Secondary School Action 2000
Friday September 29th, 2000
St Augustine win 4-1

St AUGUSTINE Senior Comprehensive got over Presentation College 4-1 in their postponed East/ Central zone match at Warren Street yesterday.

Kenny Thomas’s side gained the lead through Aaron Raper, who blasted a right-footer from an acute angle into the vee. Khayal Hosein notched the equaliser later in the first period when he converted a penalty.

But the second period belonged to the “Green Machine”.

Kevaughn Connell struck the second for St Augustine. and his effort was followed by Leon Thompson’s low right-footer and Jerwyn “Bound-to-score” Balthazar’s strike.
Thursday September 28th, 2000

Malick, ‘Compre’ tough it out


MALICK Secondary and Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive are tough football schools. Especially when they come face to face.

Yesterday afternoon at the Queen’s Park Oval, the game was again tight. And after 90 fluctuating minutes that produced four goals and a flying chair or two, the teams were all square.

The 2-2 draw helped pull some of the challengers in the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League race back to leaders Malick.

St Mary’s College plunged 1999 champions St Anthony’s College into further crisis when they shut them out 2-0 at Westmoorings.

The goals by strikers Owicho Adogwa and Scott Sealy sent the “Tigers” to the bottom of the table. Up at Moka, Trinity College, previously last, got their second win of the season when a Hollis Brown penalty helped give them a 2-1 win over Queen’s Royal College.

The afternoon was also good for Tranquillity Secondary who moved to third when they beat Success/Laventille Composite 4-0.

But at the Queen’s Park Oval, while the aggregate was also four, the game was far less straightforward.

Eighteen minutes from full-time, Mucurapo substitute Sherwin Marcano brought the Oval alive when he capitalised on Malick goalkeeper Kevin Graham’s mistake of dropping a right-side freekick, to put his team in front a second time. And high in the Lindsay Grant stand to the west, his schoolmates tried make a score of their own.

Brax! Brax! One, two chairs hit the concrete cycle track below where the Malick posse were gathered.

The crash almost sparked a clash between the opposing students. Luckily some quick work by teachers averted real trouble.

Before tempers had cooled, though, Kareem Allard had drawn Malick level again from another freekick. The game was moving quickly now. It had become a different animal from the one which was going sleepily along when the second half began.

Up to then, a scrappy match seemed headed for a dull stalemate.

The two sides have struggled to score goals this year, neither the forward line nor the midfield being able to provide the attacking punch their coaches would prefer.

Malick, though, have in skipper Devon Jorsling a capable one.

Shouldering the responsibility of leadership, the striker was often the provider, creating chances with his keen eye for an opening and his accurate passing.

But there was still nothing for Jorsling and Malick to show when “Compre” hit the target.

A counter-attack saw second half substitute, lively Kevon Carter, striking his shot past Graham from close range in the 69th minute. The match now changed character, the passes and the running becoming more urgent. And finally, some Jorsling work bore fruit four minutes later. Collecting the ball in a central position just outside the penalty area, he slipped a neat ball out to the right side of the box where unmarked Sabir Guerra drilled an angled shot into the far corner.

Eighteen minutes from the end, though, Graham’s mistake and Marcano’s finish tested Malick’s resolve again.

But eight minutes later, with the mini melee in the stands just fizzling, the leaders responded again. A foul on Jorsling on the edge of the area produced a freekick. And direct from the spot kick, Allard drove a low shot through the Mucurapo wall.

The Malick celebration was lively enough. Another test was passed, even though not with flying colours.

Saints go forth


 THE "Saints" have been at times brilliant and sometimes disappointing. Against both St Anthony's and QRC, they had more then 70 per cent possession of the ball, more opportunities to score in the first half, went in at half time leading 3-0, only to see the opposition comeback in the second half to nearly steal the points.

 Are they unfit? I asked coach Hayden Martin. He is sure fitness is not the problem. "They are young and comparatively inexperienced and sometimes, complacency sets in when they have controlled much of the game." He says they have discussed this and are aware of the danger it poses to the team effort.

 The team is well-knit, looking strong in all departments. Goalkeeper, Johann Marin is an 18-year -old Upper 6th form student, in environmental studies, mathematics and eography.

 He is a reliable, solid goalkeeper with safe hands, good positional play and the boss of his defence in the penalty area. Marin played cricket at Under 15 national level but decided to concentrate on football. He has been encouraged by his parents, his father having played at good club level.

 In front of him, there are reliable and very able defenders. The solid tackling and distribution of Marcus Cabralis, two Kevins, Norman and Ottley and Jeremy Del Pino, an adventurous and attacking wing back, making a name for himself especially for his overlapping runs that nearly always catch the opposing defence on the wrong foot.

 Del Pino is also a 6th Form student in business, economics and accounts. The captain and central midfielder is Nicholas Lee, also an Upper Sixth business student. His father is a keen sportsman and an ex-Fatima player who has encouraged his efforts in whatever he undertakes.

 Lee is a cool prompter of many of the attacks. His tackling is almost surgical in its accuracy and success and while he looks deceptively mild, he is as passionate and aggressive as any of the other players, including the Abraham twins , powerful players both with good shots from a football background and Roberto Marquez, son and grandson of former Saints players.

 They supply the strike pair of James Adogwa, a strong enthusiastic player and Scot Sealy, the marked man whenever Saints are on the attack. Sealy is also an Upper sixth student and pursuing business, economics and
 geography. He is from a business family so his career is almost mapped out already.

 He aspires to be like Rivaldo and admires his leadership and determination. He works hard at his game and brings to it some of the discipline that being a national under 15 swimmer had ingrained in him. He loves to listen to music and thanks his supportive parents for whatever progress he has made.

St Anthony's floundering

 NORTH Zone champions St Anthony's College are floundering in this year's BWIA Secondary Schools Football League. The West Moorings-based unit have found themselves one place from the bottom of the table after the first round of competition. They have amassed just six points from seven games to date and ended the first round with a string of three straight losses.

 Having lost several of his top players from last season, St Anthony's coach Nigel Grovesnor was indeed bracing for the worse. But he could not have been expecting to be in this deep a hole. Stepping up to challenge for the Saints' title are Malick, who were zonal runner's up last season.

 And the five-time zonal champions, led by skipper and striker Devon Jorsling, are fighting hard to notch another lien on the title. The last time Malick won the league title was 1995. And having had a sniff of it last year, it is unlikely they will let up in the second round. Furthermore, the Morvant side's 2-0 triumph over St Anthony's in the final first round game last Saturday was certainly a morale booster going into the next phase of the battle.

 However, with St Mary's (12 pts) and Queen's Royal College (11 pts) within striking distance and the other teams bunching up as well, Malick will know the title is far from won.

 Benedict's test shaky Naps

 DEFENDING champions Naparima College are heading into a real dogfight with arch-rivals St Benedict's College to regain their South Zone title. After a brilliant start to the season, in which they rattled off three straight wins and seemed invincible, Naps suddenly became erratic losing two of their remaining four matches in the first round.

 This included a 3-0 battering at the feet of St Benedict's, a result which certainly must have dented Naps' pride. However, Mayaro and Presentation College - third and fourth respectively - do not appear to have the tools to stop the two front-runners.

 So, it may well be a tale of two horses in the zone. St Benedict's' run has been commandeered by prolific marksman Kendell Davis, who has been tormenting defences in the zone. Fortunately for Naps, Benedict's were stunned 2-1 by lowly-placed Princes Town in the final game of the round last Saturday.This result helped coach Jan Steadman's side cut Benedict's' (16 pts) lead at the top of the table to just one point. But Steadman will have to sort out several problems, especially with his defence, if Naps are to complete the kind of run they had last year.

 Will Thunder roll again?

 Will Blue Thunder destroy all in their path in the East/Central Zone again this season? That is the question the El Dorado fans were asking on the weekend after their side found itself in the middle of the pack after the first round of action. El Do were three points off the pace of leaders Arima Secondary (17 pts) - who finished third last season - after last Saturday's final round of matches in the first round.

 But the Blue Thunder's final performance of the first half would have brought smiles to their faces. They crushed St Augustine 5-1 on the strength of a double from Ochieng Abosi and strikes from Jabari Lumsee, Junior Pamponette - both members of last year's winning side - and Christopher Carrington.But even before they set their sights on Arima, El Do will have to overhaul second-placed San Juan (15 pts). So Abosi and his teammates' work has only just begun.

Saints cuts into Malick's lead

 NORTH Zone leader Malick was left sweating after yesterday's opening second round matches in the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League. The Morvant-based outfit had its lead atop the table cut in half after it was held to a 2-2 draw by Mucurapo at Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain.

 The point earned pushed Malick, who had a four-point cushion going into yesterday's match, to 17 points. But St Mary's College is now too close for comfort.

 The Saints (15 pts) shut out struggling defending champ St Anthony's 2-0 to keep in touch of the leader. Tranquillity also jumped into third spot with 13 points after beating Success Laventille 4-0.

 Queen's Royal College meanwhile suffered a setback after losing 2-1 to Trinity. Both the Royalians and Mucurapo are now in joint fourth spot tied on 11 points each.

