October School News
September School News

Tuesday October 31st, 2000
Naps tame Tigers

Sports Desk

THE Westmoorings Tigers, who usually burn brightly in October, are among the newest additions to the list of Intercol casualties.

Yesterday at Skinner Park, defending champions Naparima doused their flame with a clinical 3-0 whipping. The ‘Broadway Boys’ executed their game plan mercilessly, displaying a mature brand of football and a very good understanding of the game.

In the second match, Presentation College San Fernando came from behind to defeat Arima who went ahead through Akiel Guevara. A second half double by Sean Siloch gave the Southerners a 2-1 victory.

In the earlier game, while St Anthony’s did not look completely out of it, they were never allowed to settle down although many of their players had difficulty controlling the ball on the uneven surface.

Naparima made their intentions crystal clear in from as early as the 9th minute when Brenton DeLeon hit a shot past St Anthony’s custodian McKeil Germain. The goal was set up for DeLeon by Dia Hunte after Roderick Anthony ran down the right side and crossed along the ground. Realising there was no shot on for himself, Hunte played the ball to the top of the 18-metre box for DeLeon whose drive put the ball past Germain into the back of the net.

St Anthony’s tried to get back into the game but were too slow in responding to the quick counterattacks launched by the Naparima defenders.

The gap between the StAnthony’s attack and their defence was widening, Stephen Cruickshank being the only player making any real attempt to exploit the St Anthony’s chemistry.

But a second goal of the boot of Dia Hunte totally unhinged St Anthony’s efforts. It came as a result of a good individual effort by Hunte but Jamie Alkins should have done better for the defence.

After a series of plays that went up the left side, Hunte opted to turn back onto his left foot instead of delivering the inswinging cross ball with his right. Running into the penalty area past a hesitant—or surprised—Alkins, he side-footed a low shot inside the far post to make the score 2-0.

In the 43rd minute, Naparima nearly went further ahead when Kareem Simon hit a powerful shot towards the top right-hand corner of the goal, Germaine spectacularly pushed the ball overbar to send the teams in to half-time at 2-0.

The second half resumed with both teams fighting for invaluable psychological advantage. A single goal either way would have resulted in a very significant change in momentum. St Anthony’s almost got it after good work by Cruickshank in the 53rd minute.

They won a right-side corner which was worked short and then played to the top of the box for Julius James. James’s powerful shot flew wide of Prescod’s right upright with the custodian looking on helplessly.

A five-minute period of pressure by the Tigers followed in which they won several corners in quick succession.

Ching Sang and Cruickshank flighted the ball devilishly into the crowded six-metre box but Prescod just won out in aerial challenges over Kenwyn Jones whose head came dangerously close to making the desired contact.

The Naparima custodian kept his composure, distributing the ball calmly to his defenders. Instead of trying to defend the lead, Naparima sprung attack after attack through runs down the wing by Roderick Anthony and Hunte.

In the 69th minute, Hunte broke free from two defenders and placed the ball over an advancing Germain but the shot went over the bar as well with the entire goal at his mercy. Then in the 73rd minute Anthony raced down the right side and crossed to Wendell Joseph who also shot over the bar with the keeper at his mercy.

But Hunte sealed the game in the 87th minute when he was sent clear in a one-on-one situation with a St Anthony’s defender. He used Joseph as a decoy but instead of passing to him, feinted, ran around the defender and pushed the ball past the goalkeeper.

Atiba Mc Knight put the ball that was well over the line deep into the net to seal the win.

Sunday October 29th, 2000

                       Tigers scrape home

Sports Desk

MIKEIL GERMAIN was first villain, then hero yesterday.

His blunder in injury time at the João Havelange Centre of Excellence allowed QRC to draw even at 3-3. But in the ensuing penalty shoot-out, the St Anthony’s keeper pulled off two saves before Stephen Cruickshank shot home to give the Westmoorings lads a 4-2 penalty win.

But really the game should not have even reached that stage.

The last five minutes of the encounter proved the most exciting period, bringing three goals, one of which appeared to be a dubious penalty award.

After striker Abiola Clarence had sent the “Tigers” 3-1 up from some brilliant individual work two minutes from time, referee Cassie Moore gave the Royalians a questionable penalty following Carron Williams’s tumble in the box from what looked like a legitimate tackle from Julius James.

QRC’s Christopher Durity converted from the spot to make the score 3-2 before Germain’s error levelled the score.

That exciting ending was adequate compensation for the drab first half.

Earlier, the 1,000 strong crowd had witnessed a match that lacked the usual competitive spark of an Intercol game. And to make matters worse, it came after a 25-minute delay in the start to the game owing to the tardy arrival of Moore and her assistants.

Both teams failed to match the intensity of their pre-game motivating chants with their efforts on the field.

Despite that, though, St Anthony’s did manage to find the net.

The lone bright spot of the first half was Kenwyn Jones’s goal in the 19th minute. A long ball out of the defence found the Team 2001 player wide on the right. With metres of space uncovered by the QRC defence, Jones darted into the box before blasting with the outside of his right boot past the outstretched Ayinde Abu Bakr in the QRC goal.

The second half started more promisingly, giving a hint of the end in store. Williams wasted just a minute after the resumption before rushing down the left flank past James and squaring back to Okpe Adogwa who blasted a low right-footer past Germain.

There was more action to come.

After 60 minutes, a Cruickshank freekick spanked Abu Bakr’s crossbar after the QRC wall had left the right side of the goal unprotected.

The QRC defence erred one time too many three minutes later. Jones was unmarked as he latched onto a through ball from Marcus Chin Sang. With Abu Bakr advancing, Jones slipped the ball past him into the net.

But the real action was left for the final five minutes.

Clarence worked some individual skill to get past Phillip Butcher and last stopper Marc-Anthony Williams before placing low to Abu Bakr’s left. It was followed quickly by the Williams penalty and the Germain error that saw Frederick Douglas tap in from a wild clearance from the St Anthony’s custodian. But Germain made amends in the penalty shoot-out.

Naeem Fredericks opted unwisely to use his less-favoured right-foot that Germain stopped and Williams’s tame right foot effort was easily turned away by the keeper. And after his counterpart Abu Bakr failed to stop any of the St Anthony’s kickers, Germain’s efforts between the uprights—in the penalty phase-had done the trick.

                            Compre make Pres pay


“Three dollars ah pay, three goals ah want!”

“Reds” was demanding.

The scoreline at St Anthony’s ground already read 2-0 in favour of her Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive schoolmates. And by the time play was called in the Royal Bank Intercol first round encounter against Presentation College Chaguanas, her boys had met—and doubled—her request.

It was a long trek to the west for the handful of Pres supporters. And the final 6-1 scoreline made the afternoon not so pleasant.

The vocal “Compre” girls though had few complaints.

A second half that produced six goals, five for their team, left them sated. And they certainly left satisfied with Akil Pierre. The Mucurapo midfielder hit a hattrick that was complemented by a double from striker Kevon Carter and one from substitute forward Ijana Mark.

Pierre it was who opened the scoring with a clinical bit of finishing.

Collecting the ball on his right-side overlapping run, the unmarked Pierre drove his angled shot into the far corner.

“Nothing ah say!”

“Reds” was laying down the law to the Presentation players.

And very little there was to savour in an unexceptional first half besides Pierre’s goal and Carter’s right on halftime. With both goalkeeper Ricardo Vasconcellos and the last defender failing to put in a challenge, Carter scooped the ball over them to leave Pres in a hole.

The Central side was paying the price of their indecision at the back. It got worse in the second half for them. But not before they got themselves back in the game. The half was only five minutes old when striker Daryl Celestine was found by a low left-side pass. He confidently completed the job, firing into the far corner past keeper Daurance Williams into the far corner.

The goal brought Pres alive, their running and tackling becoming more urgent. But the marking at the back did not improve. And Compre soon restored their two-goal lead.

In the 69th minute, a neat move out of the back on the right flank saw Carter carry the ball into the penalty area. When he carefully laid it back for Pierre, the striker ran on to it and beat Vasconcellos to his left.

Carter himself got the next item seven minutes later, taking advantage of some more untidy defence work.

And Pierre completed his trick when he thumped home a loose ball only partially cleared by the Presentation defence.

Mark completed the rout nine minutes from the end. By then, “Reds” and her friends were on the sidelines with their flags, making plans for next week’s trip south to face St Benedict’s.

Yesterday’s Intercol scores

St Anthonys 3 (K.Jones 2, A.Clarence) QRC 3 (O.Adogwa, F.Douglas, C.Durity (pen) (St Anthony’s win 4-2 on penalties)

Mucurapo 6 (A.Pierre 3, K.Carter 2, I.Mark) Presentation 1  (D.Celestine)

Signal Hill 2 (D.Dickenson, D.Toby) Bishop’s 0.

Thurday October 26th, 2000

When Benedict’s fail...


IT IS Saturday, October 21, BF Day.

Confidence is on the floor, complacency having got a red card.

“This game,” St Benedict’s coach Muhammad Isa is saying, “is far from lost.We can beat these people, but we can’t do it with talk.

“We have the most powerful offence in the whole SSFL and the record is there to show it—54 goals already!”

He does not need to remind anyone that the score in this Secondary Schools’ Football League Big Four final is Malick 3, St Benedict’s 0.

“We can beat these people,” Isa repeated, staring pointedly at strikers Nkosi “Chucky” Blackman and Kendell “Neck” Davis, “but we have to get the goals, four of them.

“Besides,” comes Isa’s parting shot, after he has given specific instructions to individual players, “every last one of you knows that the one thing we are not going to do is go out there and gift the game to Malick.

This is Saturday, October 21, BF Day.

Members of the high-flying football team are assembled in the audio-visual room at the college in La Romaine. They are in high spirits, readying themselves for the afternoon’s assignment.

On this morning, the team is watching the tape of their 5-0 victory over Arima in the semifinals at Skinner Park. And revelling in their success.

Side by side sit “Neck” and “Chucky”, discussing goal-scoring technique. They know something about the subject, this deadly pair, who between them, have already notched 34 goals this season.

Davis alone has 19 to his credit, more than some teams have scored in their entire season.

But it is modesty, not overweening pride in achievement that marks the occasion today. They constantly chide themselves for not converting chances, feeling that they could have done better than the 5-0 margin. Constructive criticism, constructive self-criticism even, is the order of the day.

It is a luxury this group can well afford. Had they not decisively undone the highly rated “Dial Dynamos” in the semis, handing them an unanswered handful?

Were they not, on the strength of thatdecisive win, favourites to win today?

Nobody mentions their poor record at the Oval, nobody sees any importance in the fact that only skipper Akil Jordan has any experience of playing in the “Big Yard”.

Nobody refers to the earlier 1-0 upset loss to Pleasantville, a team they had destroyed 6-0 in the first round. There is no time to talk of the defeat by Princes Town, a team that eventually finished seventh in the league.

And no one dares to point out that both setbacks had come after big wins.

This is BF Day, no time for bad news or ill omens...

It is Wednesday, October 18, SF Day, the day of the second Big Four semifinal.

Assembled at the Queen’s Park Oval, Isa and his boys are watching Malick struggle to get the better of Signal Hill. They are rooting for the Tobagonians because a Signal Hill victory means a final in Skinner Park. Malick are unconvincing but still come away with a 1-0 win.

Isa and his boys, eight of whom are members of the National Under-17 squad preparing for next year’s World Youth Cup, leave the Oval buoyed by what they have seen. Malick can be beaten at the Oval. We have the stuff to do it.

It is Saturday, October 21, BF Day.

In a few minutes, the referee’s whistle will sound to signal the start of the Big Four final.

Suddenly, the skies open. Plans have to change. Boots unsuited for a wet field, too. In the Malick camp, there is no last minute panic, no 11th hour changes. Score one for Malick. And the game is still to start...

It is Saturday, October 21, BF Day.

The final whistle has gone. Two more goals have been scored, neither by St Benedict’s. Blackman and Davis have not been able to produce the magic and nobody else has been able to step into the breach. Malick are over the moon, their supporters running wild. St Benedict’s heads are hanging low, shoulders are drooping. The tears are on the inside but not hidden. Jordan tries to find the words.

