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Presentation College’s Barclay Aleem (R) vies for control of the ball with Queen’s Royal College’s Miguel Cross (L),yesterday,during the Secondary Schools Football League match,at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium,Marabella. - MARVIN HAMILTON
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SSFL title to be decided on Monday…

PRESENTATION College San Fernando remains in tight contention for the 2019 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division title following a 6-0 drubbing of Queen’s Royal College at Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella, yesterday.

First-half goals from Markus Mason, Ackeel Jacob and Dantaye Gilbert provided a comfortable cushion for the second ranked (30pts) squad heading into the half-time break.

At the resumption, Gilbert found the back of the net once more followed by goals from teammates Shakeem Cooper and Jaiye Sheppard. This welcomed victory for the “Pres Lions” keeps the pressure on defending champions and current league leaders, Naparima College (33pts).

“Naps” presently hold a slim three-point advantage over their southern rivals and did not take part in yesterday’s schedule of matches as they were on a bye. However, the coveted crown will be hoisted by either one of the South-based teams, on Monday, as they both benefitted from a last-minute matchday reshuffle from the SSFL executive in the interest of fairness.

The 2018 winners play their final match against hosts and seventh-ranked Queen’s Royal College (19pts) while “Pres” travel to St Anthony’s (29pts) for a challenging encounter against the current fourth-placed team. If “Pres” win their match against the “Tigers” and Naparima lose, goal-difference will be enforced to determine the 2019 champions as both teams will be locked on 33pts each.

But, if “Naps” can pull off a victory or a drawn result against QRC, they will be crowned champions for a second consecutive year, finishing unbeaten in the league.

Additionally, if St Anthony’s trump Presentation, the “Tigers” will finish as league runners-up while “Pres” will have to settle for third overall.

Speaking with Naparima team coach Angus Eve, he revealed that his squad is going for the win on Monday and has no intention of dropping points against QRC.

“We’re going to do what we normally do,” he said. “We are going to look at the tapes of our opposition’s matches and see how best we can exploit their weaknesses and enhance on our strengths so that we can get the best results for us. We have been preparing the guys for this type of season. From the first game to the last, is a must-win for us. Every single game is a final for us.”

The former national footballer reflected on last season’s performance where they won every game in the league to claim the title. This year though, “Naps” were forced to settle for a couple drawn results on the journey. Eve also admitted that even though QRC are presently mid-table, they are not to be taken lightly going into the final game of the competition.

“The least we can do is replicate the trophy-winning performance from last season. We have been striving towards this but QRC are a top opponent even though they’re mid-table. We have a lot of respect for the guys especially coach Grosvenor (Nigel). At the end of the day, we need to be on our best to have that desired result against them,” he stated.

In other final round matches yesterday, East Mucurapo (30pts) ensured their fourth place finish by whipping Speyside 5-0. Carapichaima East (25pts) secured fifth overall as they got past ninth placed Trinity East 4-2 while St. Augustine (16pts) squeezed past St. Benedict’s (16pts). Relegated teams, Trinity Moka and St. Mary’s College also recorded their final league meeting, with the former producing a 4-0 victory.

On Saturday, St Benedict’s play host to San Juan North at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium followed by the final round of title-deciding matches on Monday.

Premier Division results

(Wednesday 30 October)

Presentation (San F’do) 6, QRC 0 at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;

East Mucurapo 5, Speyside Secondary 0 at Mucurapo Road;

Trinity East 2, Carapichaima East 4 at Trincity;

Pleasantville Secondary 2, St Augustine Secondary 3 at Pleasantville;

St Mary’s College 0, Trinity College Moka 4 (Temesgn Tezera 31, 51, Josiah Superville 35, Jardel Mitchell 58) at Serpentine Road;

Malick Secondary are on a bye