 At the Oval: Second half Mucurapo substitute Kevorn Carter brought his team's fans to life when he broke a scoreless tie in the 61st minute.

 Picking up a loose ball 20 yards outside the penalty box he wormed his way through the Malick defence and beat goalkeeper Kevin Graham with a low shot from close in.

 But this brought the match, which had been quite lacklustre, to rousing life as it saw a desperate Malick fight back, not once but twice.

 The first half was miserably undistinguished as both teams seemed bereft of ideas.

 But after the first goal, Malick fought back and in the 73rd minute, Sabir Guerra collected a left side cross, and shot a grounder past Mucurapo goalie Durance Williams to level the scores.

 But within two minutes Anton Joseph hit a powerful free kick from 30 yards which Malick's Graham failed to hold. From the resulting scramble in the goal-mouth, Sherwin Marcano netted a sitter for Mucurapo to take the lead again 2-1. However, a pointless foul just 25 yards out gave Malick's Kareem Allard the chance to earn the equaliser with a powerful, well-placed shot.

 At PSA: Tranquillity taught Success/La-ventille yesterday that to be victorious the ball must be put into the net. The Victoria Avenue boys had less scoring opportunities against its Laventille counterparts but still walked off winners. Left-back Richard Arneaud opened the scoring for Tranquil in the 35th minute, netting a grounder following a right-side corner from Cetewayo Edwards.

 Arneaud also had a hand in the second goal just before half-time when he laid on a deft knee-high cross to Jade Whiteman, whose volley beat goalkeeper Atiba Hume.

 Goals three and four, to Keon Edwards in the 61st and Devin Elcock in the 89th, then came as a result of defensive blunders.

At Moka: Trinity took the lead early in the match with a goal from Kerwyn Ramkissoon. But just before the interval the Royalians levelled the scores. The winning goal came three minutes from the end when Hollis Browne converted a penalty.

Malick begins with a head start

 THE never say die attitude associated with teams in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League will come into play over the next 18 days ­ the duration of the second round of the league competition.

 In the North Zone, Malick (16 points) will begin the seven-match programme with a head start of four points over their rivals. The Morvant lads will play Mucuarpo today at Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, in what will be the key opening match of the second round. When the teams met in the first half of the season, Malick just edged out the Mucurapo boys 1-0.

 But, back then, the majority of players on both teams suffered from first-time jitters.  And after losing in an upset to Tranquillity and being held 1-1 by St Mary's, the "Boys in Blue" then won their next three consecutive matches against Success/Laventille (2-1), Queen's Royal College (3-1) and defending champions St Anthony's (2-0) to establish themselves in the top
 half of the table.

 In another key game today St Mary's, leaders at one point, will be away to St Anthony's at Westmoorings.Tigers' coach Nigel Grosvenor will be hoping to have his captain and goalie Mikhail Germaine, vice captain Stephen Cruickshank and stopper Larry John fully fit for the match in order to avenge a 2-3 first round defeat to the Saints.

 Third-place Queen's Royal College will also travel to Moka, Maraval, to take on Trinity hoping to better the 3-3 draw they fought to in the first round. Success/Laventille take on Tranquillity in the other game at PSA Ground, Long Circular Road.

 In the East/Central Zone, leaders Arima (17 pts) will be tested by Toco (9 pts) at Toco while second-placed San Juan (16 pts) will be at home to Barataria (4 pts).El Dorado (14 pts) will be entertained by Carapichamia (8 pts) and St Augustine (6 pts) will play Presentation (2 pts) at St Augustine in the other games. In the first round, Arima beat Toco 3-2, San Juan defeated Barataria 4-0, El Do whipped Carapichaima 2-0 and St Augustine and Presentation drew goalless.

 In south, St Benedict's (16), Naparima (15) and Mayaro (13), the first three in the South Zone, began their campaign on a winning note against Moruga (4-1), Princes Town (1-0) and Pleasantville (2-0) respectively. Today they will try to emulate those feats. The other match in that zone will bring together Vessigny and Presentation at Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin.

Monday September 25th, 2000

Top winners in BWIA League

 By Gregory Trujillo

 MALICK, Arima, St Benedict's and Signal Hill have emerged as first round winners in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League. Malick are atop the North Zone with 16 points from their seven matches. The Morvant side hold a four point lead over St Mary's, who in turn is a point ahead of third placed Queen's Royal College.

 Mucurapo, Tranquillity and Success/Laventille are all locked in fourth position with 10 points apiece, followed by defending champions St Anthony's on six points and finally Trinity on four points.

 QRC, whose forward Frederick Douglas is the leading goal scorer with seven strikes, have netted the most goals (16) while Malick have conceded the least (five).

 In the East Zone, Arima (17) enjoy a two point advantage over San Juan (15). They are followed by El Dorado (14), Toco (9), Carapichaima (8), St Augustine (6), Barataria (4) and Presentation (2).

 While the Dial Dynamos have scored the most goals (18), they have conceded one more than San Juan (4). St Benedict's and Naparima are locked in an interesting battle for top honours in the South Zone. The La Romain boys are on 16 points - one more than "Naps". Mayaro are having a good run and are in third with 13 points. Presentation (10) are fourth, Vessigny (8) fifth, Pleasantville (7) sixth, Princes Town (5) seventh and Moruga (4) eighth.

 St Benedict's and their striker Nkosi Blackman are the overall leaders in the team and individual scoring respectively. Benedict's have amassed 26 goals with Blackman having a hand in eight of those goals. Signal Hill are well on their way to winning their 15th title in the Tobago Zone. They are unbeaten in four appearances.

Caps beats Pres 2-1

 By Naz Yacoob

 CARAPICHAIMA Senior Comprehensive continued their climb up the ladder of the East/Central Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football league, with a 2-1 win over Presentation College, Chaguanas on Saturday.

 In the Central 'Derby' contested on a good playing surface at Carapichaima, the home team had the benefit of an own goal 10 minutes from full time, to pick up another valuable three points. The win pushed 'Caps' into fifth position with eights points after seven rounds of matches. 'Caps ' have secured two victories and two draws in its last four games, while 'Pres' have two points and are at the bottom of the standings after the first stage of the competition.

 The 'derby' was played in a cordial atmosphere, with 'Caps' enjoying the better of the exchanges in the first part of the game. And it was no surprise when skipper Justin Hamilton scored with a header in the 30th minute, from a right-side cross provided by Maurice Parkes. The homesters went into the interval with a 1-0 lead. On the resumption, 'Pres' pressed for the equaliser and was rewarded when Michael Greene headed home in the 60th minute from a right-side corner.

 The teams had an equal share of the exchanges in the remaining period, until 'Caps' broke the deadlock, when a shot was deflected into the goal by a 'Pres' defender. Caps' will host El Dorado in the second stage of the competition on Wednesday, while Presentation will be on the road to St Augustine Senior Comprehensive.

Sunday September 24th, 2000

Princes Town defeats Benedict's 2-1

 El Dorado Senior Comprehensive crushed St Augustine 5-1 in the East/Central Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League yesterday. Taking full advantage of home crowd, the Dial Dynamos came from behind to stun the Green Machine.

 The win pushed El Do to 14 points, good enough to put them in third spot just one behind San Juan who were held to a 1-1 draw by Toco Composite. Arima (17 pts) held on to their lead atop the table after stopping Barataria 4-1.

 In the other game yesterday, Carapichaima edged out neighbours Presentation 2-1.

 At Tunapuna: Despite taking the lead in as early as the 12th minute through defender Sean Powers, St Augustine was stunned with five unanswered goals from the home team. Striker Jabari Lumsee bundled the ball over the goal line after some scrappy defending by the visitors in the 16th minute for the equaliser.

 Blue Thunder's second came eight minutes into the second half when Ochieng Abosi shot past goalkeeper Kurleigh Charles from just inside the 18-yard box. They added their third in the 62nd minute when Junior Pamponette rounded goalkeeper Charles and taped into an empty net.

 Abosi then got his second in the 70th minute, successfully converting a penalty.

 St Augustine, now with their heads hanging, were also unable to stop second half substitute Christ-opher Carrington from putting the icing on the cake for El Do in the dying stages of the game.

In the South Zone: Naparima made up lost ground on St Benedict's by beating Vessigny 2-0 at Mahaica Oval.

 St Benedict's were surprisingly beaten by cellar-placed Princes Town 2-1 to end the first round on 14 points - one more than arch-rivals Naparima.St Benedict's, which went into half-time leading 1-0 on a Kendall Davis goal, had three goals disallowed in the second period. Naparima kept on the heels of La Romain lads thanks to goals from Brent de Leon and Atiba Mc Knight.

 Mayaro (13 pts) retained their third place by putting a 5-1 trashing on lowly-placed Moruga while Presentation (10 points) defeated Pleasant-ville 2-1.

 In Tobago: Defending champions Signal Hill opened up a three-point lead at the top of the table after edging out Scarborough 1-0.

 The Hill now has 12 points from four games, three more than second-placed Elizabeth's College.The other game between Roxborough and Bishop's at Roxborough was called off due to an unfit playing field.

Malick increases lead

 FIVE-TIME champions Malick Secondary will start the second round on the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League this week with a four-point cushion at the top of the standings.