“The guys are much better players than they showed today,” he says, “they just did not play up to their potential. The Big Stage may have put some of them off their game.”

Isa, too, has different words, certain that it was not inexperience of playing at the Oval.

“The Oval is a great place to play football; it’s not the Oval that caused us to lose.”

So what explains the huge margin?

“The difference between the teams today was that Malick converted their chances and we did not and in the end it’s the goals that win you games.” School principal Declan Singh cites luck and turns eyes towards the future.

“I’m still very proud of our boys. They worked very hard but luck was just not on our side today.

“The muddy conditions were not really well suited to our style of play, but we still have Intercol to look forward to and I expect we will redeem ourselves in that competition.”

The redemption at Intercol theme is a mantra taken up by several members of the team, sorry to have disappointed their fans.

But assistant coach Gerard Elliot sounds a sour note, expressing displeasure at the unfairness of the Intercol schedule.

“St Benedict’s are the champions of the South league,” he fumes. “The champs.

“You know where they are playing their first Intercol game? At Fatima ground! Fatima! Quite in Mucurapo.”

It seems like a shabby way to treat the division champions, already bristling from the extremely shabby treatment received at the feet of Malick.

But this is Intercol, not Big Four. With the memory of BF Day fresh in their minds, St Benedict’s do not expect to be on the receiving end of any shabby treatment but they will be dishing it out.

“Today,” their attitude says, “is Wednesday, October 25, not BF Day but BB Day. Benedict’s will not fail again today! Expect them to bounce back.”

Lions by a claw


UP the field, Emmanuel Nurse, the Tranquillity Secondary goalkeeper was red-faced and inconsolable.

Downfield, a blur of green, gold and black-clad players was heading off St Mary’s ground, a noisy bunch of their schoolmates in white and brown, in energetic pursuit.

In the middle of the huddle was Michael Carrington, the St Benedict’s College man of the moment. He had just put the exclamation mark on an extraordinary afternoon with his sudden-death extra-time strike that kept Benedict’s alive in Royal Bank Intercol.

His goal in the fifth minute of overtime gave Benedict’s a 4-3 win. Carrington, a regular starter turned second half substitute, had brought the “La Romaine Lions” from way, way back to win by a claw.

He had made his point.

But spare a thought for Nurse.

In a tumultuous game of five bookings, three sendings off and one ejection from the bench, he saw Tranquil’s three-goal lead and a famous win slip through their grasp in the space of 21 minutes.

In the heated, emotional inquests that began even before Carrington sealed the game, several of referee Gary Andrews’s decisions come into focus: the penalty that Kendell Davis converted to tie the game at 3-3 and the second Tranquil sending off-substitute striker Jade Whiteman being the principal ones.

The Benedict’s players though, will want to hear none of that talk. Their painful 5-0 shutout in the Big Four final was still fresh in their minds when captain Akil Jordan and his crew made their way to Port of Spain again seeking redemption.

But when Richard Arneaud coasted too easily between a pair of Benedict’s defenders and hit past goalkeeper Sadiki Stewart to make the score 3-0 in the 72nd minute, another embarrassment was looming.

From as early as the third minute, Tranquil had put them under pressure. Skipper Mario Assoon’s shot from a right side short corner was followed 19 minutes later by forward Keyon Edwards’s drive past Stewart.

Once more, Benedict’s poor organisation at the back was letting them down. And at the other end, Nurse was frustrating strikers Kendell Davis and Nkosi Blackman no end with some brave work. Time and again the Tranquil custodian was on spot to nip a cross off a striker’s head or parry a drive.

He deserved to be a winner.

But things began to go wrong for his side shortly after the interval when the temperamental Edwards was ejected for foul play.

Down to ten men, Tranquillity, despite Arneaud’s second half stress reliever, were constantly under pressure. They could gain no parity in midfield and finally, the Lions drew blood.

Andre Alexis, fighting through a crowd of players, stabbed home a right side corner.

Then defender Wacey Benjamin almost drew a pint from Tranquil’s Andre Cabera with a late tackle that earned him a sending off. The picong in the small crowd was beginning to fly. It took off when, in the 52nd minute, Davis put away Blackman’s headed knock-down.

The penalty for a Tranquillity foul in the area that sent Davis to the spot to just convert an 82nd minute penalty transformed the mood around the ground. Southerners on and off the field were smelling blood, especially with the North Zone battlers now down to nine men, Whiteman having been sent on his way.

It was asking too much, even on this day for undermanned Tranquil to pull off the win. And when one crucial missed defensive header opened up the goal for Carrington, Intercol death came swiftly.

The Lions roar or on, their pride restored.

But all Nurse has is his tears.

Yesterday’s scores
Tranquillity 3 (M. Assoon, K. Edwards, R. Arneaud) St Benedict’s 4 (K. Davis 2, A. Alexis, M. Carrington (extra time)
St Mary’s 3 (S. Sealy 2, O. Adogwa) Success/Laventille 0

Intercol brings out the best

By Irving Ward

It's Intercol time again. Every year, around this time, Intercol fever engrosses the Secondary Schools Football League fraternity. Unlike action in the league, Intercol-the knockout version of the game- brings out a different kind of effort from not only the teams taking part but the fans as well.

Preparing flags and other kinds of paraphernalia in the colours of their favourite schools, the fans usually flock to the various grounds in their hundreds to give the teams the psychological edge of fan support.

Of course, in recent years, the activity of face painting themselves in team colours has also become customary.
But for the Intercol series, none of this activity can go without the back up of a rhythm section. Queen's Royal College has become the most famous of the schools in this area. Their Air Scout band comes out in full to support the team, bringing with them the big brass instruments, drums, cymbals and others form of percussion instruments.

The Royalians, a couple years ago, also surprised the fans by starting the first ever all-girls cheerleading section to rally on their team. Unable to match this kind of "force", other teams usually try to counter this "engine room-type" power by bringing out their own small bands. Sometimes even community bands are commissioned by the schools to do the job, anything to ensure that they are not outmatched off the field.

The tension off the field among the fans is often times very intense. Some will even argue it is greater.
Of course the sweat off the field is usually matched on the field where most teams become locked in a battle of "Blood and Sand" - all for Intercol supremacy. Fans were given just a teaser last Saturday when Malick and St Benedict's met in the "Big Four" final at the Queen's Park Oval. While the rain may have affected the crowd turnout, it certainly did not stop those who did show from supporting the two teams with the same fervor.

In fact, the St Benedict's rhythm section occupied the top tier of the Carib Beer stand in full blast of the rain, which fell for long periods during the game. However the inclement weather, and the fact that their team was down 3-0 before the half hour mark, did not stop the southerners from rallying their team on. Malick's rhythm section meanwhile apparently arrived late for the game-as is customary sometimes with this portion of the event, usually not as organised as other areas.

However, when the Malick did "sound off" they did not miss a beat until the final whistle.
Of course there were the "Proud To Be Malick" banners all over the Oval. One of them even proclaimed "Malick - Big Four Champs". And of course, the persons who did that "beautiful piece" of artwork will now take some of the kudos for the success. After all, those banners, some say, serve to intimidate the opposition to some extent.
It will not be long now before the fans will be taken through the whirlwind emotional ride that usually accompanies an Intercol campaign.

Tuesday October 24th, 2000

Goal splurge in Intercol

Sports Desk

THE Fyzabad girls had been baying for a goal all afternoon. And five minutes from the end of the game on Fatima ground, striker Willan Garcia, to their delight, obliged.

The problem was that Fyzo’s opponents, Trinity College, had already found the net five times. And so went the dreams of the South Zone’s Senior Division winners in Royal Bank Intercol.

The first afternoon in the Intercol series was also a difficult one for the side Fyzabad will replace in the Championship Division next season, Morgua Composite.

On an afternoon of quite a few goals, Moruga fell victim to the new national Big Four champions Malick Secondary, 7-0.

Skipper Devon Jorsling followed up his double in Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing of St Benedict’s College with a beavertrick against Morgua at St Mary’s ground. Sabir Guerra, Kevon Serrette and Joel Marquis with a penalty completed the rout.

Presentation College’s Sean Siloch also enjoyed himself yesterday at Skinner Park. His hattrick powered “Pres” past the East Zone Senior Division qualifiers Holy Cross College 4-2.

In the second match, defending champs Naparima College edged past St Augustine Senior Comprehensive 2-1.

Over in Tobago, Bishop’s High School had the better of a five-goal game against Roxborough Composite, winning 3-2, while Damian Leacock got the lone goal in a 1-0 win for Elizabeth’s College over Scarborough Secondary in a match brought forward by one day.

At Fatima, the outing for Fyzabad was not so pleasant.

The schoolgirls gave raucous support, giving as good as they got from the Trinity drummers. But more than moral support was needed by a Fyzo team who all bar one who is under 16.

More experienced Trinity controlled midfield with Nkosi Aberdeen and Osei Telesford enjoying the kind of dominance they rarely did in the league.

Their forwards, though, were slow to make their chances count until shortly past the half hour mark.

Oni Thomas, playing on his old home ground, finally stabbed a shot past goalkeeper Kenwyn Cummings from a tightish angle.

Early in the second half, the score was doubled when an attempted cross hit the hand of Fyzabad skipper Nicholas Fortune inside the penalty area. The contact did not seem intentional. But Trinity captain Hollis Brown calmly put the chance away.

The Southerners would have been even more disappointed with how striker Hyron Brown got on the scoresheet.

Too easily, Keron Benito rounded keeper Cummings and a defender, squared a pass to Brown who eventually got the ball in the goal after several stumbling attempts to clear by the man on the line.

The Fyzabad girls were still chanting. But Trinity kept scoring.

Thomas grabbed his second with a 68th minute header and eight minutes later, substitute Nathaniel Joseph scored within a minute of coming on following a solo run.

“This is a learning experience,” one Fyzabad coach was telling a substituted charge.

Garcia’s uncontested headed goal though was a little consolation.

It was at least something to head home with.

Intercol scores:

Presentation 4 (S.Siloch 3, M.Rogers) Holy Cross 2 (S.O’Brien, G.Charles)
Naparima 2 (G.Forbes, A.McKnight) St Augustine 1 (M.Williams)
Malick 7 (D.Jorsling 4, J.Marquis (pen), S.Guerra, K.Serette) Moruga 0
Trinity 5 (O.Thomas 2, Hollis Brown, Hyron Brown, N.Joseph) Fyzabad 1 (W.Garcia)
Bishop’s 3 Roxborough 2
Scarborough 0 Elizabeth’s 1 (D.Leacock)

Champs Malick enter Intercol fray


MALICK Secondary have been Big Four kings for just two days. But this afternoon, they will have to shelve their celebrations and get down to serious Intercol business.

Royal Bank Intercol kicks off this afternoon in both Trinidad and Tobago, with two champion sides seeking second round places.

Malick, having wrapped up their record sixth national league championship, will begin their Intercol mission on St Mary’s ground from 3.30 p.m. against Moruga Composite of the South Zone.

And down south, 1999 national double winners Naparima College, will begin their Intercol defence against the East/Central Zone’s St Augustine Senior Comprehensive.

Of the two ties, the Naparima/St Augustine game seems the more intriguing. Naps, disappointed with their surrender of the South Zone and Big Four titles, will be eager to make amends today. But while St Augustine only managed fifth place in East/Central, they should be motivated enough to make Naparima work for a win.

The 5 p.m. encounter will be the second match of a doubleheader that will also feature Presentation College of San Fernando and the East Zone Senior Division qualifier.

The introduction of teams from the Senior Division of East, Central, North and South is a new feature of the competition this season. No one has a bye, hence Malick’s early return to action.

Trinity College should be fresh enough though to take on another Senior Division contender, the south’s Fyzabad Composite at Fatima ground from 3.30 p.m.

Fyzabad will not have fond memories of their last Intercol match.

Last year in the Hasely Crawford Stadium, they were hammered 10-1 by Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive. They ought not to have such a harrowing time against a Trinity side which barely escaped the cellar position in the North Zone. But the Moka boys will still start as favourites.

In the other match, Tobago teams Bishop’s High School and Roxborough Composite play at Bon Accord from 3.30 p.m.

