­ond and third po­si­tions in the Pre­mier Di­vi­sion of the Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League (SS­FL) as the cur­rent sec­ond-place hold­ers Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege (San Fer­nan­do) is on a bye on Sat­ur­day.

The stand­ings at the start of round six of the tour­na­ment sees cur­rent cham­pi­ons of the League, South Zone In­ter­col and Na­tion­al In­ter­col, Na­pari­ma Col­lege in the top spot on 13 points, a po­si­tion that could on­ly be over-tak­en, on goal-dif­fer­ence, by third-place St An­tho­ny's Col­lege (10 points), which faces 12th-place Trin­i­ty Col­lege Mo­ka in Mar­aval.

Na­pari­ma, on the oth­er hand, will be up against sixth-place Pleas­antville Sec­ondary, away. Naps en­ter af­ter a hard-fought 3-2 win against St Au­gus­tine while Pleas­antville will have to build from the bot­tom af­ter a 0-1 loss to Cara­pichaima.

But while the foot­ball pun­dits may pre­dict a vic­to­ry for the 'Tigers' of St An­tho­ny's this af­ter­noon, Mal­ick Sec­ondary, who is des­per­ate to make an im­pact that will keep them in the top-flight tour­na­ment, will have a tricky test away to Cara­pichaima.

Cara­pichaima, known as 'Caps', is one of on­ly three un­beat­en teams in the tour­na­ment to date, and will not be in a mood to spoil their record par­tic­u­lar­ly at home.

on Fri­day, Cara­pichaima man­ag­er Ash­bert Charles said they will not be tak­ing Mal­ick for grant­ed, say­ing "We will play them as we play any oth­er team."

The Caps team has been built on a steady de­fen­sive struc­ture that will be mar­shalled by Na­tion­al un­der-15 cen­tral de­fend­er Jaron Pas­cal, and aid­ed by an equal­ly stur­dy Bran­don St Clair, a play­er who has been with their pro­gramme for the past years and has now ma­tured, Charles said.

Ac­cord­ing to Charles, "With the steadi­ness of their de­fence, it al­lows our at­tack­ing play­ers to ex­press them­selves up­front. What we can­not af­ford to do is drop any points, which will al­low us to keep pace with the lead­ers."

With Mal­ick falling in their last en­counter to low­ly St Mary's Col­lege, the Cara­pichaima back­line could al­so fea­ture an­oth­er strong de­fend­er in Keilon Bur­nette, who can al­so be used in the at­tack, if coach Nicholas Gopaul re­quires.

A win for the Cen­tral team will take them to 11 points, while Mal­ick (6 points) can on­ly move to nine, where they can be chal­lenged by North Zone gi­ants Queen's Roy­al Col­lege (QRC) and Pleas­antville Sec­ondary, both al­so on six points head­ing in­to to­day's round of match­es.

But the Roy­alians, af­ter a long rest pe­ri­od that was made pos­si­ble by the pas­sage of Trop­i­cal Storm Karen, will be fresh at home when they face a bruised San Juan North Sec­ondary, whose lone con­so­la­tion win to date, came from low­ly Trin­i­ty Mo­ka 5-0 on Wednes­day.

The Roy­alians, un­der coach Nigel Groves­nor, how­ev­er, will at­tempt to re­bound from a 1-2 loss to the Tigers, and would need the dan­ger­ous Nathaniel James, Jahiem Grander­son, Miguel Cross and Bri­an Arm­strong to be at their best.

San Juan will be hop­ing that strik­ers Re­nal­do Boyce and Isa­iah Chase, who both scored a brace on Wednes­day, can lead their team to­day. All match­es be­gin at 3:30 pm.

SAT­UR­DAY'S MATCH­ES

Trin­i­ty East vs Spey­side @Trin­i­ty East

Cara­pichaima vs Mal­ick @Cara­pichaima

Pleas­antville vs Na­pari­ma @ Man­nie Ramjohn

QRC vs San Juan @ QRC

Trin­i­ty Mo­ka vs St An­tho­ny's @ Mo­ka

St Mary's Col­lege vs St Au­gus­tine @ CIC Grd

East Mu­cu­rapo vs St Bene­dict's @ Fa­ti­ma