 The Morvant Boys extended their lead yesterday when they defeated struggling St Anthony's, the defending champions, 2-0 in their seventh and final first round match at PSA Ground, St James.

 Its main challengers, St Mary's College was held 1-1 by the improving Tranquillity while Queen's Royal College scored in the dying stages of their game against Mucurapo on Fatima ground to salvage a 2-2 draw. In the other match, newcomers Success /Laventille came from behind to edge Trinity 2-1 at Moka.

 Malick now lead the standings with 16 points followed by CIC (12) and QRC (11). Mucurapo, Tranquillity and Success all have 10 points while St Anthony's (6 pts) and Trinity (4 pts) round off the table. At PSA: Playing without skipper and goalkeeper McKeil Germaine, vice-captain Stephen Cruickshank and stopper Larry John, all on the injured list, St Anthony's
 fell behind in the 32nd minute.

 Malick's Sabir Guerra took what seemed a tame free kick. But to the chagrin of the Saints supporters, goalkeeper Jan Williams allowed the shot to slip through his hands and into the net.And after surviving some near misses, Malick breathed a sigh of relief when skipper Devon Jorsling again steered the ball past Williams to seal the issue.

 At Serpentine Road: St Mary's failed to capitalise on many chances and had only themselves to blame for not getting full points against Tranquillity.The Saints opened the scoring two minutes into the second half when Rhett Abraham passed to Scott Sealy who beat the Malick keeper from inside the area. Tranquillity got the equaliser through Cetwayo Edwards.

End of SSFL musical chairs?


AN interesting first round comes to an end this afternoon. But possibly in only one zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League has a clear pattern developed.

South Zone leaders St Benedict’s College took a solid step towards ending the two-year zonal reign of 1999 national double winners Naparima College when they beat “Naps” 3-0 on Thursday to open up a four-point lead.

Although currently tied on nine points with Elizabeth’s College, Tobago champions Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive again seem comfortable. Signal Hill, though, should take a clear lead today over Elizabeth’s, whose only defeat so far this season was in the opening game against the champs.

The “Hill’ play Scarborough Composite at Bon Accord, with Elizabeth’s having already completed their first round programme. In the other Tobago match, Bishop’s High School travel to Roxborough Composite.

In the north, though, Malick Secondary have managed to establish a two-point lead after beating former leaders Queen’s Royal College on Thursday. In this topsy-turvy zone, they will try to consolidate their position with a win today against struggling defending champions St Anthony’s College.

The “Tigers” have lost four of their six games and their hold on the title is slipping away fast. Another loss today would be fatal.

In the other games, second-placed St Mary’s College, one point off the lead, host fifth-placed Tranquillity who are just two points behind, QRC visit Mucurapo at Fatima ground and Trinity, at the bottom of the table, face Success/Laventille Composite at Moka.

Down south, Naps will try to finish off a mixed week with victory at Mahaica where they play Vessigny Composite. They will need full points to keep Benedict’s in sight, the new leaders expecting to claim all the points from Princes Town Senior Comprehensive who have collected just two points from their six matches.

In the other two games, Moruga Composite host Mayaro Composite and Presentation College travel to Plesantville Senior Comprehensive.

In East/Central, Arima Senior Comprehensive and San Juan Senior Comprehensive could not separate themselves at the top of the table when they met Thursday. But today both will attempt to keep up the pressure. Arima entertain seventh-placed Barataria Secondary while San Juan have the tougher assignment of visiting Toco Composite who, in their return to the championship division, are holding onto fourth spot.

All matches begin at 4 p.m.

Friday September 22nd, 2000

Arima spike the ‘Machine’

Sports Desk

SAN JUAN Senior Comprehensive's winning streak in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League came to an end yesterday when they were held to a 1-1 draw playing away to Carapichaima Senior Comprehensive at Carapichaima.

Carps took the lead in the 73rd minute when Bevel Constantine converted from the penalty spot but the visitors found the net to share the points five minutes later with a goal from their ace striker Cordel Lucas. By virtue of this result San Juan surrendered the lead to seasoned campaigners and East Zone powerhouses Arima Senior Comprehensive who defeated St Augustine Senior Comprehensive 3-1 at St Augustine.

Both San Juan and Arima are now on ten points each with the latter having a better goal difference.

At Barataria, defending champs El Dorado were held to a 1-1 draw by home team Barataria Secondary Comprehensive while at Chaguanas newcomers Toco Composite also battled to a 1-1 tie with Presentation College.

At St Augustine, the home team who boast of having the most outstanding track record among schools in the East continued their very poor run this season and the margin of victory could have been wider had the Arima strikers not squandered the many opportunities that went abegging.

This together with some brilliant goalkeeping from St Augustine's Kurleigh Charles and solid defence work from Marvin Baggoo and Kevaughn Connel kept the visitors margin of victory to just two goals.

On a very bumpy surface that made ball control very difficult the visitors went on the attack from the very first blast of referee Melvyn Lynch's whistle and was rewarded in the second minute of the game through Corey Garcia.

The ace striker collected a pass inside the area and slotted the ball into the net past a flat-footed Charles.

Eight minutes later, the "Green Machine" again brought their large band of supporters to life when skipper Jerwin Balthazar capitalised on a defence blunder to draw level.

Balthazar was left all alone inside the six-metre and after he collected what appeared to be a tame freekick, volleyed home a powerful right-footer past keeper Donald La Guerre. Undaunted, Arima kept up the pressure on their opponents but despite some near misses failed to find the net.

However in the final minute of the first half the Dial Dynamos went ahead through Dwight Lewis.

Akiel Guevarra latched on to a miskick from a St Augustine player and raced down the left flank to lay on a neat pass to Lewis who made no mistake.

Lewis found the net again in the 70th minute when he easily ran around Charles to tap home and seal the issue.

              QRC dominate the Tigers

Sports Desk

QUEEN'S Royal College did not use a whip. But yesterday at the St Clair Avenue ground, the Royalians succeeded in taming the "Tigers" 2-0 with good passing and football.

The euphoria of the victory would have been heightened when news came about St Mary's slim 1-0 loss to Mucurapo at Fatima Grounds. That result meant that the Royalians had jumped to the top of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League North Zone pack on 10 points. The Royalians were matched in points by Malick who edged Success Laventille 2-1 at the Queen's Park Oval. And at Trinity, Tranquillity turned back the homesters 1-0.

But back at St Clair, QRC dominated a lopsided contest.

Quicker to the ball and more determined in their play, the boys in blue starved their Westmoorings counterparts of possession. And after controlling the first twelve minutes of the encounter, QRC got the go-ahead goal through the speed of Sterling Brathwaite.

The QRC captain played Mikeil Germain's clearance around defender Jamie Alkind at the halfline before running diagonally into the area and beating the St Anthony's goalkeeper with a low rightfooter to his left.

That individual effort was the exception rather than the norm.

The QRC midfielders—Brathwaite, Naeem Frederick, Okpe Adogwa and Nigel Barrow—were making sure that their strikers—Caron Williams and Frederick Douglas—were getting accurate service.

The situation was reversed for St Anthony's strikers Abiola Clarence and Kenwyn Jones. Misdirected passes forced the duo to frequently come deep back into their half to help retrieve the ball from the dominant QRC outfit.

Adding to their problems too was the inability of Grovesnor's charges to master the offside trap.

QRC took advantage of that failure on one occasion in the 23rd minute. A diagonal ball out of the back found QRC winger Okpe Adogwa bursting down the right. With the St Anthony's defence scrambling back into position, Adogwa passed to Frederick Douglas in the box who squeezed the ball past Germain for QRC's second item.

St Anthony's never settled after. QRC, using a slow build-up from the back, had their opponents pegged on their backfoot and in their own half for sustained periods.

That domination, though, led to no further change in the scorecard, Adogwa, Douglas and Williams failing to find the net. But when referee Richard Piper gave the last blast of his whistle, the 2-0 scoreline and the nature of the match showed that Royalians had dominated the Tigers.

Benedict's tops first round

 ST BENEDICT'S is the only team assured of topping the first round in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League competition, going into today's final round of matches.

 The La Romain boys hold an unbeatable lead atop the standings in the South Zone with 14 points.

 Enjoying home ground advantage, they can collect full points today against cellar-placed Princes Town.

 Defending champions, Naparima, four points behind the leaders, will be away to newcomers Vessigny, who are one point behind Mayaro in fourth.

 A loss for Naparima and a win for Mayaro over Moruga at Moruga would see new challengers to St Benedict's when the second round begins on Wednesday.

 There have been some surprising results of late in the North Zone, but St Mary's could find themselves back on top of the standings. To do so they must whip the improving Tranquillity (at Serpentine Road) and Malick must lose to defending champions St Anthony's (at Long Circular Road).

 Should both Malick and St Mary's slip, Queen's Royal College could go to the top with a victory over Mucurapo at St Clair.

 Debutants Success/Laventille will be away to Trinity at Moka in the final match.

 Up in the East, joint leaders Arima and San Juan (14 points) will be hoping for big wins.

 While Arima will be at home to struggling Barataria, their main rivals will journeying to Toco to take on a team that could cause an upset.

 St Augustine (11 pts) and neighbours El Dorado (six pts) always provide plenty action and today will be no exception at El Dorado.