These matches begin a hectic week of football that will see 17 first round games being played.

Tomorrow, four more games are carded. East/Central Zone winners Arima Senior Comprehensive tackle Vessigny Government Secondary of the South Zone in the second match of an Arima Velodrome doubleheader. The first match features Toco Composite and the Central Zone qualifier.

Also tomorrow, Mayaro Composite play Barataria Secondary at Skinner Park and Scarborough Composite and Elizabeth’s College battle at Bon Accord.
Sunday October 22nd, 2000

Malick play one for Franco

                       Benedict’s get 5-0 beating

Sports Desk

THE game was not yet over. But the big blue banner had inched around behind the St Benedict's College goal in front of the Queen's Park Oval pavilion. Behind it was a chipping, chanting posse.

"We are Ma-lick! Hard-working Ma-lick! Ain't nobody better than Malick!"

And in a matter of minutes, in the pavilion which was awash with champagne and smiles of triumph, were 18 muddy schoolboys and their coach huddled around the BWIA SSFL Big Four trophy.

"We doing it for Fran-co! We doing it for Fran-co!"

Skipper Devon Jorsling and his Malick Secondary Comprehensive teammates had just left St Benedict's College reeling on the messy end of a 5-0 scoreline in the Big Four final. And their heartfelt tribute to coach Ken Franco brought an emotional end to an extraordinary afternoon.

The Big Four triumph made it six league final wins out of six for the North champions.

It is an unprecedented record, preserved in a manner no one could have expected, not least the shell-shocked players in green and gold.

Three strikes inside the first half-hour and two in the final ten minutes, tamed the previously ruthless La Romaine Lions. A Jorsling double and goals by Akido Kelly, Zambo Swift and substitute Marvin Lee made a mockery of the form book. It also capped a most admirable display of disciplined team football that saw substance triumph over style.

A heavy ground made defending hazardous business. But the Malick boys again showed their capacity for hard work. Time after time, Benedict's prolific strikers Kendell Davis and Nkosi Blackman found their paths blocked by a blue body, or an outstretched leg . Outstandingly anchored by Michael-John Williams and Anson Streete at the back, Malick's dogged marking and covering also frustrated Benedict's playmaking skipper Akil Jordan.

But in an open first half, Jordan still did enough creating for his side to hit the target early on. Instead, Malick's Kelly scored after ten minutes. From a move started on the left side by Jorsling, he ran onto a Joel Marquis lay-on and drove a rightfooter into the bottom right-hand corner of goalkeeper Sadiki Stewart's net.

Before Benedict's could recover, Swift's speculative left-side freekick had sailed one-bounce into the far corner, leaving Stewart bewildered.

He would have been justifiably upset though by the third item, Jorsling the marksman. The striker was left unattended by Lee Haynes when Odelle Armstrong squared across the area and Stewart paid the price, Jorsling blasting home from close range.

The "Lions" seemed capable of a second half comeback. But as the game wore on, frustration became desperation. Malick weathered periods of intense pressure and then, with Benedict's in defensive disarray, dished out more grief, Jorsling tapping home a simple chance after some splendid approach play by Lee and Marvin Joseph.

A hellish afternoon for Benedict's was completed when "Tiny" Lee made it five four minutes from time.

The Malick flag party was now in full swing, the revellers waiting to welcome their hard workers.

And to play one more for Franco.

Inter-col starts Monday
NORTH ZONE champions Malick will be in action on Monday when the National Inter-col football series begins with five matches.

The Morvant side will come up against Moruga on St Mary's ground, Serpentine Road.
Malick clash with South champions St Benedict's tomorrow in the "Big Four" final of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League at Queen's Park Oval, from 3.30 pm.

Following are first round Inter-col matches:
Monday: Presentation (San F'do) vs East Senior, 3 pm; Naparima vs St Augustine, 5 pm, Skinner Park; Malick vs Moruga, St Mary's; Trinity vs Fyzabad, Fatima; Bishop's vs Roxborough, Bon Accord, 3.30 pm.

Tuesday: Toco vs Central Senior, 3 pm; Arima vs Vessigny, 5 pm, Arima Stadium; Mayaro vs Barataria, Skinner Park, 4 pm; Scarborough vs Elizabeth's, Bon Accord, 3.30 pm. Wednesday: St Mary's vs Success/Laventille, Fatima; Tranquillity vs St Benedict's, St Mary's, 3.30 pm.

Friday: St Anthony's vs QRC, Centre of Excellence; Mucurapo vs Presentation (Chaguanas), St Anthony's; Signal Hill vs Bishop's/Roxborough, Bon Accord, 3.30 pm. Saturday: El Dorado vs Carapichaima, 3 pm; San Juan vs Pleasantville, 5 pm, Arima Stadium; Princes Town vs Fatima, 4 pm, Skinner Park.



SSSFL coronation time at Oval


 THE players and coaching staff of St Benedict’s College and Malick Secondary Comprehensive would like to treat today like any other. Except that today, they have the chance to make more history.

 The 2000 edition of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League comes to an end this afternoon at the sprawling Queen’s Park Oval.

 And when the playing is over, one, perhaps two, sets of schoolboys will be sprawled on the famous turf, the one celebrating another season of achievement, the other wondering about what went wrong.

 So far, though, things have gone according to plan for North’s Malick and South’s Benedict’s. 

The kings of the North have been consistent and efficient.

 In 15 matches thus far, including Wednesday’s semifinal against Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive, Malick have been beaten just once. That surprise 2-0 loss came against Tranquillity Secondary five weeks ago.

 Since then, the Morvant boys have chipped away at the opposition, getting the points without ever destroying them.

 The kings of the South, though, have been rampant.

 Tuesday’s 5-0 demolition of East/Central winners Arima Senior Comprehensive at Skinner Park brought their tally to 54 goals in 15 games.

 Should they match their average of three goals per game this afternoon, the Akil Jordan-led Lions from La Romaine will probably romp away with the trophy. But along with the success that their attacking football has brought has come some erratic displays that produced 2-1 and 1-0 losses to Princes Town and Pleasantville Senior Comprehensive.

 Perhaps their goalpower has sometimes spawned complacency. For on their best days, Benedict’s have the wherewithal to hurt any side. Towering Nkosi Blackman and diminutive Kendell Davis have worried teams with their consistent goalscoring. They also present different problems for opposition defences.

 Blackman, tall and gangling, is a threat in the air, and a good target for the effective left-winger Michael Carrington. Blackman, with his 15 goals, has also been a good foil for Davis. Low to the ground, quick and a penetrative dribbler, Davis is the League’s top scorer with 19 strikes.

  But Benedict’s have also been able to get goals from elsewhere on the field and in skipper Jordan they possess a creative player who can open up defences with a deft pass or a bit of skill.

 The obvious task facing Malick will be to find ways to counter Benedict’s offensive threats. The northerners have been tight at the back this season, conceding just 11 goals. That stinginess has compensated for their lack of potency up front. Skipper Devon Jorsling is very much the lynchpin of the attack with his ability to create openings and score goals. But as reliant as they are on him, Malick also possess players like Sabir Guerra, Marvin Lee and Kareem Joseph capable of rising to the occasion.

 And rise they must today, if Malick are to keep their 100 per cent finals record intact.

 In five attempts, they are yet to lose a national league final, be it Big Eight or Big Seven. History is on their side, especially since Benedict’s have not had a happy time recently in big games in Port of Spain.

 But it has been a long time since 1967 when the Lawrence Rondon-led Benedict’s, with Leo Brewster and Clebert Lennard in the line-up, won it all in the league. Maybe 2000 is coronation time.

 Play starts at 3.30 p.m.

Benedict's stop the ‘Dynamos’


 THE much-anticipated match-up between St Benedict’s College and Arima Senior Comprehensive ended in a comprehensive 5-0 beating for the visitors at Skinner Park on Tuesday afternoon.

 While for the Benedict’s fans, it was entertaining stuff, for the travelling Arima supporters it was very

depressing, as the “La Romaine Lions” continued to frustrate the “Dial Dynamos” for yet another year.

 Unlike in the past when the struggles have usually been close, on this occasion St Benedict’s completely outplayed Arima on this occasion—and the score-line reflected it.

 Crowd trouble had put a premature end to their Intercol semifinal encounter at Skinner Park in 1991,after a disputed goal gave Arima a 2-1 lead. Six years later at the same venue, Arima went under to the home side by a score of 4-3.

 The Dynamos were never in it on Tuesday. St Benedict’s went ahead as early as the 7th minute when prolific striker Nkosi Blackman scored the first of his two goals on the day. After exploiting an opening on the left flank, Michael Carrington played a lofted long ball into the 18-metre box.

 The Arimian defenders seemed to be expecting an intervention by goalkeeper Alborn Roberts but he stood his ground long enough for Blackman to stab home.

 Arima tried gamely to respond but the best they could do was a few individual efforts from Akiel Guevara and Randall Alexis who between them created a string of scoring opportunities for about five minutes after the quarter of an hour mark.

 They yielded nothing on the score card and, with Blackman and Kendall Davis keeping the Arima defence well-occupied, St Benedict’s slowly began to dominate the proceedings almost completely.

 Their second goal came just before the interval through the combination of Davis and Blackman. In the 43rd minute, Davis outpaced two Arima defenders down the flank and then calmly played the ball along the ground Blackman who slammed his shot high into the net past Roberts to make it 2-0.

 In the second half, it was more of the same except that Blackman was a marked man. Davis though took over, repeatedly streaking past the Arima left-side defenders to send cross after cross into the Arima danger zone.

 The defenders on the right side had it no easier, Carrington stretching them to the limit with his timely passing and dribbling.

 The pressure eventually told in the 54th minute. A Blackman header off one of the many corners St Benedict’s won was on its way into the net when

 Jessie Reyes stopped it with his hand on the goal line. The Arima defender was given the red card and St Benedict’s a penalty which Keith Williams converted from the spot.

 From 3-0 down, there was no way back for Michael Grayson’s boys. They introduced Kevon Rodriguez and Ryan Gray who, as a solitary attacker, showed good composure and skill but could do little to erase the deficit.

  It widened to four in the 76th minute after another Keith Williams corner.

 When the defence failed to make a proper clearance, the ball landed happily for Dennison Scipio who controlled it quickly and drove a powerful low left-footer past Roberts.

Fittingly it was Davis, who had an outstanding game, who sealed the issue in the 87th minute.

Outrunning La Guerre and wrenching himself free of his grip when he tried to hold on to him, the striker hit a volley towards goal.

 Roberts managed to get his body in the way but the sheer power of the shot took the ball over the line.  Arima now have a 5-0 whipping to add to the growing list of indignities to be avenged by the Boys in Blue one of these days. 

Malick in the 'Big Four' final

STRIKER MARVIN "TINY" LEE has been rechristened "Bound To Score" by several of his Malick schoolmates.
The sixth form student lived up to his new name yesterday by coming off the bench to score the only goal against Tobago champions Signal Hill at the Queen's Park Oval.

Lee's 80th minute strike booked Malick's spot alongside southern champ St Benedict's in tomorrow's BWIA Secondary Schools Football League "Big Four" final at the same venue.

Malick supporters had been angry with coach Kenneth Franco for not putting Lee, a five foot, 120-lb striker, in the starting line-up. But after 65 minutes, Franco called on the dependable forward for a tired Odelle Armstrong.
And Lee made and immediate impact, doing what his teammates were unable to achieve before - score against "The Hill".

Lurking around his favourite position just inside the box on the right, Lee unleashed a powerful roofer which goalkeeper Kyle Joseph had no chance of saving. St Benedict's powered its way into the final by slamming East/Central champions Arima 5-0 Tuesday in the other semi-final.


Wednesday October 18th, 2000

‘Benedict’s’ in Big Four finals

St Bendict's College are into the finals of the Big Four competition.

Yesterday at Skinner Park, the South Zone inflicted a 5-0 licking on East/ Central Champions Arima in front a partisan home crowd. • See full story tomorrow

The southerners booked their place in the final thanks to a double from Nkosi Blackman. Keith Williams chipped in with a penalty and Dennison Scipio and Kendall Davis. They now advance to play against the winner of today's encounter between Tobago champions Signal Hill and Malick, the holders of the North crown.

