Naparima College dropped two vital points in a goalless tie with arch-rivals Presentation College, San Fernando, when competition in the Shell/First Citizens Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premiership Division continued at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella on Wednesday.
However, Naparima still maintained the top position on the 15-team standings after title hopefuls St Anthony’s College were hammered 4-0 by a rising San Juan North Secondary in San Juan.
Naparima’s inability to score on the day moved them one point further to 30 points, while the Tigers maintained second, ahead of Presentation by just a two-goal differential, as both teams are on 26 points each.
On a day of upsets, Carapichaima East Secondary School were eyeing a possible move into third place but were beaten by struggling St Benedict’s College 2-1 at home.
However, out at San Juan, the home team turned the once-vicious Tigers outfit into tamed pussycats, courtesy of a double strike by substitute Daniel Best and an outstanding overall performance by Isaiah Chase, Renaldo Boyce, Christon Mitchell and Jordan Britto and company in front of cheering fans made up of student, teachers and residents of the community.
Both teams settled quickly in the game but heavy underfoot conditions, coupled with San Juan’s physical dominance, appeared to be the Tigers' main hurdle during the contest. The home team, coached by their influential former striker/midfielder Marvin Oliver, was off to a flying start from a build-up on the left side that looked anything but dangerous in the 11th minute.
Chase, who tormented the St Anthony’s defence in the early moments, calmly rolled a pass to Kedell Jones in the centre and from some 20 yards out, the latter unleashed a blistering drive that flew past Josiah Perez in the St Anthony’s goal.
The Tigers, who have lost just once for the season, should have equalised in the 21st. Kiron Manswell was picked out by Kahim Thomas with a pass from right to left. Before Malik Farrier could reach Thomas, the latter moved into a one-on-one position with goalkeeper Emmanuel John but with the goal wide open he hit wide.
The Tigers struggled to produce the fluent-passing game they are known for and it cost them dearly. The home team saw two chances inside the penalty area by Tyrique Sutherland and Chase squandered and it appeared they were heading to a 1-0 San Juan advantage to the half-time interval.
On the stroke of half-time Boyce and Elisha Garcia appeared to be in an off-side position when Chase, on the left side, lifted a pass to them. With the referee waving play-on, Boyce calmly slotted the ball past the onrushing Perez for a 2-0 lead before the break.
Thereafter it was all San Juan, furthering their advantage in the 48th minute with a goal from Best. The little striker was at the end of a neatly threaded ball from an over-lapping Britto, weaving his way through some three players before finding Best lurking on the right side. Best then slipped the ball beyond Perez to the far post for a 3-0 lead.
St Anthony’s, having to come from behind, just could not find their goal-scoring boots on the day, though finding themselves in dangerous positions. Over-lapping defender Ian Cowie came close with a thunderous strike from outside but an acrobatic John pushed it wide.
Instead, Best hammered the nail into the Tigers coffin when Boyce got away from the Tigers defence but his shot was pushed to the top of the area, for Best to meet it sweetly with a powerful low grounder that flew past the custodian for his team’s fourth goal in the 86th minute to complete a 4-0 win.
Meanwhile, at Fatima Ground, St Mary’s College were confined to relegation to the Championship Division in 2020 after being beaten 4-0 by East Mucurapo.
(Teams - by Wired868.com)
Presentation San F’do (4-1-4-1): 1.Isaiah Williams (GK); 2.Nigel Carraby, 5.Justin Cornwall, 3.Luke Charles, 6.Zion Allen; 15.Aleem Barclay (C); 17.Nkosi Charles, 10.Ackeel Jacob, 9.Jaiye Sheppard, 20.Naeem Bisnath (13.Dantaye Gilbert); 16.Jardel Sinclair (11.Adica Ash).
Head Coach: Shawn Cooper
Naparima College (4-2-3-1): 1.Levi Fernandez (GK) (C); 5.Atiba Lewis, 4.Tyrike Andrews, 2.Thaj Neptune, 12.Asukile Christopher; 8.Kodel Frontin, 6.Shoaib Khan; 19.Isa Bramble (14.Molik Khan), 17.Nathaniel Perouse (9.Ezekiel Kesar),10.Decklan Marcelle (7.Mark Ramdeen); 20.Seon Shippley.