 In the other match, Carapichaima will tackle bottom-of-the-table Presentation College at Carapichaima.

 There will also be action in Tobago where 14-time champions Signal Hill meet Scarborough at Bon Accord and Roxborough oppose Bishop's at Roxborough.

 All matches begin at 4 pm.

Thursday September 21st, 2000

QRC or Malick can go it alone

 By Gregory Trujillo

 INTEREST in the race for top honours in all four zones of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League heightened after Tuesday's matches as the young aspiring footballers began their busiest week of competition - they play three times with only a one day break in between.

 St Mary's began the week as table-toppers in the North Zone but, through its own fault, surrendered that lead to Queen's Royal College (QRC) and Malick. Mucurapo (nine pts) gained sole possession of second spot just one point behind QRC and Malick with a 1-0 victory over the Saints, for which it should still be thanking its lucky stars.

 Either QRC or Malick could become single leaders today when they meet in a top-of-the-table clash at St Clair. Should they fail to deliver the goods then Mucurapo would go on to the top if it were to succeed in getting past newcomers Success/Laventille, who have lost its last three consecutive matches.

 And, provided that Mucurapo falls short, St Mary's would be back in contention with a win over cellar-placed Trinity at Moka, Maraval. Tranquillity and St Anthony's, both locked in mid division with six points each, square up at the Queen's Park Oval in the day's other match in the North Zone.

 In South, the lead could also change with the first and second, St Benedict's (13 pts) and Naparima (12 pts), jostling it out at Skinner Park.St Benedict's has been scoring heavily - 23 goals in five matches - and it cannot be taken too lightly, having whipped Pleasantville 6-0 Tuesday.

 Naparima, on the other hand, after losing its first match (1-3) to Pleasantville, scored a workmanlike 7-0 win over lowly- placed Moruga Tuesday, showing its intent to keep its title.First-timer Vessigny (third) and Mayaro (fourth) will do battle at Mayaro in the other match of interest in the southland.

 Like in the two other zones, joint leaders in the East/Central, Arima and San Juan, face each other at San Juan. The pair are clear in the lead with 13 points.El Dorado, who were edged 1-0 by San Juan Saturday, stands a good chance of closing the gap when it journeys to Chaguanas to tackle bottom-of-the-table Presentation.

Wednesday September 20th, 2000

QRC shares the lead


 QUEEN'S Royal College jumped to top of the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools League yesterday.

 Thanks to goal from Kerwin Jones, in the 12th minute, and Frederick Douglas (22nd minute), the Royalians shut out defending champions St Anthony's College 2-0 at their St Clair ground. But QRC was joined at the top by Malick Secondary, who edged out Success Laventille 2-1 to move to 10 points as well. Mucurapo (9 pts) moved to third spot after stopping St Mary's College 1-0.

 At QRC: From the first whistle, the Royalians looked more organised and purposeful in their attacks and Jones outran the defence to collect a long ball to beat Mikeil Germain in goal for the Tigers. The game was dominated by the Royalians as the St Anthony's defence was slower to the ball and often caught out of position.

 Ten minutes after the first goal, QRC's Okppe Adogwa dribbled one opponent and passed to Douglas who outran the defence to score between the goalkeeper's legs. Carron Williams, Adogwa and Douglas constantly rattled the opposition with their speed and created several opportunities which were muffed by poor finishing.

At Fatima: St Mary's, despite having the better of the match, suffered its first defeat after five outings at the feet of Mucurapo. Johann Marin, the Saints goalkeeper, had a quiet afternoon until he was beaten by Garvin Gulston in the 50th minute.

 Gulston, the smallest player on the field, received a high, deep cross by Akil Mark from the right flank, and his miscued first-time volley was enough to trickle into the far corner on the net out of the reach of a late diving Marin.

 At the Oval: Malick's Kevon Jorsling netted the winning goal in the 54th minute with an individual effort that saw him collecting the ball on the edge of the area and dribbling two defenders before rifling a right footer into the far corner. Malick had taken the lead after nine minutes through Odelle Armstrong. But Shem Mc Farlane equalised for the Laventille lads in the 29th minute. At Moka: Trinity dominated most of the game against Tranquillity but was unable to create openings in the last third of the field.
 The team fell 1-0 to a 68th minute goal by Keon Edwards.

 The striker was left all alone as a cross caught the Moka boys on the wrong side of the goalpost and he beat debutant 'keeper Jameel Mc Meo. After yesterday's fifth round, QRC and Malick are outfront with ten points each. They are followed on nine by Malick while St Mary's has eight, St Anthony and Tranquillity six and Success/Laventille and Trinity four.

 In Tobago: Elizabeth's continued itsgood run by beating previously unbeaten Scarborough 2-0 at Bon Accord to record their third straight success. Defending champions, Signal Hill, who had beaten Elizabeth's 2-0 in its first encounter, whipped Roxborough 4-1.

Arima downs 'Green Machine' 3-1


 ARIMA Senior Comprehensive joined San Juan at the top of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League East/Central Zone yesterday. The Dial Dynamos outclassed St Augustine 3-1 to carry its tally to 13 points, the same as San Juan, who was held to a 1-1 draw by Carapichaima.

 The scoring began as early as the third minute when Corey Garcia turned on two Green Machine defenders and shot past goalkeeper Kurleigh Charles. Arima created more of the chances in the opening half forcing goalkeeper Charles to produce a number of fine saves.

 But the home team came storming back seven minutes after conceding the opening goal.

 They got the equaliser through their captain, Jerwyn Balthazar ,who placed a well executed volley past Arima goalie Alborn Hassan-Roberts.

 The goal seemed to spark the boys in green and they were unlucky not to go a goal up when Balthazar rose above the Arima defence but headed over the bar.

 Arima, a team known for their counter attacking strength, took the lead for the second time when striker Dwight Lewis ran on to a long clearance from keeper Hassan-Roberts and slotted the ball past an advancing Kurleigh Charles on the stroke of halftime.

 After the break action was end to end. And after coming close on a number of occasions Arima eventually got its third goal in the 63rd minute through Lewis. He got his second item after dribbling past keeper Charles and slotting the ball into an empty net.

Tuesday September 19th, 2000

Benedict’s battle to stay tops

Sports Desk

For the first time in a while, St Benedict's College find themselves at the head of the South Zone pack. And this afternoon when fifth round matches in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League are completed, the south leaders will hope to still be there.

Benedict's travel to Pleasantville Senior Comprehensive today in what will be the start of a crucial week for the former champs. After they play second-placed Pleasantville, Benedict's must then face nemesis and reigning zonal and national champs Naparima College.

Pleasantville's shock 3-0 win over Naparima on Saturday opened the way for the tall-scoring Benedict's side to take the lead by one point over Naparima and today's opponents. A lot therefore will be at stake for both Plesantville and Benedict's at the Pleasantville ground.

"Naps" too will be keen to get Saturday's loss out of their system.

The defeat was their first in 24 matches in all competitions. And before they meet Benedict's on Thursday, Ateba McKnight and company will be hoping to have taken out their frustration on Moruga Composite at Skinner Park.

In other south matches, fourth-placed Mayaro Composite, five points behind the leaders, host Presentation College and bottom team Princes Town Senior Comprehensive visit Vessigny Government.

Up north, the teams are nicely bunched with just two points separating the first five teams halfway through the first round. There will be little room for error therefore when second-placed Queen's Royal College (seven points) host defending champs, fourth-placed St Anthony's College (six points).

Recent history suggests a romp for the "Tigers," St Anthony's having outscored QRC 17 goals to six in winning three of their last four league meetings. After two early losses, the champs have also won their last two matches by 5-1 margins.

Elsewhere, leaders St Mary's College will seek to extend their one point lead when they play Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive at Fatima ground, Malick Secondary play Success/Laventille Composite at the Queen's Park Oval and Trinity College host bottom side Tranquillity Secondary at Moka.

In east/central, San Juan Senior Compehensive will seek to extend their fine start to the season with win number five at Carapichaima Senior Comprehensive. Second-placed Arima Senior Comprehensive, though, will be seeking to keep in touch with the leaders when they visit St Augustine Senior Comprehensive. Champs El Dorado, beaten for the first time in 29 league games on Saturday, will also be seeking to regain lost ground when they visit Barataria Secondary, while Presentation College Chaguanas host Toco Composite.

Over in Tobago, unbeaten Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive and Elizabeth's College will aim to keep their runs going when they host Scarborough Secondary and Roxborough Composite respectively.

All matches begin at 4 p.m.

St Anthony's ready for QRC

 By Gregory Trujillo

 HAVING bounced back from two defeats to win its next two matches, defending champions St Anthony's will travel to St Clair today full of confidence against QRC in a match in the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League in which the leading goalscorers will be on show.

 The Royalians back four of Chris Durity, Alan Mitchell, Naeem Frederick and Phillip Butcher, as well as goalkeeper Ayinda Abu Bakr, will have to contain two of the deadliest forwards in the zone, Kenwyn Jones and Abiola Clarence.

 After two dismal performances, Jones and Clarence have combined to net eight goals between them (four each) in matches against Success/Laventille (5-1) and Trinity (5-1).