The final takes place on Sunday 21 at the Queen's Park Oval.

       Foul talk and foolishness in the SSFL


The game was down by the sea. And the language was salty.

A game between schoolboys was in progress. But it sounded as though sailors were ashore.

It was hard to concentrate on what was taking place on the field given the “colour” commentary on the sidelines.

But the foul talk did not stop there. A youth on the losing team was shown the red card when the game was over because of more bad language. One so-called supporter of his team then began a fresh assault on the referee. All the man did not do was put fist to face.

And as the crowd began to leave and a more senior colleague in the profession was justifiably voicing his disapproval of the behaviour he had witnessed, another schoolboy—red card’s teammate—told him off. Not in the Queen’s english.

I could only shake my head.

What was so sad about this scene was that this was no one-off thing. It was not about one team having a bad day. No, this crassness is not confined to school teams in the south or the north or the east or Tobago. The perpetrators are not just a few hard-headed youngsters. And the problem is not even restricted to students. Age has nothing to do with this cancer that is plaguing the Secondary Schools Football League.

It is not a new problem. But it is getting no better.

In the heat of the moment, the harsh word is bound to be said, by the under-pressure goalkeeper getting poor protection from his defence, or the captain trying to rouse his players or the coach trying to jerk his lethargic charges out of their slumber. Even by the long-suffering fan of some struggling side.

But during this and other recent SSFL seasons, there have been too many moments when reasonableness has been replaced by irresponsibility. No, crudeness!

How could it be acceptable when the misbehaviour is started by some “Sir”, standing on the sidelines, dealing out some choice words to a player—from his own school—who’s not playing to his liking.

Who is he helping?

And where is the example when the poor ref, always a candidate to be public enemy number one, is accosted by some irate parent who did not like his off-side call or freekick decision?

How can anyone be surprised by bad behaviour among the young when they are learning so quickly from the old?

Some day soon, “beat de ref”, will cease to just be Trini “ole talk”.

But so far this season no incidents have become major. However, Intercol, the most emotional of schoolboy sporting events is approaching.

It’s impractical to ask the league to turn playgrounds into priories or to give red cards to foolish fans. This cancer after all goes way beyond sport.

But it would be nice though, if one day, the boys could play in peace. And the rest of us watch without wincing.

Benedict's swamp Arima

ST BENEDICT'S College swamped Arima Senior Comprehensive 5-0 when the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League's "Big Four" tournament got underway yesterday at Skinner Park, San Fernando. The La Romain boys led 2-0 at half time.

St Benedict's went into an early lead in the seventh minute when Nkosi Blackman blasted home from inside the box.
And two minutes before half time, Blackman scored again with a well-taken free kick which gave the Arima custodian no chance.

Taking advantage of its home support, Benedict's went further ahead in the 56th minute though Keith Williams II to make it 3-0. And two more goals by Dennison Scipio (76th minute) and Kendall Davis (88th minute) completed the scoring in the one-sided match.

Signal Hill (Tobago) and Malick (East-Central), winners of their respective zones, clash today in another "Big Four" match at Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, starting from 3.30 pm.
Tuesday October 17th, 2000

Grudge match starts ‘Big 4’

Sports Desk

FIRST there were 29, now there are four.

The best of the 2000 crop in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League have been decided. And beginning this afternoon at Skinner Park, the ‘cream’ will be refined.

South Zone winners St Benedict’s College meet East/Central champions Arima Senior Comprehensive from 4 p.m. in the first of the “Big Four” semifinals.

The other match takes place tomorrow when North champs Malick Secondary take on Tobago kings Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive at the Queen’s Park Oval.

The East/Central versus South contest promises to be the more intriguing of the two matches given both the form and history of Arima and St Benedict’s.

In 1991, Intercol had to be abandoned after a semifinal clash between the two at the Park ended in chaos and then court. Then in 1997, Benedict’s won a memorable Intercol semifinal 4-3 on a goal which Arima furiously protested was the result of a handled ball.

Whatever the result, the game can hardly be dull, especially in the light of the form being displayed by the two sides. Arima have got better as the season has gone on. They steadily pursued and eventually overhauled early leaders San Juan Senior Comprehensive, only to find themselves needing to hold off a late challenge from former champs El Dorado Secondary Comprehensive.

Beaten just once this season, Arima have scored 15 goals in their last five games, a tally which includes two 5-0 wins.

The Easterners, though, will be meeting a side who know all about scoring goals. Benedict’s rattled up 49 in their 14 league matches. In Kendell Davis and Nkosi Blackman, they possess the SSFL’s most potent and consistent front pair. But for all their attacking power and the flair of their play-making captain Akil Jordan, the “La Romaine Lions” have a defence that is wont to be less than impenetrable.

So the question will be whether Arima can produce something like their best in the partisan atmosphere at Skinner Park. And beat their Southland bogey. It will be no easy task.

Playing in Trinidad has also been tough for Signal Hill of late.

Their 1998 Big Seven triumph was gained without playing a match in Trinidad. And last season, the Signal Hill boys were edged out 1-0 by eventual winners Naparima College.

But a Bertille St Clair team can never be dismissed. And Malick would be foolish to do so.

The North winners have the happy habit of hopping away with the national crown on each of the five occasions they have won the North title. But for five to become six this year, they will have to show the resilience that saw them outlast—rather than blast away—their opposition in the league.

In tomorrow’s contest which begins at 3.30 p.m, they will need to fight all the way to climb the ‘Hill’.

Arima Senior, Benedict's clash today

By Gregory Trujillo

ARIMA SENIOR Comprehensive goalkeeper Alborn Hassan-Roberts has not been easy to score on all season.
However, today, he faces two of the deadliest striking combinations in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League in Kendall Davis and Nkosi Blackman, of St Benedict's College.

The Dial Dynamos, who captured the East/Central Zone title, will journey to Skinner Park, San Fernando to tackle the La Romain Lions, who were crowned South champions, in the first national "Big Four" semi-final from 4 p.m.
The other "semi" will be contested tomorrow between Malick, the North champions, and Signal Hill, the Tobago winners, at the Queen's Park Oval, from 3.30 pm. Backed by a sturdy defence headed by skipper Donald La Guerre, the six-foot, 200-pound Hassan-Roberts allowed only eight goals in 14 matches during the season.

Up front, his forwards Dwight Lewis, Corey Garcia and Akil Guevara also did a good job in helping the Arimians to 38 goals - a record bettered only by St Benedict's, who netted 49. Although his team will be at full strength, St Benedict's coach Mohammed Isa has had slight keeping worries, his team having conceded 20 goals.

"I will not be naming my 'keeper until after a practice session today (yesterday)," Isa pointed out.
St Benedict's have used two 'keepers during the season, Anton Alleyne, who saved in the first three matches, and Sadiq Stewart. In his quest to get goals, Isa said he would not be depending solely on Davis and Blackman.

"I expect the other players to step up their game and score some goals with the structure we will be using," he said.
"I think it will be an exciting game of football as both teams are fairly balanced with good players."
Michael Grayson, who has been coach of Arima since 1991, will be missing one of his main players, Ellis Dyette, who was injured against San Juan last Thursday.

"Everybody else is fit and I expect a good team effort," Grayson revealed."Expect a good strong game from us. If the conditions are right you will witness good football." Arima and Benedict's last met in 1997 in the national Inter-Col semi-finals when the southerners came out on top 4-3 at the same venue.

Monday October 16th, 2000

Benedict's striker top colleges goalscorer
By Gregory Trujillo

SKILFUL Kendall Davis topped the goal scoring in the first phase - the zonals - of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League which ended on Saturday. The nippy striker netted 16 goals from 14 matches for St Benedict's ­ the winners of the South Zone from last year's winners Naparima.

Davis' striking partner Nkosi Blackman finished second in the individual scoring, sharing that position on 13 goals with Nigerian-born James Odogwa of St Mary's and Atiba McKnight of Naparima.
Next in line was Frederick Douglas of Queen's Royal College with 12 strikes followed by Colin Samuel of Mayaro with 11.

Together, Davis and Blackman were responsible for scoring more than half the goals for St Benedict's, which was run-away winners in the most goals category with 49.

Trailing the La Romain "Lions" was East Zone champions Arima with 38 goals, Mayaro with 37, Presentation (San Fernando) with 32 and St Mary's, El Dorado and Naparima with 29 each.
"He is a ball wizzard," said St Benedict's principal, Declan Singh, when asked to make a comment about his top goalscorer, who is a Fifth Form repeater playing his third season. "Kendall's attitude to the game is fantastic, " he added. "He is quiet, unassuming and well-disciplined and extremely skilful."

"I can't recall him ever getting a yellow card in the three seasons he has played for Benedict's."
Singh stated that he was a bit surprised that his school was able to win the zone.
"I thought this year would be one of rebuilding because our team is a very young one. We basically will have the same team next year."

Singh also mentioned that the Mohammed Isa-coached unit had little or no preparation before the start of the tournament. "Our first game of any sort was the first match we played against Moruga (4-1 winners) in the League," he disclosed. "Lack of preparation could explain why we were a bit inconsistent."

"This tells us that our players have to be extremely skilful and I expect us to do well in all the other competitions.
"I know that we could hold our own against any college team in Trinidad and Tobago."
St Benedict's was coming off two unsuccessful years in the competition, having been champions in 1994, '95 and '97. There was no football in '96 because of the strike by teachers.

Isa picked up duty as coach of the "Brunner Boys" in 1994 and has taken them to four championship wins.
Since the national Inter-Col started in 1995, St Benedict's has played in every final except last year.
The school is famous for producing outstanding footballers since the 1964-1967 era like Warren Archibald, Leroy de Leon, Kenny Joseph, Jan Steadman, Wilfred Cave and Steve David, who all went on to represent the country at senior national level.

The leading goalscorers

16 - Kendall Davis (St Benedict's).
13 - James Odogwa (St Mary's), Atiba McKnight (Naparima), Kkosi Blackman (St Benedict's).
12 - Frederick Douglas (QRC).
11 - Colin Samuel (Mayaro).
9 - Anton Wolfe (Mayaro).
8 - Cordell Lucas (San Juan).
7 - Abiola Clarence (St Anthony's), Marvin Phillips (Presentation, San Fernando), Dwight Lewis (Arima), Ian McAuley (Success/Laventille).

Sunday October 15th, 2000

Success/ Laventille fail in SSFL


JOY: The Trinity College players, chanting, jumping up and down in centre field.

Sorrow: The Success/Laventille Composite crew, strewn about the PSA ground, some flat on their backs, others hunched over their knees, staring aimlessly into space.

The end of the regular season in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football league had brought blessings and bitterness to two sets of schoolboys and their supporters.

For Success, failure came in the form of a 3-0 defeat that will now leave them waiting anxiously on the outcome of the Senior Division competition. Ironically, Success’s fate could be decided by Fatima College, leaders of Group 'B,' and the team they replaced in the Championship Division this season.

Should Fatima defeat the eventual winners of group ‘A'’ where the schools already represented in the top division are competing, they would replace cellar-placed Success next season.

Those permutations will not concern Hyron Brown, though.

The Trinity forward received lusty cheers when he left the field about six minutes from the end. It was he after all who saved his side’s skin.

Brown’s first half hattrick decided this battle of the bottom teams in the North Zone.

Perhaps it was the pressure to win that got to them. Or just the strain of a tough season. But this contest, for all the effort, was not a spectacle.

Success, chasing up and down, had their chances to put Trinity under pressure. But as has probably too often been the case this season, they could not make their chances count.

Twice in the early portion of the first half, Damian Chapman was put clear through on goal, the first via a good right-side move involving Shem Mc Farlane and Marcus Charles. But he headed overbars on that occasion and then, with the second chance, blasted over the goal.

Brown by that time had already put Trinity in front with a second minute item. Then in the 38th minute, he doubled up-with some help.

A horrible miskick by the last defender left him with a clear chance on goal. He did not miss, sending the ball past goalkeeper Ateba Hume into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

It was a tough task even for tireless striker Ian Macauley to keep Success’s hopes alive.

And when five minutes later, the unchallenged Brown powered his header from a left-side corner past Hume, the game was up.