Head Coach: Angus Eve
Wired868 Man of the Match: Isaiah Williams (Presentation)
San Juan North Secondary 4 (Kedell Jones 11th, Renaldo Boyce 21st, Daniel Best 48th, 86th) v St Anthony’s College 0
Malick Secondary 2 (Jabari Williams, Nickell Alexander) v Queen’s Royal College 0
Trinity College, Moka 3 (Temesgn Tizere, Jahiem Marshall, Keishaughn Williams) v St. Augustine Secondary 1 (Jerin Meloney)
St. Benedict’s College 2 (Ackeem Mason, Gesiah Bishop) v Carapichiama East Secondary 1 (Brandon St Clair)
East Mucurapo Secondary 4 (Jaheim Patrick, Zion Mc Leod 2, Terriq Martin) v St Mary’s College 0
Pleasantville Secondary 0 v Trinity College East 0
Presentation College 0 v Naparima College 0
Speyside Secondary are on a bye
LATEST TEAM STANDING
2*St. Anthony’s College*12*8*2*2*37*15*+22*26
4*East Mucurapo Secondary*12*7*2*3*27*11*+16*24
5*Carapichaima East Secondary*12*6*2*4*22*16*+6*22
6*San Juan North Secondary*12*6*4*2*30*10*+20*20
7*Queen’s Royal College*12*6*4*1*22*26*-4*19
9*St. Augustine Secondary*12*3*5*4*29*24*+5*13
11*St. Benedict’s College*12*4*7*1*14*21*-7*13
12*Trinity College East*12*3*6*3*14*19*-5*12
13*Speyside High School*12*3*7*2*18*37*-19*11
14*Trinity College, Moka*12*2*9*1*16*41*-25*7
15*St. Mary’s College*12*1*10*1*5*43*-38*4
(Saturday 26 October)
[All games kick off at 3.30pm]
St Anthony’s College v Carapichaima East at Westmoorings;
St Augustine Secondary v East Mucurapo at St Augustine;
Malick Secondary v Presentation (San F’do) at Hasely Crawford;
Naparima College v San Juan North at Lewis Street;
Speyside Secondary v St Mary’s College at Speyside;
Trinity Moka v Trinity East at Moka;
St Benedict’s College v Pleasantville Secondary at Mannie Ramjohn;
QRC are on a bye.
‘Southern Clasico’ ends in 0-0 stalemate.
T&T Newsday Reports.
Saints go marching down as…
ALTHOUGH reigning Shell/First Citizens Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division champions, Naparima College, could only muster up a 0-0 scoreline against southern rivals Presentation College, at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, yesterday, they still managed to extend their lead atop the standings courtesy a 4-0 drubbing of second placed St Anthony’s College via San Juan North.
Naps remain in pole position on 30 points with two games to go, having salvaged a point against third-ranked Pres (26 points) in yesterday’s scrappy encounter. St Anthony’s, also on 26 points, maintain their second place position on the table as they boast a significant goal difference ahead of the Presentation Lions.
Dubbed SSFL’s “Southern Clasico,” yesterday’s clash of the southern giants was far from it. Both teams continuously battled in midfield, but neither was able to tactically penetrate their opposing custodians. Presentation’s talisman, Ackeel Jacob, was either smartly defended by the Naparima backline or saw his efforts go wide of the target. Additionally, Naps Shoaib Khan’s attempts also shared a similar fate.
However, the introduction of talented Naparima striker Mark Ramdeen in the second half brought some flair to the 2018 winners. Ramdeen did make a positive impact but was still unable to aid his teammates to find the opening goal. Naparima’s closest chance of finding the back of the net came from a Ramdeen free kick which rattled the Presentation crossbar but swooped safely by goalie, Isaiah Williams. Both teams tried valiantly to the end, but neither side showed the finishing touch to snatch a late go-ahead goal.
After the match, Naparima coach Angus Eve, was still pleased with the drawn result. However, Eve was quietly confident that his unit would bring their “A” game against an in-form San Juan when they play host at home on Lewis Street, San Fernando, on Saturday.
“It was a good result for us because we didn’t lose and also secured a precious point. Being unbeaten is not too important at this stage, our priority is winning the league, but this game keeps us on course. There is no pressure but we have to win on Saturday, We’re at home against San Juan so that should augur well for us,” he explained.
The former national footballer also admitted that his team showed some signs of fatigue during the latter half of the match. “We had some really good chances that we could have probably taken. The guys are positive even though some of the legs ‘went’ today so we had to move around a couple of the guys which is normal at this time of the season. We’re just going to recuperate and prepare for San Juan on Saturday. There’s no anxiety, we just have to do our jobs,” he added.
St Mary’s College were relegated to the championship division after falling 4-0 to East Mucurapo, at Fatima Ground, in Mucurapo. St Mary’s are at the bottom of the 15-team standings with four points and even if the Saints win their remaining two matches they will not avoid relegation. The bottom two teams will be relegated at the end of the season, but three teams from the championship will earn promotion to have an even number of teams next season.
At the Queen’s Royal College (QRC) Ground in St Clair, the home team fell 2-0 to Malick Secondary. After the match, Malick were clapping and singing knowing that the victory almost guarantees that they will avoid relegation this season. Malick were in 13th position before yesterday’s match, but jumped to tenth place with the win. Jabari Williams gave Malick the lead in the 25th minute and against the run of play in the second half Nickell Alexander sealed the contest with a 79th minute item. QRC dropped from sixth to seventh place with the loss. After the win, Malick head coach Anthony Bartholomew was satisfied with his team’s energy throughout the match and spoke about the importance of the win.
“Normally in all the games we would start off starting playing this tempo in the late (stages)...so I think we know the purpose of this game is to survive. It is not no baby thing going on here. This tournament is the biggest and staying up is most important for us.”
The Malick coach said this is the first time in over ten years the school is playing in the top flight and is hoping the team can rebuild in the coming seasons.
In other results, San Juan North moved to sixth place after crushing second placed St Anthony’s College 4-0 at Bourg Mulatresse in San Juan.
St Benedict’s jumped to 11th position after recording a 2-1 win over fifth placed Carapichaima East Secondary, 14th placed Trinity College (Moka) defeated mid-table St Augustine Secondary 3-1 and Pleasantville Secondary and Trinity College East played to a 0-0 draw.