 Second placed QRC (seven points) will be relying on the in-form Douglas Fredericks, who netted all three goals in its 3-0 win over Success/Laventille on Saturday, if they are to go ahead of St Mary's (eight points), the front-runners.Fredericks is currently the leading goalscorer in the North with six goals, followed by Jones and Clarence on four each.

 CIC, away to Mucurapo on Fatima ground, will hope Joel Marquis, Scott Sealey, James Odogwa and Jeremy Del Pino get its act together upfront against the tallest defence of the eight competing teams.Also looking to get back into top gear after two mediocre performances are five-time champions Malick, who face neighbours Success/Laventille at the Queen's Park Oval.

 Trinity and Tranquillity will contest the fourth match in the North, both aiming to avoid the cellar-position.San Juan, leaders in the East/Central Zone with maximum 12 points, should have things their own way against Carapichaima, although playing away from home.

 However, it would not be easy sailing for second-placed Arima (10 pts), who will be entertained by St Augustine (5 pts).

 St Augustine have the players to deliver the goods - Jerwyn Balthazar, Kevaun Connell and Sean Power (all above the average mark) - but are yet to produce the calm, cool style they are known for.El Dorado (7 pts) will play Barataria (3 pts) at Barataria and Presentation (1 pt) will oppose Toco (4 pts) at their Chaguanas venue.

 Down South, triple-crowned champions, Naparima will be hoping to bounce back following their shock defeat to Pleasantville on Saturday. They tackle bottom-of-the-table Moruga at Skinner Park.Pleasantville, a team that cannot be taken for granted, will be home to St Benedict's, the current leaders with 10 points.

 Presentation (San Fernando) will journey to Mayaro and Princes Town will be away to Vessigny in the other matches. Signal Hill, 14-time winners in Tobago, will tackle winless Roxborough on their school ground, while Elizabeth's come up against Bishop's at Bon Accord. Kickoff in all matches is 4 pm.

Monday September 18th, 2000

Signal Hill stays on course

 By Gregory Trujillo

 SIGNAL HILL, going after their 15th championship win in the Tobago Zone crown in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League, stayed on course with a 3-0 win over Bishop's on Saturday on a hard and bumpy home ground. Jeremy Roberts opened the scoring for the defending champions in the 25th minute.

 From a build-up in midfield, Roberts played a one-two with striking partner Kevin Crooks, before slamming the ball past a helpless Bishop's goalkeeper.

 The second goal midway in the second half came as a result of a penalty when a Bishop's defender handled the ball in the area. Makan Hislop made no mistake with the spot kick. Ten minutes from the end Derek Dickenson sealed victory for Signal Hill when his shot from just outside the box beat the 'keeper.

 Roxborough, the only other team in the sister isle to win the title in the 16 years of the competition, continued to struggle when they fell 0-3 to Elizabeth College at Bon Accord.

 In the opening match last Wednesday, Roxborough were edged 1-0 by Scarborough, in spite of having home ground advantage.

 Elizabeth's are enjoying one of their better seasons. They lost to Signal Hill 0-2 in their opening match and recorded their second victory, 3-0 over Roxborough at Bon Accord. After losing 0-2 to Signal Hill, the Elizabeth side trounced Bishop's 5-0 in a major upset.

 Elizabeth's win over Roxborough pushed them to six points - the same as unbeaten Signal Hill and Scarborough. They, however, have played a game more.Elizabeth's will face Scarborough at Bon Accord and Signal Hill will oppose Roxborough at Signal Hill in the two zonal matches tomorrow.

'Carap' comes from behind

 By Naz Yacoob

 CARAPICHAIMA Senior Comprehensive picked up their first points, when they scored a come from behind 3-2 win over Barataria Senior Comprehensive in a East/Central Zone clash of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League, on Saturday at Carapichaima.

 The victory lifted "Caps" one notch from the bottom of the ladder. The visitors opened the scoring in the 18th minute against the run of play, when Ryan Theroulde headed past the "Caps" custodian from a right-side cross. The home team struck back in the 36th minute when Maurice Parkes scored with neat header.

 The scores were levelled 1-1 at the interval. On the resumption, the teams enjoyed an equal share of the exchanges, with both goal-keepers being called to make timely clearances. However, in the 58th minute, Theroulde shot home powerfully from inside the 18-yard box, to send Barataria back into the lead.

 But the home team never gave up and equalised in the 75th minute from the penalty spot, when Parkes was brought down. Bevill Constantine converted the spot kick.In a bold bid for full points, "Caps'" went all out in attack and it was no surprise when Jason Bhan netted the winner in the 80th minute, after a goal­mouth scrimmage.

 The win pushed "Caps" into joint sixth placed with Barataria on three points. Presentation College, Chaguanas which suffered a huge 6-0 defeat at the hands of Arima Secondary plunged to the bottom of the table with one point.San Juan Secondary lead the standings with a perfect 12 points from four matches. Round five action will takes place tomorrow in all the zones.

Sunday September 17th, 2000

San Juan takes care of El Dorado 1-0

 SAN JUAN edged El Dorado 1-0 yesterday in a crucial East Zone clash in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League to remain the only team with maximum 12 points.

 In front of a very large crowd hailing mostly from the El Dorado region, "Blue Thunder" displayed an impressive brand of football and were unlucky not to come away with a point. El Dorado created most of the chances in the first half with San Juan content to just lay back and defend.

 They were unfortunate not to score in the 10th minute when a "rocket" from Kareen Edwards was magnificently tipped over bar by goalkeeper Christopher Mc Millan.

 The "Blues" continued to press and opportunities came but Mc Millan was in top form.

 In the second session, Mc Millan continued his fine form shutting out efforts from Sterling O' Brian and Jesse De Four.

 In the 68 minute against the run of play, Kurt Bravo found himself unmarked in the 18- yard box and smashed the ball over goalkeeper Cecil Thomas' head into the roof of the net to stun the El Do supporters. The boys in blue did not give up and stepped up the pace but were not helped by their stirkers lack of finishing and Mc Millan's top form.

 San Juan did well to survive an all out assualt in the dying stages but it was not to be. San Juan, along with Signal Hill of Tobago, are the only two unbeaten teams in the league so far.

 Arima kept in a challenging position when they hammered Presentation 7-0. They are second in the standings with 10 points.

Fredericks hattrick as QRC stops Laventille

 GOAL-HUNGRY forward Douglas Fredericks nailed goalkeeper Preston Collinwood three times yesterday to steer Queen's Royal College to a comfortable 3-0 win over first-timers Success/Laventille in the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League at PSA Centre, St James.

 After eight minutes in the match, Fredericks swooped on a through ball from midfielder Sterling Braithwaite and drilled a shot past Collinwood. In the 22nd minute, Phillip Butcher deprived the Laventille lads from equalising with a timely tackle on Ian Mc Cauley in front of the goal.

 Right after on the other end Cannon Williams, using his speed to advantage, was robbed of the ball in the nick of time by David James. He also stood in dismay as his low placement was denied from going into the goal by the upright.

 But a minute later (36th) Fredericks, one of the talented players on the pitch, was allowed enough space to hammer a left-footer past Collinwood. Seconds before the whistle sounded for the end of the first half, Frank Naeem sprinted down the left flank and played the ball along the ground for an onrushing Frederick to drive a roofer out of the reach of Colinwood,
 who was substituted on the restart by Atiba Hume.

 Fleet-footed Fredericks muffed two sitters in the second session, the second the easiest of chances when Hume failed to collect a high cross and the ball fell sweetly on his feet before an open goal. Over on QRC ground Mucurapo defeated Tranquillity 2-0 with goals by Garvin Gulston (19th) and Anton Joseph (81st).

 Gulston was on spot to score after two defenders were beaten by the bounce of the ball and Joseph rifled a 35-yard left-foot free kick past goalkeeper Emmanuel Nurse.

 Down at Westmoorings, national Under-17 player Kewyn Jones laid a solid foundation for home side, St Anthony's to thrash Trinity 5-1. Early in the match Jones opened the scoring when he ran through the middle and hit a low shot that skidded past the Trinity 'keeper.

 Soon after, from a corner kick, he got up above the defence and headed home.

 Trinity came out fighting after that goal but on a counter-attack Sirgio St Hill squared back for Abiola Clarence to made the score 3-0. Clarence netted again before Trinity pulled one back through Oni Thomas while Asim James rounded off the scoring for the Tigers.

 QRC's win pushed them to second place one point behind St Mary's (8 points). Malick also have seven points with St Anthony's and Mucurapo on six each.

 Success and Trinity remain on four and Tranquillity on three.

Naps bows to Pleasantville: Greene is favourite

 DEFENDING national BWIA Secondary Schools Football League and Intercol champions Naparima College had their 24-match unbeaten run, dating back to last season, shattered by Pleasantville Senior Comprehensive yesterday, going down 1-3 in a fourth round encounter.

 Dillon Mitchell (31st), Clint Tidd (42nd) and Kevin Simon (65th) were the youngsters on target for the "Maroon Platoon" who had to come from a goal down after Wendell Joseph had put "Naps" ahead after seven minutes.

 Naparima's loss allowed St Benedict's College to take the lead in the south standings with 10 points after they beat newcomers Vessigny Composite 2-0 at La Romain yesterday.

