The trio of St Benedict's College, Fatima College and title-holders Naparima College all won handsomely to remain in a three-way battle for the two semifinals spots at stake from Group A for the National League semifinal playoffs of the Tiger Tanks Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division on Wednesday.
In the feature match of a doubleheader at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, St Benedict's College peppered St Augustine Secondary by an astonishing 14-1 margin, a record defeat for the "Green Machine" led by a six-goal burst from captain Tarik Lee in the sixth, 14th, 19th, 41st, 47th and 54th minutes to carry his season tally to eight from five matches, six behind San Juan North's Larry Noel.
The trio of Josiah Achoa (5th, 27th), Derell Garcia (8th, 46th), and Jaden Grant (84th, 86th) added two goals each for St Benedict's while Nicholas Bobcombe (24th), and Ephraim Brown with a 90th-minute item also netted to help carry their points tally to 13, the same as Fatima College, but with a superior goal-difference of plus-27 to Fatima's plus-24 with two matches left to play. Theron O'Brien got the lone reply for St Augustine in the second half from the penalty spot as they are yet to pick up a point and destined for relegation as the cellar-placed finisher.
Down at Fatima College Ground, Mucurapo Road, host, Fatima kept up their top-two finish bid with a comfortable 8-0 hammering of Speyside Secondary with a goal each from Chaim Williams, Jadon Williams, Aidan De Gannes, Alijah Nunes, Keba Romany, Justin Alcantara, Jose Attong, and an own-goal via Nigel Burnett.
Four-time Premier Division champions, Naparima kept up their bid to secure a semifinal spot as a top-two finisher in the pool thanks to a 4-0 trashing of St Anthony’s College at Naparima College Ground, Lewis Street, San Fernando with Andres Frances, Nathaniel O'Garro, Kanye Francis, and Jabari Forbes scoring on each to stay third with 12 points, ahead of their clash with St Benedict's on Saturday.
At the other end of the table, Carapichaima East Secondary wasted a chance to boost their survival hopes after squandering a 2-0 lead in a 3-3 draw with Pleasantville Secondary in the first match of the double-header at Couva.
Kiriziah Mayers netted a double to put Carapichaima East 2-0 ahead, only for Pleasantville Secondary then hit back with goals from Tyrese Phillip, Antonio Noreiga, and Daniel Jones to take a 3-2 advantage before Mayers salvaged a point for Carapichaima East to leave both teams level on four points with two matches left to play
Group B will resume on Saturday, with San Juan North Secondary and Coca-Cola Inter-Col holders Presentation College of San Fernando having already secured the two semifinal spots with a maximum of 18 points each from their respective six matches to date and one round left to be completed when they face off for a top spot on Saturday at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo from 3.30 pm.
However, at the other end of the table, Moruga Secondary with one point in six matches, Malick Secondary with four, and East Mucurapo Secondary with six points will all be playing for their survival.
The new format of the 16-team Premier Division sees the teams divided into two groups of eight teams for one round of round-robin competition, at the end of which the top two in each pool will advance to the crossover semifinals on October 21 ahead of the final, four days later.
Both the semifinals and final are slated for either the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo or the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
The bottom-placed team in each pool will be automatically relegated and will be joined by the losers of the playoff between the two teams to finish second from the bottom in their respective groups.