“Raise yuh head! We don’t have time for that now,” was the admonition in the Success dressing room at halftime.

But though they kept trying in the second period, there was no breakthrough.

The final blast of referee Russell Casimire’s whistle confirmed the lost cause. Now the Success boys must wait on Fatima and hope for a repeat.

St Benedict's rules again

ST BENEDICT'S College regained their supremacy in the South Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League when they held on for a 3-2 victory over Princes Town Senior Comprehensive yesterday.

Goals by Michael Carrington (16th minute), Kendell "Neck" Davis (47th) and Nkosi Blackman (49th) saw the La Romain "Lions" take the South Zone crown for the first time since 1997, dethroning Naparima College in the process.

Naparima (29 points), the reigning national champions as well, needed a win over Vessigny Composite to pressure St Benedict's. But they could only muster a 1-1 draw at Skinner Park and were eventually edged out of the title by three points. Yesterday's result for St Benedict's also now sets up an exciting "Big Four" semi-final clash with East/Central winners Arima SC at Skinner Park on Tuesday.

At Princes Town: The home side, 1-0 winners in the first round meeting, began proceedings in confident fashion and should have gone ahead in the third minute.
Benedict's goalkeeper Anton Alleyne failed to hold a deep cross but striker Brent Julien could only hit the follow up off target from close range.

P/Town, runners up in the Intercol last season, were stringing their passes well in the opposition's half of the field with Anthony Noreiga, Solomon Beaumont, Dean Logan and Julien seeking to break Lee Haynes' defence. But the La Romain boys soon found their rhythm and had P/Town skipper and 'keeper Marlon Sylvester busy. He did well to keep out efforts by Lester Edwards and Davis.

The opening item came when Blackman and Davis combined before the latter saw his effort partly blocked by Sylvester, allowing Carrington to nail the rebound. While captain Akil Jordan's team pressured to increase the lead with Edwards and Carrington being denied by Sylvester, the homeside continued to make good build ups but lacked the finishing touch.

Noreiga's header on goal was blocked by the hands of a Benedict's defender, but to the dismay of the home supporters, their team could not convert from the penalty spot.
Sylvester, a member of the national under-20 side, fired his attempt over bar in the 43rd minute. Ahead 1-0 at the break and with "Naps" ahead on a similar scoreline, the Saints went for the kill on he resumption.

Two minutes into the half, Davis met a through ball and calmly hit under Sylvester's body for his 17th goal of the season, leaving him atop the goalscorer's chart. Before the "Green Hornets" could catch themselves, they were stung for a third time. This time Davis was the provider from the right and Blackman stabbed home from inside a crowded penalty box for the eventual winner.

P/Town hit back in the 53rd when Noreiga's lobbing header beat the petit Alleyne on his line. Eight minutes later, Noreiga was at it again but his header went inches wide of the right near post. Despite having near misses from Keith Williams and David, Benedict's dropped gears and were lucky not to be punished.

Six minutes before the end Carrington's effort came off the crossbar and Davis' follow up was cleared on the line. From the clearance, P/Town counter attacked and Andre Pacheco slammed his effort past Aleyne from close up. The "Princes" then went all out for the equaliser but there was nothing to prevent their opponents from being crowned kings of the south.

Winners take all in SSFL

Sports Desk

THE races have been tight and, at times, unpredictable. But this afternoon, the winners are going to take all.

The South and East/Central Zones of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League conclude today with very little separating the top two teams in each area. And in both these divisions, the defending champions are trailing.

Down South, national title-holders Naparima College, aiming for a hattrick of zonal triumphs, must win when they face Vessigny Government Secondary at Skinner Park.

“Naps” missed the chance to seal championship number three on Thursday when they lost 2-0 to St Benedict’s College. It was a crucial loss, one that gave their rivals the chance to regain the lead by one point with one league match remaining.

Doing the double over their rivals would have pleased Benedict’s captain Akil Jordan and his players immensely. But their coaches will quickly remind them about the high price of complacency. Today, Benedict’s face a potentially tricky trip to Princes Town Senior Comprehensive.

Struggling P/Town have not been championship challengers this season. But their 2-1 upset of Benedict’s in the first half of the season, coming directly after the La Romaine lads’ first win over Naps-helped keep the race open.

Jordan and company now have the chance to settle the score and secure their first championship since 1997.

In the other matches, Moruga Composite, in serious danger of relegation, visit thriving, third-placed Mayaro Composite and Presentation College host Pleasantville Senior Comprehensive.

In East/Central, leaders Arima Senior Comprehensive have moved confidently towards the title since being beaten by second-placed El Dorado Secondary Comprehensive on September 30.

The “Dial Dynamos” have since won four games in a row, the last two being impressive 5-0 whippings of St Augustine Senior Comprehensive and former leaders San Juan Senior Comprehensive.

That high scoring, though, has only allowed Arima to preserve a two-point lead over champs ElDo. The “Blue Thunder” themselves are coming off a 9-1 walloping of cellar-placed Presentation College, Chaguanas. But both sides would be happy with three points this afternoon when they go on the road.

Arima travel to Barataria Secondary who have struggled all season just as much as St Augustine who host ElDorado. In the other games, Presentation and central rivals Carapichaima Senior Comprehensive meet in Chaguanas and Toco Composite visit San Juan.

Up North, Trinity College (ten points) and Success/Laventille Composite (11 points) play each other at the PSA ground in what has become a desperate battle to avoid possible relegation.

The Laventille-based side, trying to survive an understandably erratic first season in the Championship Division, will hope to repeat their 2-1 triumph over Trinity in the first round. But the Moka boys will be keen to exact vengeance for that setback.

In the other games, new champs Malick Secondary will aim to preserve their unbeaten record over the second half of the campaign when they visit ex-kings St Anthony’s College, St Mary’s College visit Tranquillity Secondary and Queen’s Royal College host Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive.

Friday October 13th, 2000

Arima stays out front

 ARIMA stayed on course to regain a hold on the East/Central Zone title in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League yesterday. The Dial Dynamos kept its championship drive alive with a 5-0 thrashing of San Juan at Arima Municipal Stadium. The win helped Arima maintain a two-point lead over closest challenger and defending champ El Dorado (30 pts).

 However, the Blue Thunder ensured the race would go right down to the wire this weekend after walloping Presentation College 9-1. San Juan (22 pts), who have been defeated in its last three games, now looks destined to finish in third spot. At Arima: Four first half goals - two in the first five minutes of play - allowed Arima, who relished the wet conditions
 underfoot, to coast to victory.

 A big kick-out from Arima keeper Alborn Hassan-Roberts found Dwight Lewis whose touch forward sent Ellis Dyette on a path to goal. Dyette outran his marker and shot to goal only to see it hit the post before being swept over the line by teammate Corey Garcia to the delight of the Arima fans. Dyette would find the net three minutes later when his cross was mishandled by Christopher McMillan and ended up in the net.

 Nigel Alexander then made the score 3-0 with his 20-metre shot which beat the 'keeper at the far post. Alf Skeete Made it 4-0 for Arima after running on to a good ball from Garcia and slipping it past Mc Millan on the near post.

 With their side well in front, the Arima fans brushed up on their intercol chants in the second half. And they were soon given more to chant about as Ryan Gray headed in a Kerron Phillips cross to make the score 5-0.

At Tunapuna: "El Do" feeding on a four-goal effort from Kevin James never looked in danger against Pres. On a wet and heavy ground, the visitors actually struck first through Darryl Celestine in the 11th minute.

 But Pres were then hit for nine.Kevin James rocked the roof of the net with the equaliser from almost 25 yards out two minutes after Celestine's opener. Kieve Van Loo got the second then Sherron Manswell extended the lead to 3-0 with a magnificent solo effort.

 After the interval Blue Thunder added six more goals with James netting a second half hat-trick and Junior Pamponette, Jesse De Four and Rankin Assoon each getting on the score sheet. In the south zone, St Benedict's College also set up a last gasp finish for tomorrow. The La Romain lads tipped the scales back in their favour after shutting out defending champ
 Naparima 2-0 to regain the lead.

 Full points pushed Benedict's tally 29, one more than Naps. St Benedict's travels to struggling Princes Town while Naparima hosts Vessigny in tomorrow's final round of matches. But with none of the other teams in contention, Benedict's may well have done enough to steal the title from under Naps' nose.

Benedict’s leave Naps bitter


IT was always going to be a trying afternoon for the players of Naparima and St Benedict’s College inLa Romaine yesterday.
And when they trudged off the field at the Basil Matthews Complex on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League fixture, the taste of defeat seemed to be especially bitter for the Naparima lads and their supporters.

Referee Curtis Darling had to make his way quickly from the field, a barrage of foul epithets ringing in his ears as foul-mouthed Naps supporters vented their spleen. By then, the official had already felt compelled to show Naparima’s Fabien Lewis the red card for abusive speech seconds after the game was over.

It was an unsavoury few minutes that did no credit to last season’s champion school. Whatever their beef with the ref, the mindless few seemed to miss the fact that, for the second time this season, their side had failed to make use of their opportunities.

Perhaps it was the pain of defeat that blinded them.

The loss put Naparima back in second place with just one game to go in the South Zone Championship Division race. Only one point separates the defending champs and Benedict’s. But now, Naps’ destiny is no longer at their feet alone.

Benedict’s, having squandered their two-point advantage in the previous round, redeemed themselves for that 1-0 loss to Pleasantville by sinking the champs.

As they did in the first encounter, the Benedict’s front pair of Nkosi Blackman and Kendell Davis taught their rivals that goals alone earn the points.

On a damp afternoon in La Roamine-on-sea, their accurate finishing on either side of halftime, distinguished an otherwise disappointing game.

Naparima surely missed the penetration and drive of suspended striker Ateba McKnight. And while in the second half, they virtually owned the field, Naps were unable to make that possession count.

By then, Blackman had already put them on the backfoot.

A high, left-side Michael Carrington cross in the 36th minute was well met, the tall striker climbing high to guide his header past goalkeeper Shai Prescod into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

Benedict’s would have doubled their lead before the interval but for two desperate defensive Kareem Simon headers, including a goalline clearance off a Carrington header.

Lethargic Benedict’s had fewer opportunities in the second period. Skipper Akil Jordan, who shared the midfield honours with his Naparima colleague, ex-teammate Dia Hunte, was not as effective. But Naps failed to take advantage.

Striker Wendell Joseph, neatly found by energetic substitute Ateba Forde, hit straight at young keeper Anton Alleyne. Later, a Wendell Joseph drive inside the penalty area was deflected onto a post.

The goal Naps needed didn’t come though. And with just four minutes to go, they were two behind.

A firm long-range drive by Keith Williams II, was parried by Prescod, only for the sharp Davis to pounce and slip the ball in at the near post.

“Naps go home! Naps go home!” the Benedict’s schoolboys chanted.

Some of their rivals in the main stand took their advice. One Benedict’s beating had been bad enough.

                    Arima whip San Juan


IT rained goals in the East Zone BWIA Secondary Schools Football League as the penultimate round of matches ended yesterday.

At the Arima Municipal Stadium, Arima Senior Comprehensive swamped San Juan Senior Comprehensive 5-0 to move to 32 points and maintain their two-point lead at the head of the table.

At the same time at El Dorado, last year’s champs El Dorado Secondary Comprehensive were having an even better time getting past cellar-placed Presentation College Chaguanas 9-1.

The pattern was the same at Cumana where Toco Composite inflicted a 6-1 licking on Barataria Secondary Comprehensive.

In the other game at Carapichaima, St Augustine Senior Comprehensive defeated the home team 3-1.

Arima face Barataria at Barataria in their final game on Saturday while El Dorado (30 point) face St Augustine. El Do’s only chance of winning the title for the third consecutive year will be for Barataria to defeat Arima while they get past St Augustine. The “Dynamos” need only a draw to lift the title they last won in 1997.

On a very heavy ground at Arima, the home team took the lead in only the second minute through Corey Garcia.

They went further ahead through an own goal from San Juan and, with two more from Ryan Gray and Alf Skeete, ended the first half at 4-0.

San Juan did offer some stout resistance in th second session, restricting Arima to just one more goal, the marksman beoing Negel Alexander.