 Nkosi Blackman (17th) and Lester Edwards (60th) were the men on target for the 1998 Intercol champions. With yesterday's win , Pleasantville moved to seven points.

 Missing the services of leading striker Atiba McKnight, Lyndell Pompey and coach Jan Steadman through suspension from their previous 2-1 win over Presentation College, San Fernando, "Naps" controlled proceedings up until P/Ville's equaliser on a soggy surface.

 Inside the opening minute, Roderick Anthony's cross from the right found Atiba Forde inside the 18-yard box, but his downward header was well pushed away by goalkeeper Adisa Alleyne.

 Then six minutes later Joseph ran onto a chip inside the area and got his head to the ball before the advancing 'keeper, receiving a knock to his face in the process. Peters, last season's Most Valuable Player and a current member of the national Under-20 team, was a force in the "Naps"" midfield in the first half but it turned out that they missed him in his normal sweeper position at the back.

 On 12 minutes, Peters forced his way past three players before forcing Alleyene to save his 25-metre shot. Three minutes later Peters' right-footed free kick deflected onto the top of the crossbar.

 P/Ville struggled to build any worthwhile attacks in the opening half-hour but soon got their act together in front of about 400 fans. They got the equaliser when an initial cross from the right was blocked but the "Naps" defence delayed the clearance, allowing Mitchell to win possession and rifle past 'keeper Shai Prescod from the edge of the box.

 Then the "Champs" found themselves trailing 2-1 when Raymond Roach's intended shot was hit home on the left far post by Tidd. From then on "Naps" were never able to mount a decent attack as McKnight looked on from the sidelines hopelessly.

 Tidd and Roach were combining well on the right flank for P/Ville and received good support from midfielder Nicholas Rajaram and captain Mbwana Johnson at the back.

 P/Ville delivered the death shot on "Naps" unbeaten streak when Mitchell found Tidd wide on the right of the box and after his effort was blocked by Prescod's right foot, Simon ran in to nail the rebound.Things got worse for "Naps" when Fabian Davis was sent off by female referee Cassie Moore for elbowing an opposing player.

Saturday September 16th, 2000

‘Thunder’ test for San Juan


THEY have sailed past Barataria, Presentation and St Augustine. Now San Juan Senior Comprehensive will try not to have the wind knocked out of their sails when they face champions ElDorado.

The clash of the top two sides in the East/Central Zone this afternoon will again be one of the feature attractions in the fourth round of Championship Division matches in the Secondary Schools Football League.

San Juan have been one of the surprise teams so far this season. Their 2-0 home victory over the “Green Machine”, St Augustine Senior Secondary on Wednesday, confirmed their promise. But this afternoon on the road at the home of back-to-back zonal champs El Dorado Senior Comprehensive, currently in second place, the Bourg Mulatresse boys will receive their ultimate test.

Should San Juan lose, Arima Senior Comprehensive, joint second on seven points with ElDo, could gain a share of the lead if they beat Presentation College Chaguanas who have one point from their opening three matches.

In the other games in the zone, Toco Composite host St Augustine and Barataria Secondary travel to Carapichaima Senior Comprehensive.

Down south, double defending national champs Naparima College are the ones with the full points after three games. But the St Benedict’s College boys are filling the nets.

With only three games gone, Benedict’s have already scored 15 goals and lie second on seven points.

Impressively, they hit eight past Mayaro Composite in midweek, even without the suspended Nkosi Blackman, scorer of two hattricks in the first two matches. This afternoon, the La Romaine unit play new team Vessigny Government in another match that promises to keep the scorers busy.

Vessigny, after two scoreless matches, hit five against Moruga Composite on Wednesday.

Naps, proceeding much as they did last season, will be seeking another three points today when they play at Pleasantville Senior Comprehensive.

Princes Town Senior Comprehensive, with one point so far, will be seeking to get going with three points at home against Mayaro. In the other game, Presentation College host Moruga.

Up north, an open competition sees current leaders, unbeaten St Mary’s College coming up against the side they have replaced, Malick Secondary.

St Mary’s, with their 3-2 midweek win over Queen’s Royal College, lead Malick by one point. But any result is possible this afternoon at CIC ground. Malick have already been victims of unpredictable play, upset 2-0 by the previously winless Tranquillity Secondary on Wednesday.

Today, Tranquil play Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive at QRC ground, zonal champions St Anthony’s College, fresh from their 5-1 whipping of Success Laventille Composite, host Trinity College and Success play QRC at PSA ground.

In Tobago, champs Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive return to action at home against Bishop’s High School and Elizabeth’s College play Roxborough Composite at Bon Accord.

All matches begin at 4 p.m.

No easy walkover for Naps and Benedict's

 By Gregory Trujillo

 TAKING a line through Presentation, it will be no walk-over for triple-crowned champions Naparima, as well as St Benedict's today when fourth round matches in the first round of the South Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League are played from 4 pm.

 Naparima, the only team in the southland to hold a perfect record, will be away to Pleasantville while St Benedict's, who track the leaders, will entertain newcomers Vessigny. Pleasantville, after losing 2-0 to Mayaro, has improved to draw with Vessigny and have beaten Princes Town (1-0).

 Vessigny, on the other hand, since drawing 0-0 with Presentation and 1-1 with Pleasantville, whipped cellar-placed Moruga 5-1 on Wednesday, which indicates it is rounding into form. To date, Naparima has been made to fight to the bitter end in winning their three matches - 1-0 over Princes Town, 2-1 over Mayaro and 2-1 over Presentation.

 It took a goal in injury time by Brenton de Leon for Naps to edge Princes Town, a second-half penalty by Fabian Forbes for them to beat Mayaro and a double from Atiba Mc Knight for them to hold on to beat Presentation last Wednesday.

 Against Presentation, Mc Knight netted his first goal after 30 minutes and converted a penalty with 15 minutes left in the match. After the second goal, Presentation came to life and pressed the champions for the remainder of the game. It was, however, successful in scoring only once through Michael Rogers.

 Naps will be at a disadvantage today against Pleasantville as it will be without the services of coach Jan Steadman, star striker Mc Knight and Lyndon Pompey, the trio receiving red cards against Presentation on Wednesday. St Benedict's has continued to score heavily, whipping Moruga 4-1, drew 3-3 with Presentation and has mauled Mayaro 8-4 .

 In the first-half against Mayaro, St Benedict's struggled upfront in the absence of their prolific goalscorer Kkosi Blackman, who had to miss the game as a result of receiving a yellow card in each of their first two encounters.After going into half-time trailing 2-3, they came into their own in the second session, banging in six goals.

 With Blackman back in the line-up today, the La Romain boys are expected to bring out the best in a Vessigny side that has shown that they would not be an easy "kettle of fish."

St Mary's, Malick square off

 ST MARY'S and Malick, the top two sides in the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League, will square off today in the feature match of round four on CIC Ground, Serpentine Road, St Clair. The Saints hold a one point advantage over early leaders Malick, following their 3-2 victory over QRC Wednesday.

 Malick will be aiming to bounce back from their shock 2-0 defeat to Tranquillity, especially with top forward Devon Jorsling returning to fitness following an injury sustained while training with the national Under-17 squad a week before the start of competition.

 Jorsling, who seemed to favour his right foot ankle injury in his first full match against Tranquillity, was Malick's leading scorer last season with 19 goals.

 Defending champions, St Anthony's, after defeats to St Mary's and Mucurapo, showed vast improvement by beating Success/Laventille Wednesday. They will entertain Trinity at Westmoorings.Success/Laventille will be at home at PSA to QRC and Tranquillity will play Mucurapo at QRC in the day's other matches.

Thursday September 14th, 2000

CIC stops QRC

 By Everard Gordon

 QUEEN'S Royal College made a desperate bid to pull back a 0-3 half-time deficit but had to settle for a 2-3 loss against arch-rivals St Mary's College in their BWIA Secondary Schools Football League encounter at the Royalians ground yesterday. The visitors went ahead in the 16th minute when James Odogwa ran around goalkeeper Ayinde Abu Bakr following a Scott Sealy pass.

 The crafty Sealy trapped and collected the ball almost at the half line, retained control under pressure and passed down the middle to Odogwa, who made no mistake. Eight minutes later the first of two goal keeping blunders occurred when Jeremy Del Pino hammered a free kick from 40 yards and watched it sail over Abu Bakr's head.

 In the 29th minute, the keeper muffed a 40-yard shot from Kevin Norman and Odogwa was again on hand to net the Saints third. The Royalians were under pressure for the rest of the half and one would have thought that the two soft goals would have taken the heart out of them.

 Not so. Kicking from the east in the second half, they pressed the Saints, having seven shots on goal and two corners before the Saints had their first shot. It was no surprise when QRC registered their first in the 69th minute when Naeem Frederick ran on to a pass through the middle to net a sitter.

 In the 89th minute, a free kick was blocked in the wall and Frederick Douglas made no mistake with the rebounding ball. But the Saints had done enough to win without denying the effort of the Royalians. The result left the Saints at the top of the standings with seven points while the Royalians have three points.