Fatima College 8 (Chaim Williams 12th, Jadon Williams 16th, Aidan De Gannes 25th, Nigel Burnett o.g 32nd. Alijah Nunes 53rd, Keba Romany 60th, Justin Alcantara 65th, Jose Attong 70th) vs Speyside High 0
Naparima College 4 (Andres Frances 5th, Nathaniel O'Garro 44th, Kanye Francis 46th, Jabari Forbes 71st) vs St Anthony’s College 0
Pleasantville Sec 3 (Daniel Jones, Tyrese Phillip, Antonio Noreiga) vs Carapichaima East 3 (Kirizah Mayers 3)
St Benedict’s College 14 (Tarik Lee 6th, 14th, 19th, 41st, 47th, 54th, Josiah Achoa 5th, 27th, Derell Garcia 8th, 46th, Jaden Grant 84th, 86th, Nicholas Bobcombe 24th, Ephraim Brown 90th) vs St Augustine Sec 1 (Theron O'Brien 50th pen)
Teams P W D L F A Pts
1. Fatima 5 4 1 0 26 2 13
2. St Benedict’s 5 4 1 0 29 2 13
3. Naparima 5 4 0 1 23 3 12
4. St Anthony’s 5 2 0 3 6 11 6
5. Speyside 5 2 0 3 7 19 6
6. Pleasantville 5 1 1 3 6 12 4
7. Carapichaima East 5 1 1 3 8 28 4
8. St Augustine 5 0 0 5 6 34 0
Teams P W D L F A Pts
1. San Juan North 6 6 0 0 26 2 18
2. Pres (San F’do) 6 6 0 0 14 2 18
3. Trinity East 6 3 0 3 10 5 9
4. QRC 6 2 1 3 13 16 7
5. Chaguanas North 6 2 1 3 7 20 7
6. East Mucurapo 6 2 0 4 9 13 6
7. Malick 6 1 1 4 7 14 4
8. Moruga 6 0 1 5 3 17 1
SSFL Premier Division leading scorers:
14 - Larry Noel (San Juan North)
8 - Tarik Lee (St Benedict's)
6 - Jaheim Faustin (Trinity East), Chaim Williams (Fatima)
5 - Naparima O'Garro, Kanye Francis (Naparima)
4 - Caleb Boyce (Presentation), Zion Harley (East Mucurapo), Kirziah Myers (Carapichaima East), Jaden Grant (St Benedict's)
3 - Kedell Jones (San Juan North), Omari Campbell, Joshua Mason, Christian Bailey, Keba Romany (Fatima), J’Lon Matthews (Malick), Aadah Barclay (Presentation), Ephraim Brown, Josiah Ochoa (St Benedict's)
2 - Milz Johnson, Jarlon Toppin (Speyside), Maalik Jarvis (East Mucurapo), (Fatima),
(St Benedict’s), Tau Lemsee, Aydon Caruth, Mussadiq Mohammed, Stephon James (QRC), Joshua Miller, Theo Crovador (St Anthony’s), Lindell Sween (San Juan North), Israel Joseph, Jabari Forbes, Andres France (Naparima), Alex Piper (St Augustine), Ethan Trotman (Carapichaima East), Justin Lewis (Chaguanas North), Nicholas Bobcome, Derelle Garcia (St Benedict's), Alijah Nunes, Aidan De Gannes
1 - Terrell Rajoon, Jelani Felix, Josiah Cooper (Naparima), Jameel Cooper, Isaiah Nicholas, Marcel Valentine, Theron O'Brian (St Augustine), Reyes Gray, Lenox Eastman, Tyrell Moore (Speyside), Mordacia Forde, Aadon Wilson-Wright (St Anthony’s), Oba Samuel, Tyrese Manswell, Jeremiah Gabriel (Malick), Mikel Toussaint, Al-Kalipha Henry (East Mucurapo), Santana Smith, Tyrell Thompson, Brandon Collymore (Moruga), Jeremiah Nile, Tyrique Lucas (St Benedict’s), Michael Chaves, Nathan Achin, Luke Correia, Jadon Williams, Jose Attong, Justin Alcantara (Fatima), Micah Braithwaite, Malik Braithwaite, Mackeil Edwards, Levi Jones, Vaughn Clement (Presentation), Teshaun Franklyn, Zakari King, Zion Aberdeen, Micah Nelson, Rashaun Doobay (QRC), Khaleem Prince (Trinity East), Elizsha Rogers, Rondell Harewood, Jardiel Joseph, Kent Guy (San Juan North), Hezekiah John (Chaguanas North), Josiah Hypolite, Tyrese David (Carapichaima East), Kelon Williams, Daniel Jones, Tyrese Phillip, Antonio Noreiga, J’quan Edwards, Jadon Dorsett (Pleasantville)