At El Dorado, Pres took the lead when Daryl Celestine capitalised on a defence blunder and rifled a powerful shot past the ElDo keeper. But the “Blue Thunder” replied shortly afterwards, Kevin James running past the Pres defence to level the score.

James found the net three times again to complete the beaver-trick while Kieve Van Loo, Shevon Manswell, skipper Jesse De Four, Junior Pamponette and Sterling O’Brien were the other goalscorers for the “Thunder”.

                 Success Laventille fight on


SUCCESS Laventille was on a mission.

Promoted to the BWIA SSFL North Zone championship this year, their objective is to survive yet another year.

And they took a small step in that direction yesterday, when they drew 2-2 with Mucurapo at Fatima Grounds.

In their penultimate match of the league competition, the one point Success carried away from the match put them a step ahead of the other team struggling to make it back next year-Trinity.

The boys from Moka did their cause no good when they went under 3-2 to St Mary’s at Serpentine Road.

But at Fatima: Success were searching for points.

Some tentative play, though and a confident Mucurapo side almost betrayed their quest. Mucurapo, through strikers Keon Carter and Garvin Gulston, used the natural slope of the pitch to their advantage, running tirelessly at the Success defence.

But Success managed to keep a clean scoresheet through good defending by Emmanuel Noel and David James. They were also helped by the bad shooting technique of Carter, Gulston and Anton Joseph, their shots lacking enough power to trouble goalkeeper Atiba Hume.

But Success could not depend on Mucurapo to miss forever.

And Joseph didn’t in the 34th minute.

James was beaten by a ball played around him and into Joseph path. The Mucurapo left winger cut into the area and calmly placed the ball underneath Hume who had rushed out in vain to narrow the angle.

In such a crucial game, Success did not want to be behind.

They corrected that soon enough.

The speedy Ian Mc Auley did the job twice to put them in front.

First Mc Auley got around Paul Pantin before slipping the ball past Dawrence Williams in the Mucurapo goal.

Then on the stroke of half time, the Success attacker made the most of Akil Weekes’ missed swipe at the ball to sprint into the area and squeeze home under Williams once more.

From trailing, Success moved to leading in the space of ten minutes.

But three points was still a whole period's play away. And the chance at victory disappeared for good when Akil Mark found the net. His 66th minute effort gave Mucurapo a share of the points.

But when news came of Trinity’s failure, the Morvant school breathed a little easier.

Now when both teams meet tomorrow at PSA, Success will see if they can attain their season’s objective-survive to play Championship football next year.

In the other two matches, newly-crowned North Zone champions Malick edged QRC 2-1 at PSA while last year’s winners St Anthony’s College narrowly got the better of Tranquillity 3-2.


North Zone

Malick 2 QRC 1
Mucurapo 2 (A.Joseph, A. Mark) Success Laventille 2 (I. Mc Auley 2)
St Mary's 3 Trinity 2
Tranquillity 1 St Anthony's 2

East/Central Zone
Carapichaima 1 (J. Bhann) St Augustine 3 (J. Balthazar, K. Connell, M. Williams)
Arima 5 (C. Garcia, R. Gray, A. Skeete, N. Alexander, own goal) San Juan 0
El Dorado 9 (K. James 4, Kieve Van Loo, S. Manswell, J . De Four, J. Pamponnette, S O'Brien) Presentation 1 (D. Celestine)
Toco 6 Barataria 1.

South Zone
Pleasantville 2 Moruga 1
Princes Town 1 (B. Julien) Presentation 2 ( A. Coombs, S. Siloch)
St Benedict's 2 N. Blackman, K. Davis) Naparima 0
Vessigny 2 Mayaro 4.

Thursday October 12th, 2000

Game time for Benedict’s, ‘Naps’


MALICK Secondary are celebrating their sixth North Zone title and are now anticipating a national Big Four semi-final meeting with Tobago champions Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive next week.

But this afternoon in La Romaine, defending national and South Zone champs Naparima College will be desperate to join them.

“Naps,” doggedly trailing St Benedict’s College for most of this BWIA Secondary Schools Football League season, snatched the lead on Tuesday, when their rivals slipped up 1-0 at home to Pleasantville Senior Comprehensive. It was the kind of gift Naparima could not have expected, St Benedict’s having pounded Pleasantville 6-0 in the first half of the season.

And while a win was always going to be necessary this afternoon, the pressure on skipper Jace Peters and his players will be slightly less than it will be for Benedict’s.

Having done the hard work of beating Naps 3-0 in their first meeting, Benedict’s have let their advantage and possibly their season slip away through surprising losses to Princes Town Senior Comprehensive and Pleasantville.

The 44 goals that sharpshooters Kendell Davis, Nkosi Blackman and company have registered so far, will mean nothing if they do not do the business at home today.

Davis and Blackman both found the net when the two sides first met. But “Naps” were guilty of not converting any of the reasonable chances they created. Front men Ateba McKnight and Gerol Forbes will hope to put that record right in a game that should be a cracker.

With two non-championship sides-Fyzabad Composite and Pt Fortin Secondary-heading the South Zone’s senior division, the times have become desperate for Moruga Composite who are facing certain demotion if they fail to win their last two games. At least.

Today, Moruga are on the road at Pleasantville. Princes Town, six points ahead of Moruga, visit Presentation College and mid-table teams Vessigny Government and Mayaro Composite meet at Mahaica.

In East/Central, leaders Arima Senior Comprehensive will be wary of a slip-up when they confront fading San Juan Senior Comprehensive.

San Juan, for so long the zonal leaders, have slipped out of the championship race after dropping eight points in the last four matches. But they still have the ability to cause trouble in Arima today.

Defending champs El Dorado Secondary Comprehensive, two points behind the Arimians, will be hoping for precisely that this afternoon.

They have come on strong after a slow start and could make Arima fight for their title all the way into the last round if they beat cellar-placed Presentation College Chaguanas in El Dorado.

In the other games, Toco Composite host Barataria Secondary and St Augustine Secondary visit Carapichaima Senior Comprehensive. Up North, survival and a decent Intercol draw will be the aim now that the championship has been decided.

Trinity College and newcomers Success/Laventille Composite both have ten points at the bottom of the table, with Trinity having the better goal difference.

Both will want to avoid a potential playoff with a senior division side. So this afternoon Trinity will be after a win at St Mary’s College as will Success at Fatima ground against Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive.

In the other matches, Malick play Queen’s Royal College at PSA ground and dethroned champs St Anthony’s College host Tranquillity Secondary.

Wednesday October 11th, 2000

Malick new north champ

 Malick is the new champion of the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League.

 The Morvant side wrapped up its sixth zonal title two games ahead of schedule yesterday after Marvin "Tiny" Lee's lone goal in injury time gave it a 1-0 win over debutant Success/Laventille at PSA Centre, St James. Malick thus secured a place alongside newly-crowned Tobago champ, Signal Hill, in the forthcoming "Big Four" series.

 The victory pushed Malick to an unassailable 29 points but it only discovered this after learning that second-placed St Mary's College (21 pts) had been beaten by Mucurapo 2-1. With two games left, the Saints cannot overhaul Malick. Mucurapo (18
 pts) moved to third spot with its win while dethroned St Anthony's College (16 pts) jumped into fourth spot after edging Queen's Royal College 1-0.

 At PSA: "That's the championship," shouted an excited Malick coach, Kenneth Franco, after watching in disgust for 90 minutes as his side threw away chance after chance. Franco was often overheard criticising his captain and playmaker Devon
 Jorsling on numerous occasions for over-dribbling. It was a frantic last-minute effort that brought Malick victory - one that had its supporters leaving the stands and encroaching onto the sidelines in order to swarm the field to congratulate the players.

 Before Lee's strike, a beautiful shot by Joel Marquis was denied from going into the net by the crossbar. When the ball rebounded back into play, it was headed over the touch line for a right-side corner kick. From the resulting kick taken by Jorsling, the ball went deep into the area. As the heads went up, the ball ended way on the left flank to Lee, whose
 one-time shot swerved past a cluster of players, landing into the far post with goalkeeper Atiba Hume well beaten.

 At Westmoorings: Kenwyn Jones scored the lone goal of the match early in the second-half. All the donkey-work for the goal was done by midfielder Stephen Cruickshank, who cut in on the bye-line and squared for Jones to easily convert. In south: Naparima College regained the lead of the zone after shutting out Moruga 3-0. The scoring heroes of the day for Naparima were Gerald Forbes, Kareem Simon and Atiba McKnight.

 Naps (27 pts) now have a one-point advantage over St Benedict's College who were surprised 1-0 by Pleasantville yesterday. So the race continues down to the wire. Over in Tobago, already crowned new champ Signal Hill stretched its unbeaten streak to eight games with a 1-0 win over Scarborough while Bishop's beat Roxborough 3-1.

Sunday October 8th, 2000

Malick one step closer

 NATIONAL Under-17 goalkeeper Johann Marin let Malick off the hook yesterday in the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League. Saving for St Mary's College, Marin conceded two second half goals - both scored by Kareem Joseph - which crashed his side's chances, as they bowed 1-2 to the Morvant outfit on a slushy Queen's Park Oval.

 The victory pushed Malick to 26 points at the top of the table. They are now five points better than the second-placed Saints and 11 ahead of joint third-placed teams Queen's Royal College and Mucurapo, who both improved their positions with wins yesterday but have no realistic chance of catching Malick.

 The Royalians edged out Success/Laventille in scoring spree 5-4 while Mucurapo stopped Tranquillity 3-0. Already, the fans know there will be a new champion with St Anthony's College, who drew 1-1 with Trinity, having long surrendered their title.

 With just three games to go, all being played this week beginning Tuesday, they will not have to wait long to see who will sit in the throne left vacant by the outgoing St Anthony's.

 At the Oval: St Mary's scored in the very first attack of the match in the opening minute through James Adogwa - his 12th goal of the season.

 The play started on the left flank where Roberto Marquez crossed a long, deep ball for Scott Sealy, who headed tamely to the opposite side of the goal. The Malick defenders were caught ball watching and Adogwa appeared unnoticed on the blind side to place a low left-footed shot on the run past goalkeeper Nazif Joefield. St Mary's adapted to the conditions much better than their opponents in the first-half in which there was no more goals.

 They should have increased the lead at the half-hour mark but Adogwa just failed to get a boot to a well-directed cross from Ryan Abraham inches from the goalline.

 But Malick came out in the second session looking a different team. It did not take them long to get the equaliser which came three minutes after the restart.

 Joseph was the marksman. He screwed a curling right footer out of the reach of Marin that sent the Malick supporters wild. Malick brought in two fresh legs in the 63rd and 65th minutes with Carlton Harris replacing Akido Kelly and Ordelle Armstrong coming in for Sabin Guerra.

 The two substitutions paid dividends, as they began to control the midfield, unlike in the first session when St Mary's skipper Nicholas Lee was allowed all the room in the world to do whatever he wanted. Joseph struck again in the 73rd minute when he blasted a first-time half-volley down the centre from 35 yards out that a casual Marin allowed to slip through his
 hands and into the net.

 In the South Zone, leaders St Benedict's (26) maintained their one point advantage over Naparima (25) with a commanding 7-2 win over neighbours Vessigny at Mahaica. Kendall Davis notched his fourth hattrick of the season with Nkosi
 Blackman adding two and Keith Williams and Michael Carrington one each.

El Dorado shows some life

 DEFENDING champions El Dorado showed signs of life in the East/Central Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League yesterday.

 The Blue Thunder shut out San Juan 2-0 on their own home turf at Bourg Mulatresse, to avenge a 1-0 loss they had suffered to the losers in the first round of action. The result pushed 'El Do' into second spot on the table with 24 points, two adrift of Arima.
 The Dial Dynamos stayed in the hunt for the title after edging out Presentation 2-1 in another crucial game yesterday.

 San Juan (21 pts) meanwhile had to stay content with the third spot knowing that they may still have a chance to steal the title from under the top two teams' noses. At San Juan: The Blue Thunder was rewarded three minutes from half time whistle when San Juan defender Keston Britto headed into his own goal under pressure.