Malick bows to Tranquil

 By Gregory Trujillo

 FIVE-TIME champions, Malick, surrendered their lead in the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League with a dismal performance yesterday against cellar-placed Tranquillity on St Mary's Ground, Serpentine Road, St Clair. Unable to do anything right, the Morvant boys were humbled 2-0 by their Woodbrook counterparts with a goal in either half.

 Devin Elcock was credited with scoring the first goal on Malick for the season in the 20th minute when he fired a powerful right-footer past goalkeeper Kevin Graham from on the fringe of the 18-yard box.

 Tranquillity, who was beaten 3-1 by Success/Laventille and 2-0 by QRC, successfully prevented Malick from playing its customary open game by zoning off the midfield and forcing them to either go square or play the ball backward.

 Tranquil was awarded a penalty in the 74th minute which skipper Mario Assoon scored on the second attempt. Over at Fatima Ground, Mucurapo edged Trinity 2-1 with the winning goal coming in the third minute of injury time.

 Ori Thomas opened the scoring for the Moka lads in the fifth minute. But after 19 minutes, Sherwin Marcano levelled the scores for Mucurapo by hitting a bullet from a through pass.

 Thomas crowned off a successful match when he met a cross that was missed by a Mucurapo defender and tapped past 'keeper Daurance Williams for the winner.

 And at PSA Ground, Dion Mc Farlane reports that a double from Abiola Clarence and Kerwin Jones earned defending champions St Anthony's their first victory after three games as they mauled newcomers Success/Laventille 5-1.

 Success looked a seasoned team displaying some exquisite football but was unlucky to fall behind as early as the tenth minute when midfielder Marcus Chin Sang shot past goalkeeper Preston Collingwood.

 The Laventille boys continued to press for the equaliser and were rewarded seven minutes later when striker Shem Mc Farlane found the back of the net.
Saturday September 9th, 2000

Signal Hill win in Tobago

DEFENDING champions Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive opened their 2000 BWIA Secondary Schools Football League season with a 2-0 win over Elizabeth’s College at Bon Accord yesterday.

On the opening day of the new season in Tobago, goals by Kevin Crooks in the fifth minute and Darrel Carrington in the 69th, were enough to see off Elizabeth’s who were unable to convert the reasonable chances they created.

In the other match also played at Bon Accord, Scarborough Secondary, through a Deon Orr penalty in the 34th minute and a Leandro Williams effort in the 63rd, edged Bishop’s High School 2-1. Khamisi Campbell got the consolation item for Bishop’s in the 80th minute.

Early test for ElDo


THE ball has only just begun to roll. And already this afternoon, East/Central champions El Dorado Senior Comprehensive will face a serious examination of their credentials for 2000.

The “Blue Thunder”, having come away with a 2-0 win at home to Carapichaima Senior Comprehensive in their opening game, face traditional rivals Arima Senior Comprehensive again at El Dorado.

This is a match between two unbeaten teams, Arima having edged newcomers Toco Composite 3-2 on Thursday. And having trailed well behind El Dorado both in terms of points and quality over the last two seasons, Arima will be keen to reverse the trend.

Should they manage a win on the road, the victory would indeed be significant, for ElDo have now gone 27 matches unbeaten in the East/Central Zone since the start of the 1998 season.

In the other East/Central games, first day winners San Juan Senior Secondary host Presentation College, Chaguanas; Carapichaima entertain Toco and Barataria Secondary go in search of their first points at St Augustine Senior Comprehensive.

Down south, Naparima’s record is just slightly poorer than El Dorado’s.

They have lost just once in their last 29 zonal games. And this afternoon, the national champions, already with a 1-0 win over Princes Town Senior Comprehensive behind them, will aim to preserve that record down by the sea in Mayaro.

In other matches, St Benedict’s, with a 4-1 beating of Moruga Composite already under their belts, play at home again against Presentation College, Moruga visit Princes Town and newcomers Vessigny Government Secondary visit Pleasantville Senior Comprehensive.

Up north, the first-timers play the old hands at Serpentine Road in a match between two first round winners. St Mary’s College’s 3-2 win over defending champs St Anthony’s College has given them a boost in confidence. But Success/Laventille will lose nothing by way of morale, having announced their arrival in the Championship Division with a 3-1 win over Tranquillity Secondary.

In other games, St Anthony’s and Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive will be looking for their first points of the season when they meet at St Anthony’s ground. Tranquil, too, will be aiming to break their duck at Queen’s Royal College grounds in Maraval, while Malick Secondary travel to Moka to face spirited Trinity College who earned themselves a dramatic 3-3 draw at QRC on Thursday.

All matches begin at 4 p.m.
Friday September 8th, 2000

Malick edge out Mucurapo

Sports Desk

ANTON JOSEPH would have been cross with himself yesterday. The Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive midfielder struck his effort from the penalty spot against the crossbar in the 34th minute. And then he saw Malick’s Sean Jack score the only goal of the contest to give his team a 1-0 win at Fatima Grounds.

At QRC Grounds: In an entertaining match, the homesters let a 2-0 half-time advantage over Trinity slip, the game eventually ending in a 3-3 draw. Mark-Anthony Williams, Ruel Rigsby and Carron Williams netted for the Royalians while former Fatima striker Oni Thomas, Clinton Lawrence and Kerwin Ramkissoon found then et for the visitors.

And at the Oval: North Zone newcomers Success Laventille scored an 3-1 upset victory against Tranquillity.

In the East Zone’s only match of the day at the Arima Municipal Stadium, Michael Grayson ‘s Arima edged the recently promoted Toco unit 3-2.

Down South, Nkosi Blackman netted a hattrick as St Benedict’s pounded out a 4-1 win over Moruga Composte at Basil Matthews Complex yesterday.

Blackman sent the La Romain boys ahead in the 13th minute, when he booted home past goalkeeper Gregory Lancaster after a through pass from midfielder Keith Williams. Last year’s runners-up went two goals up when Blackman gained his double with a powerful low right-footer that gave keeper Lancaster no chance. The visitor’s came fighting back, though, and were rewarded 13 minutes before the interval, a Jason Sandbury left-footer beating goalkeeper Anton Alleyne for pace. But that was as
close as they would get. Four minutes into the second period, André Alexis put the game out of the visitors’ reach when he tapped over the head of the advancing Lancaster after a long right-side pass by Blackman. Blackman notched his hattrick ten minutes from time as he kicked over an onrushing Lancaster.

At Mayaro, Amir Haniff and Colin Samuels were the marksmen for the winners in their 2-0 win over Pleasantville.

But back at Fatima, that blatant miss apart, Joseph and his teammates had other opportunities to set things straight.

In a game in which Ian Clauzel’s squad failed to show organisation in attack, Joseph blasted a lay off from speedy left-winger Shawn Andrews way over the bars into the pavilion in the dying stages of the game.

And Adrian Cedeno wasted Andrews’s good service in the last minute when he sent his volley much in the same direction as Joseph’s.

Earlier, though, had Ken Franco’s team shown more accuracy in shooting, the game would have been out of the reach of the Mucurapo boys.

Odelle Armstrong and Kevon Serrette, playing for the injured Devon Jorsling, were merely successful in finding a well-placed Dawrence Williams in the Mucurapo goal.

The inacuracy in shooting was not limited to Malick. Joseph failed to convert from the spot after Andrews was brought down.

But when Jack slapped home from inside the box in the 54th minute for the winner, the more deserving team had earned the victory.


North Zone
Malick 1 (S.Jack) Mucurapo 0

QRC 3 (M.Williams, R. Rigsby, C.Williams) Trinity 3 (K.Ramkissoon, C.Lawrence, O.Thomas)

Tranquillity 1 (C.Edwards) Success Laventille 3 (K.Joseph (pen), I.Macauley, K.Cardor)

East Zone
Arima 3 (R.Watkins, D.Lewis, D.La Guerre) Toco 2 (D.Alexander)

South Zone
St Benedict’s 4 (N.Blackman 3, A.Alexis) Moruga 1 (J.Sandbury)

Mayaro 2 (A.Haniff, C.Samuels) Pleasantville 0 0

Trinity gets draw at the death vs QRC


 IT ain't over till the fat lady sings. Queen's Royal College, at home, dominated most of their match against Trinity College, leading 3-1 in the second half, only to see Trinity get back well into injury time to draw in virtually the last kick.

 This was as the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League continued in the north yesterday afternoon.

 It was a match which saw the boys in blue running at their guests with attacks down both wings and as the Trinity goalkeeper, Abiola Benjamin, appeared a little uncertain, they scored in the ninth minute.

 Two shots had been parried back into play and Mark-Anthony Williams finished the play when he pushed a simple side-footed shot into the goal. Sterling Brathwaite netted the second for the Royals and they went in at half time leading 2-1.

 They stretched the lead to 3-1 when Ruel Rigsby beat an indecisive goalkeeper, heading a tame lob over his reach in the 55th. Almost from the kick off, Trinity struck back. The QRC keeper was caught in no man's land and Clinton Lawrence slipped a calmly taken shot past him.

 The match had been inclined to be rough and from this point, tackles were even tougher, resulting in the Trinity captain being taken off and a total of four cards handed out in the match.

 But the Trinity boys stuck to their guns, getting the equaliser through a brilliantly taken header by Oni Thomas from a left side cross.