 In the second session of play the visitors continued to pile on the pressure and were unlucky not to go further ahead when shots from Kevin James and Junior Pamponette each came crashing off the woodwork.

 Blue Thunder would eventually seal the issue in the 78th minute when second half substitute Rankin Assoon ran on to a lovely through ball from captain Jesse De Four and smashed it pass a diving Arima custodian, Marlon Bowes. In Tobago the game between Signal Hill and Roxborough was postponed.

Saints sin, Malick win


A COMEBACK, a mistake and a victory.

Malick scored once to come back from a goal down and then, through a Johann Marin error, got another goal to earn themselves a 2-1 win over their pursuers St Mary’s in the race for the BWIA SSFL North Zone title yesterday.

On a slushy Queen’s Park Oval pitch, Kareem Joseph hit the two shots that beat Marin-albeit with a little help from the custodian the second time. While the lanky Malick midfielder made his two efforts on goal count, the Saints too often failed to capitalise on their chances in a game in which they almost competely controlled the midfield and, as a result, the pace.

With three games left, the result puts the Morvant team five points ahead of everyone else in the standings.

In the other games in the North, QRC edged Success Laventille 5-4 at home while St Anthony’s could only draw 1-1 with Trinity at Moka. And Mucurapo handed Tranquillity a 3-0 defeat at Fatima Grounds.

Back at the Oval: St Mary’s got the game’s first goal after 72 seconds. A neat move from midfield found captain Nicholas Lee at the edge of Malick's penalty area. Lee played to Scott Sealy who headed back to the centre where the prolific Owoicho Adogwa drove home from close range.

St Mary’s dominated the midfield battle and were spreading the ball to the flanks, stretching the Malick defence to its limits. But the superior possession, despite producing clear shots on goal for Lee, Sealy and Rhett Abraham, did not yield any goals.

At the other end, Malick's ploy of channelling their attack through marksman Devon Jorsling was being thwarted by a swarming St Mary’s defence that gave the striker little time and room to get settled on the ball.

However, Ken Franco fixed the problem in the second half.

Besides Jorsling, the Malick attack passed through Sabir Guerra and Joseph. And the St Mary’s defence, ably marshalled by Kevin Norman, were forced to divide their attentions between several players.

Three minutes after the interval, Joseph latched on to a clearance that simply was not long enough to curl a right-footer out of Marin’s reach.

And when, after 75 minutes, Marin let a snap-shot from the same player slip through his grasp, the match was lost for the “Saints”.

But it left Malick with a victory and in a good position to claim the zonal crown.

Thursday October 5th, 2000

'Saints' silence QRC


THEY stood silent for the late Royalian, Lawrence McDowell. And then they played with real spirit.

But when play was over at St Mary’s College ground on Serpentine road, the boys from Queen’s Royal College had little to show for their afternoon’s effort.

Old rivals St Mary’s took all the points via a 2-1 win.

It was a hard-fought game, the more effective “Saints” collecting the points that kept them just two points behind leaders Malick Secondary.

Malick got a hattrick from their skipper Devon Jorsling to beat Tranquillity Secondary 3-1 at QRC ground.

The teams in the middle of the table did not have much success. Besides the failures of QRC and Tranquil, Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive only managed a 2-2 draw with Trinity College.

Trinity remained at the bottom of the table but St Anthony’s College moved up from seventh to sixth when they whipped Success/Laventille Composite 3-1.

Back at St Mary’s ground though, there was to be no upward movement for the visitors.

When striker Frederick Douglas smacked the crossbar when clean through the defence inside the first five minutes, the QRC intent was clear. But they really needed that effort to be an inch or two lower.

The St Mary’s front pair of Scott Sealy and Owicho Adogwa, running at the often square defence, always needed watching. Once, Sealy volleyed powerfully, but a little too high inside the penalty area. But in the 28th minute, Adogwa was more accurate. Timing his late run nicely, he ran undetected, onto a neat right side pass across the area to hit past goalkeeper Ayinde Abu Bakr.

QRC were quickly level though.

Douglas, working hard on the left-side, sent over a cross which, though not cleanly hit one-time and left-footed by Cyrone Edwards, was placed well enough to beat goalkeeper Johann Marin into the far corner of the net.

The half ended with the scores tied. But inside the first fifteen minutes of the second period, the “Saints” were back in front.

With QRC failing to decisively break up one St Mary’s attack, midfelder Ryan Abraham latched onto the loose ball and fired his shot past Abu Bakr.

QRC had to chase the game again, against opponents who were enjoying greater spells of possession. But on this day, the Royalians were not without spunk.

There was no McDowell or the scout band to rally them. But they chased and harried their oppponents, Phillip Butcher especially doing tireless work in defence and on occasion, further forward.

Marin was forced to make a few brave saves at the feet of the QRC forwards. But Sealy also went close. Abu Bakr just tipped over one lob, and Sealy also saw a similar effort from longer range just miss the right upright.

Despite constant QRC pressure in the last ten minutes, the Saints held their ground, Jeremy Delpino clearing a dangerous-looking cross in the gloom just before the final whistle.

He and his mates walked away with the coveted points, leaving their rivals with another loss to mourn.

'Tigers' surrender North Zone title

 ALL is already lost for defending champions St Anthony's College in the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League. With five games left to go, the West Moorings outfit have no realistic chance of catching the teams in the top half of the table.

 Coach Nigel Grovesnor's side stood at second to last on the eight-team table at the end of last weekend's round of action. The Saints actually got a positive result on Saturday, stopping Mucurapo 3-1 with two goals from Abiola Clarence and another from Kerwyn Jones.

 However, this only pushed their point tally to nine, 11 points adrift of leaders Malick. And with five games left, only a miracle can help the Saints win their title back.

 So the only question to be answered now is who will replace St Anthony's as kings of the zone?

 Malick are certainly giving it their best shot. But they are being hotly pursued by St Mary's (18 pts) and third-placed Tranquillity (14 pts). Only time will tell who lifts the silverware.

 Davis gives Benedict's edge

 St Benedict's College are making a real run for the south zone title in this year's BWIA Secondary Schools Football League. At the end of last Saturday's round, the La Romain lads (20 pts) had a slender one-point lead over defending champions Naparima College. And many fans were asking about the secret to St Benedict's' success thus far.

 To those questions, many have responded with "Neck's the man". Of course they would have been speaking about none other than Benedict's striker Kendell "Neck" Davis. Davis is the team's leading marksman with 11 goals to date. Eleven out of the team's 34 goals in the League to date is not a bad strike rate at all.

 But having a back up like Nkosi Blackman certainly is not hurting the St Benedict's cause either. He is just one goal behind Davis and when the two of them click at the same time, opposing defences are left in tatters.

 Hill eyes 'Big Four'

 Perennial giants Signal Hill are already focussing their attention on returning to Trinidad for the "Big Four" series. The Hill have, more or less, wrapped up the Tobago Zone title for a record 15th time despite being inactive on the weekend.

 This after struggling Bishop's hurt second-placed Elizabeth's College chances by beating them 6-3. Elizabeth's dropped to third spot at the end of the round after Scarborough took over their position following a victory by default over Roxborough.

 With two games left, Scarborough - now on 12 points - have the best chance of catching the Hill (15 pts). However, Scarborough will remember how they forced the Hill to scratch for a 1-0 victory in their first round encounter. But with a place on the national stage beckoning, the Hill are unlikely to falter at this stage.

Fans brawl as Naps wins

 NAPARIMA College kept alive its chances of recapturing the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League South Zone crown when it walloped Presentation College, San Fernando, 5-1 at Skinner Park, San Fernando, yesterday.

 National under-20 striker Atiba McKnight led Naparima's charge with a beavertrick in the 25th, 50th, 70th and 89th minutes. But his strikes were overshadowed by a brawl which broke out among schoolboy fans in the car park at the end of the game. Before kick off, security officers had to intervene to prevent some Presentation schoolboys from setting fire to a "Naps" bobolee.

 However, when things took a turn for the worse at the end of the game, security was nowhere to be seen as a group of young men, who at one point used a "Pres" flag pole to share the licks, had other supporters scampering for safety before fleeing the scene themselves. On the field, Naparima dominated the first half and could have gone ahead inside the opening five minutes but Wendell Joseph's header flashed wide and Gerol Forbes sent his shot outside following Dia Hunte's right side cross.

 Forbes made up for that miss in the eighth minute when he eluded a defender inside the 18-yard box and hit past goalkeeper Kurt Luke. "Naps" doubled its lead in the 20th minute when Joseph's rocket from the edge of the box came off the crossbar and McKnight comfortably headed home the rebound. Soon after Hunte saw his swerving right footer crash onto the bar.

 Pres pulled a goal back through national under-17 goalkeeper Marvin Phillip, playing up front on the day. He caught 'keeper Shai Prescod off his line with a chip from 20 yards out. "Pres" then sprung to life but neither Michael Rogers nor Shawn Siloch
 could find the target before the break.

 Phillip should have tied the scores when he was taken down inside the box. But his national teammate, Prescod, made a fine save to his right to deny him from the spot in the 60th. From then on it was smooth sailing for coach Jan Steadman's team. Forbes' cross from the right stuck in the mud, allowing McKnight to slam home from close range as the "Pres" defenders
 stood helplessly for a 3-1 scoreline

 Three minutes from the end, the striker got his hattrick when he met a through pass and with the advancing Luke beaten, he shot into an open goal. The onslaught ended a minute from full time when McKnight followed up a rebound to head over the line from close up to push his tally to 11, one behind leading scorer, Kendell Davis of St Benedict's College.

 Benedict's led Mayaro Composite 3-1 at half time and maintained that lead to the end to move to 23 points, one ahead of "Naps" with four rounds remaining. Newcomers Vessigny Composite moved into third spot with a 4-2 win over cellar placed Moruga, while Princes Town SC (sixth) drew 1-1 with Pleasantville.

2-horse race in north

 IT now looks like a two-horse race in the north zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League. This picture was painted yesterday after leaders Malick and second-placed St Mary's College extended their win streaks to keep the race a tight one.

 Malick crushed Tranquillity 3-0 to jump to 23 points but they were still being hotly pursued by the Saints, who edged out arch-rivals Queen's Royal College 2-1 at Serpentine Road to remain two points adrift of the leaders.

 Tranquillity remained in third-spot with 14 points, two more than the Royalians. QRC are now in a three-way tie for the fourth spot alongside defending champs St Anthony's College and Mucurapo.

 St Anthony's, who have already conceded defeat in the race for the zone title, stopped Success/Laventille 3-1, Mucurapo meanwhile drew 2-2 with Trinity at Moka. At QRC: Skipper Kevon Jorsling took Malick a step closer to the title by scoring a beavertrick. The national Under-20 player opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when he hit a right footer past keeper Emmanuel Nurse .

 Ten minutes later, Kareem Joseph was fouled in the area and Jorsling was successful with the penalty. Joseph also had a part to play in the third item in the 51st minute. His shot rebounded off the cross bar for Jorsling to head into an open goal. Tranquillity's only goal was scored in the 67th minute by Mario Assoon.
Wednesday October 4th, 2000

Crunch time in BWIA League

 By Gregory Trujillo

 THE BWIA Secondary Schools Football League enters a crucial stage today with 10th round matches in three of the four zones. The battle for top honours in the South Zone rests solely between leaders St Benedict's and second-placed Naparima Colleges with Mayaro and Vessigny having outside chances.

 In a key match, Benedict's journeys to Mayaro, who it whipped 8-4 in the first round. Naps, on the other hand, will entertain arch-rivals Presentation in a tougher match at Skinner Park, San Fernando. When the two teams squared off September 13, Naparima came away 2-1 winners at Union Hall.

 In the Naps line-up for the first time this season will be striker Dia Hunte, who helped St Benedict's win the title in 1998. Hunte, who migrated to the United States earlier this year, is back home and will be allowed to play for the San Fernando school. Vessigny, who could close in on the leader should it lose or draw, is away to Moruga. In the other match in the zone,
 Princes Town is away to Pleasantville.

 In the East/Central Zone, leaders San Juan will face struggling St Augustine at St Augustine. The Bourg Mulatresse outfit will be looking to score the double over the Green Machine, having won their first round encounter 2-0. Second-placed Arima will journey to Central to oppose Carapichaima while El Dorado is also away to Toco.

 Barataria will meet cellar-placed Presentation in the other match. In the north, Malick and St Mary's will be coming up against two teams that have slim chances of topping the zone. Malick tackles Tranquillity at QRC ground. But the Victoria Avenue boys will be no walkover as it was the only team to beat Malick (2-0) in the first round.

 St Mary's meanwhile will have a keen battle from arch-rival Queen's Royal College at Serpentine Road.St Anthony's, who now have no chance of successfully defending its title, meets Success Laventille, while Trinity opposes Mucurapo at Moka in the other games.
Sunday October 1st, 2000

Tigers taste victory

Sports Desk

THEY have precious little chance of retaining the title currently being pursued by Malick Secondary and St Mary’s College. But yesterday afternoon at Fatima ground, St Anthony’s College at least enjoyed the winning feeling.

Their scrappy 3-1 BWIA North Zone Secondary Schools Football League win over Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive was not pretty to watch. But at this increasingly crucial time of the season, method matters less than the result. Malick understand that. They eked out a 1-0 at the Police Barracks to condemn Trinity College to the bottom of the table in place of St Anthony’s.

The Malick lead, though, is still two points.

At Westmoorings, St Mary’s blanked Success/Laventille Composite 4-0.

Tranquillity Secondary (3rd place) and Queen’s Royal College (4th), lost further ground when they drew 2-2, a late item by captain Mario Assoon giving Tranquil a share of the points.

At Mucurapo ground, though, St Anthony’s took all the points. Luck does not often go with a struggling side. But the "Tigers" would not complain today about things going against them.

Mucurapo, managing to be slightly more constructive in an aimless first half, wasted their chances, two of them especially.

Compre’s promising playmaker Anton Joseph set up the first chance, his long ball out to the right side sending Akil Pierre into the penalty area where he approached the six-metre box and squared to Kennis Thomas. He struck his shot overbars.

The second opportunity came largely through the work of first half substitute Kevon Carter. But the speedy forward, having sidestepped both goalkeeper Mikeil Germain and the last defender, allowed himself to drift too wide, allowing Germain to recover and make the save.

While those chances went abegging though, the struggling Tigers took the lead in a curious way. With Abiola Clarence racing towards him, Compre goalkeeper Daurance Williams collected, and then dropped a cross as he appeared to collide with the attacker. The goal stood.

It was not the best way for the home team to return to their dressing room at half-time. And the results got no better in the second period for Mucurapo.

The better opportunites, few as they were, went St Anthony’s way. And in the 73rd minute, they strengthened their advantage, second half substitute Kenwyn Jones driving home a right-footer made possible when Clarence was allowed to twist, turn and eventually lay the ball back to him. It was a listless piece of defending by Compre.

And now two goals behind, their mood grew sour, defender Paul Pantin earning himself two yellow cards and an early shower for two violemt challenges in succession. The first led to a right-side St Anthony’s freekick, in the process of which he committed the second offence in the penalty area.

And even though Marcus Chinsang saw his low shot at the right corner well parried by Williams, Clarence raced in to notch his second goal in the 88th minute.

Carter’s clever footwork that befuddled Germain to earn Compre a goal a minute later was small consolation. The home side was left only with another indifferent display to analyse while the Tigers went away no more battle-scarred than before.

Naparima closes in on Benedict's

 THE race between defending south zone champions Naparima College and St Benedict's College is tightening up in the BWIA Secondary School Football League. Yesterday Naps closed the gap held by St Benedict's to just a mere point after stopping Mayaro 4-3.

 However their cause was assisted by Presentation College who held Benedict's to a 3-3 draw in San Fernando. The result left Benedict's on 20 points but Naps are now in just the spot they want to be with five games left.

 Newcomers Vessigny meanwhile joined Mayaro in the third spot after shutting out Pleasantville 2-0. At Union Hall: Presentation scored first through Michael Bostick, who netted after a hard-fought battle in St Benedict's goal mouth in the 14th minute.

 Six minutes later, St Benedict's striker Keith Williams equalised with a penalty. But Pres went ahead again just on the half hour mark after Keith Cupid's shot slipped through the hand's of goalkeeper Sadiki Stewart. And on the stroke of halftime Cupid again scored with a powerful shot from beyond the box to increase the lead to 3-1.

 St Benedict's, with a sudden burst of energy, pulled one back through Nkosi Blackman four minutes into the second half. They completed the comeback when Keith Edwards closed off the scoring with a header from a corner in the 51st minute.

Malick holds firm

 IF the challengers to BWIA Secondary Schools Football League North  Zone leaders Malick want the title they will have to come good. That was the attitude with which the Morvant-side played yesterday afternoon at the St James Barracks. And at the end of the day, it edged out a defiant Trinity College 1-0 to maintain its lead atop the table.

 The victory pushed Malick to 20 points, two more than second-placed St Mary's College. The Saints kept the pressure on the leaders after crushing Success Laventille 4-0 at Westmoorings. Tranquillity (14 pts) remained in third spot after holding Queen's Royal College (12 pts) to a 2-2 draw.

 Defending champion St Anthony's College meanwhile showed some signs of life after stunning fifth-placed Mucurapo 3-1. However, this run may well be too little too late to save their cause this season. At the Barracks: Malick Striker Devorn Jorsling struck a brilliantly opportunistic goal against the run of play in the 78th minute to grab a well deserved win for Malick.

 Picking up what seemed to be a harmless looking ball about 20 yards outside the penalty area, Jorsling dribbled two players. He then let fly a well placed left- footed shot from the edge of the area which gave Jameel McMeo, in goal for Trinity, no chance. Earlier, Malick had gone immediately into the attack and dominated the first 20 minutes of the match.

 But they were lucky that the referee did nothing to their star defender, Anson Serrette, for a brutal tackle that put Shawn Branche out of the match in just the fifth minute. Suddenly, Trinity came to life midway through the half and played all over
 the leaders without really threatening to score. Into the second half, Trinity looked the better team and for the first 25 minutes were dominant, having some near misses.

 However, disaster struck when key midfielder Nkosi Aberdeen was sent off after two yellows. It then desperately held on till Jorsling struck. Still, Husani Thomas nearly saved his team when he hit a free kick from thirty yards and hit the upright with Malick 'keeper Kevin Graham rooted to the spot.

 At Westmoorings: James Adogwa netted a double (28th and 83rd) for St Mary's against Success/Laventille to become the zone's leading scorer with 10 goals. Adogwa's two goals paved the way for the Saints to comfortably whip the zone's debutants 4-0. Twins Rhett (41st) and Ryan Abraham (70th) also got their names on the score sheet for CIC.

 In St Clair: Tranquillity skipper Mario Assoon salvaged a point for the Victoria Avenue boys against QRC when he netted a 40-yard free kick in injury time to tie the scores 2-2. Jade Whiteman opened the scoring for Tranquil in the 39th minute. He
 moved down the right flank, cut inside and rifled a low right foot shot past Ayinde Abu Bakr.

Earlier, Ruel Rigbsy had scored two goals almost in identical fashion to put the Royalians ahead.

 First, he ran down a through pass to beat 'keeper Emmanuel Nurse to the ball. He then repeated the same play, having only to lob the ball over Nurse's head into an open goal.

At Fatima: Defending champions, St Anthony's, at full strength with skipper and goalkeeper Mickel Germain and Patrick Alleyne back in the line-up, easily defeated the inconsistent Mucurapo.

 Abiola Clarence scored a double (44th and 88th) for the Tigers to carry his tally of goals for the season to six. Kerwyn Jones, who notched his fifth goal, was the other scorer. Kevon Carter scored a consolation goal for Mucurapo in the 89th minute.

ElDo wake up Arima


ARIMA Secondary got a wake-up call from El Dorado Secondary Comprehensive at the Arima Municipal Stadium yesterday.

When his team walked off the field 1-0 losers to their Tunapuna visitors, coach Michael Grayson declared that the defeat was “a wake up call”.

“The defeat is just what we needed,” Grayson explained.

“We were winning very easily, without much competition from the other teams and I believe the boys were beginning to get complacent.”

Despite the defeat, Arima maintained the lead in the zone with 20 points, two more than ElDo and San Juan Senior Comprehensive but the latter have one game in hand.

On a very cool and windy afternoon, ElDo settled down very quickly and began to pile the pressure on the home team with strikers Jabori Lamsee and Junior Pamponette looking very dangerous. But Arima’s defensive quartet of Jesse Reyes, Donald La Guerre, Raymond Watson and Marcus Pierre kept the strikers at bay with some solid work.

ElDo almost took the lead in the 25th minute through Kevin James but he saw his powerful curling left-footer from 30 yards out strike the crossbar with keeper Albon Hassan Roberts in no man’s land. Arima’s Keron Phillip and Ellis Dyette did make some inroads into ElDo’s defence but they often found the very tall defence trio of Terrence McAllister, Sherron Maxwell and Kimario Jackman in their way.

Nearing the end of the first half, the “Dial Dynamos” had a good chance to take the lead. Dyette collected a ball inside the six-metre box and, with a lot of room at his disposal, contrived to put his shot over the bar.

That left the score still goalless at the interval.

On the resumption, after just one minute of play, El Dorado failed to capitalise on a goalkeeping blunder by Hassan Roberts. The Arima keeper failed to hold on to a cross ball and it landed at the feet of Ochieng Abosi. The ElDo midfielder’s feeble shot was easily cleared by a defender.

In the 58th minute of play, the “Blue Thunder” finally broke the deadlock. Talented sweeper Sterling O’Brien made a nice run down the right side of the field, neatly eluding one defender as he went. Looking up and seeing the goal ahead of him, he unleashed a low rasping right-footed drive which somehow slipped through under the diving Roberts and lodged in the near corner of the net.

The goal seemed to give the home side greater determination and they began a dogged fight to find the equalizer. In vain. They did manage to create a handful of chances but were never able to convert them into something to show on the scorecard.

Coach Grayson seemed confident that the alarm clock would have a positive effect on his boys’ performance in their next outing—and beyond.

            Who will lead the leaders?

Sports Desk

THERE are six games remaining in the SSFL North, East and South Zone league competition. And today the league leaders in each of these zones will be looking to solidify their position.

Across in Tobago, however, leaders Signal Hill are on a bye and the chasing pack will be hoping to close the gap on them.

In the North: The Malick/Trinity encounter has been shifted to the Police Barracks in St James. But coach Ken Franco and his Malick outfit are unlikely to let the move affect their outlook on the game.

With their team currently two points ahead of St Mary’s, captain Devon Jorsling and his men will be going all out for three points to keep on title pace.

They know if they slip up, the “Saints”, taking on newcomers Success Laventille at PSA, could capitalise.

The other two matches will see the “Saints” of Westmoorings face off against a resurgent Mucurapo at Fatima Grounds. The defending champions are wallowing at the bottom of the table after their Serpentine Road namesakes handed them a 2-0 defeat on Wednesday.

And QRC will challenge Tranquillity at their St Clair ground.

In the South: Naparima will want to come away with a victory today when they face guests Mayaro. The defending zonal champs are three points adrift of St Benedict’s at the top. Benedict’s, though, will be tested by Presentation College at Presentation. In their first round encounter, both sides battled to a 3-3 draw. The leaders can ill-afford such a result today with “Naps” so close on their heels.

At Mahaica: Vessigny and Pleasantville are scheduled to do battle while Princes Town will have Moruga come to their home for a bottom-of-the table match.

In the East/Central Zone: Bertram O’Brien’s San Juan travel to Presentation where they should get around Glenford Thomas’s charges, who have managed a mere two points so far in their 2000 campaign.

Gwenwyn Cust’s Barataria side have fared only marginally better than Presentation this season. But facing the inconsistent St Augustine at home, they may possibly earn a point today.

In the other game, Carapichaima will take a journey to Toco where, even on points with their guests, Toco will want to make home advantage count.

In Tobago: Second-placed Elizabeth’s will be hoping to keep Bishop’s winless at Bon Accord while Scarborough, third because of an inferior goal difference, face Roxborough.

All matches kick off at 4 p.m.