Success for Laventille

 By Deon Mc Farlane

 SUCCESS/LAVENTILLE, making their debut yesterday to top flight soccer in the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League, began their campaign on a winning note by shutting out Tranquillity 3-1 at Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain.

 One a damp outfield, Success displayed some slick-passing that had the Tranquillity side baffled.

 They were rewarded with their first goal in the 34th minute when striker Shem Mc Farlane was brought down inside the 18-yard box and a penalty awarded. The spot kick was successfully taken by Kerry Joseph.

 Ten minutes later Tranquility's goalkeeper Richard Arneaud mishandled a right side cross and Ian Mc Auley was on spot to tap home. In the second session, the Victoria Avenue boys created much more scoring opportunities, but could not convert them.

 They eventually pulled one back 15 minutes into the half when Cetewayo Edwards' long range shot sailed into the net.

 To add insult to injury Tranquillity had two players sent off - Jade Whiteman (67th) and substitute Kenty Drumant (78th).

 Now down to nine men, Tranquillity were unable to stop Kendall Cadore from netting in the 82nd minute for Sussess' third goal.

 Sussess play again tomorrow against Wednesday's winners St Mary's (3-2 over St Anthony's) on Saints ground, Serpentine Road.

Blackman hattrick for Benedict's

 INSPIRED by a hattrick from national Under-17 striker, Nkosi Blackman, St Benedict's stopped Moruga 4-1 yesterday in their opening match in the South Zone of the Secondary Schools Football League on their home ground at La Romaine.

 Blackman opened the scoring in the 12th minute and followed up with another goal in the 23rd.

 Moruga pulled a goal back before the interval, but their hopes were dashed in the 50th when another national player, Andre Alexis, netted for the La Romaine squad.

 Blackman completed the scoring in the 80th minute. St Benedict's also had in their line-up defenders Lee Haynes and Devon Bristol and midfielder Wacey Benjamin - all members of the national Under-17 team.

 Meanwhile, Roy Watson scored the fastest goal to date in the competition when he help steered Arima to a 3-2 win over Toco in the East Zone.

 Watson scored in the third minute. Darron Alexander equalised for Toco in the 49th minute but Arima took the lead again in the 66th through Dwight Lewis.

 Donald Legere put the issue beyond doubt by netting in the 88th. Alexander notched his second goal for Toco two minutes before the end.

Malick edges Mucurapo

 By Gregory Trujillo

 EVEN with the services of Ian "The Dread Dribbler" Clauzel and former national captain Selris Figaro at their disposal, Mucurapo fell 1-0 to five-time champions Malick yesterday in their opening match in the North Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League on Fatima Ground, Mucurapo.

 Clauzel, who thrilled fans with his clever dribbling for Mucurapo in 1977 and '78, and Figaro, were members of the school's coaching staff. They replaced Ron La Forest, who opted to return to his old school Belmont to try and take them back to the Championship Division after they were demoted two years ago.

 However, their knowledge of the game had little impact on the players as the majority of them, as well as those on the Malick side, suffered from first-time jitters. Faith would have it that Seon Jack, a forward who made little or no contribution before he was substituted, netted the lone goal in the 54th minute.

 Lurking in or around the edge of the area on the right flank, Seon pounced on a loose ball that came across the face of the Mucurapo goal to slam a low shot past the outstretched hands of lanky goalkeeper Daurance Williams.

 Even after the goal Seon was like "Jack in the Box" fumbling most of the balls he received, and was neither penetrative, until he was substituted 20 minutes later by Kareem Allard.

 Mucurapo squandered a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 35th minute when Anton Joseph rifled a penalty against the crossbar.

 The penalty was awarded by referee Marere Gonzales when defender Carlton Harris bulldozed forward Sean Andrews to the pitch on the fringe of the box.

 With five minutes left in the match Mucurapo almost clinched the equaliser, but Adrian Cedeno, running in on the blind-side of the Malick defence, put a volley overbar from inside the six-yard box.

 Although Malick won the match they were not impressive. Instead of trying to play the ball to foot against the lanky back four of Calvin Garcia, Michael Allert, Akil Weekes and Paul Pantin, they insisted on playing the air-ball and were constantly beaten to it.
Thursday September 7th, 2000

More trouble from Naps?


Naparima College 1999 placing: champions
LAST year Naparima took it all. They placed first in the South Zone and also won the national Big 4 title and the Intercol trophy.

This year, it may be somewhat difficult to repeat that dominance. “Naps” have lost skipper Leon Brown to a football scholarship. Also departing are defenders Kurt Burrel, Erwin Cayenne and link Nigel Fabien.

However, several players have been retained and some new talent has been recruited. Last stopper Jace Peters—who was named Player of the Year last season—will be back as well as Clint De Verteil. The offence will be fortified by the presence of striker Akeba McKnight.

Naparima sportsmaster Roy Jagroopsingh is both confident and cautious about his team’s chances.

However, Naps are still eyeing a repeat of last year’s success.

St Benedict’s College 1999 placing: 2nd

St BENEDICT'S placed 2nd in the league last year and were knocked out of Intercol in the first round by rivals Princess Town in a game that went to extra time.

This season will be one for rebuilding. Nine of last year’s squad will not be returning. Included in this group are defenders Andre Toussaint and Dewayne Millington who have gone to the PFL and captain Silvio Spann who is away on a soccer scholarship.

Also joining the exodus are last stopper Lyndon Diaz, midfielder Dia Hunte and striker Kendall “Neck” Davis. Replacing these players will be five members of the National Under-17 team including Andre Alexis and Nkosi Blackman (both strikers) and last stopper Lee Haynes.

Striker Akil Jordan from last year’s squad will also be returning. Despite the loss of so many vital players, Benedict’s still aim to be a force in zonal and national competition this term.

Princes Town Senior1999 placing: 3rd

PRINCES Town finished behind Naparima and St Benedict’s last year and were the beaten finalists in the last two Intercol tournaments.

But coach Louis Bobcombe describes this as a rebuilding year. However, he still plans to maintain the very high level of football that Princes Town fans have come to expect.

Departing on football scholarships are skipper and last stopper Anton Ramnarine and prolific striker Andre Marshall.

Also gone is forward Bevon Lewis. However, Bobcombe stresses the continuity of the Princes Town football program and he suggests that many players from the Senior Division side can fill the breach created by the departing players. Despite the change in personnel, Princes Town still expect to have a good season.

Presentation College 1999 placing: 4th

THIS year Presentation have managed to retain the majority of their squad, losing only three players. Captain Makesi Bostic and link Shay Suderland as well as strikers Justin Bishop and Michael Rogers have all returned.

Last year’s goalkeeper Kurt Luke will also be standing in goal this year. Most of the players on the team have the experience of at least one season; in fact, Presentation probably contains the most experienced players in the zone. Manager Leslie Hoyte suggests that this wealth of experience will be vital if the team is to be successful this season.

Mayaro Composite 1999 placing: 5th

FOOTBALL director, Reynold Philip is determined to have Mayaro do better in the league this year.

Several midfield players have been lost including link Devon Williams. However, the talismanic playmaker Colin Samuel and Sherwin Lee (both capable strikers) have been retained. In addition, many of the core defense players are back.

Philip suggests that this combination of experience at the back and talent in the striking positions will help to produce improved results.

Pleasantville Senior 1999 placing: 6th

PLEASANTVILLE, sixth last year and first round Intercol losers, have lost six players from last year’s squad. However, manager Michael Crichlow is pleased with the several new players that have joined the squad. These include the talented midfielder Clint Tidd, strikers Raymond Roach and Jamal Ayers and defender Mbwana Johnson. Crichlow is optimistic about the team’s chances this season and he views the side as possessing more depth. It is a depth he hopes will produce real results this term.

Moruga Composite 1999 placing: 7th

ONLY the demoted Fyzabad Composite struggled more than Moruga last year. This season, they are hoping for considerable improvement. Most of the 1999 side have departed, so this year’s team will have new talent.

Three new players of note are midfielders Quincy Cooper and Steven Nicolas together with defender Jason Allen. Manager Michael Breton is satisfied with the amount of work put in by his charges during the vacation period and is certain that Moruga will be earning volumes of respect from the opposition.

Vessigny Government 1999 placing: promoted

VESSIGNY put together a fine season last year in the Senior Division and have as a result gained promotion for the first time.

Despite being the new kids in the neighbourhood, opposing coaches have said that Vessigny will be a team to reckon with. Howard Spencer, the director of the team, says the squad contains no superstars but that every player on the team is a hard worker. Vessigny aim to be “a well oiled unit”.

Spencer though lamented that his team was a little short of match practice going into yesterday’s season opener against Presentation, but was pleased with the training the team had put in over the last two months.

One problem this season may be Vessigny’s lack of experience at this level. Spencer is hoping though that his charges butterflies disappear quickly as the season wears on.

St Mary's stops champs


 THEY served the main course first as St Mary's College edged out St Anthony's College, last year's North Zone champions, 3-2 in an entertaining match at CIC Ground, Serpentine Road, St Clair, before a large and enthusiastic crowd yesterday. The encounter was first match in the Zone of the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League.

 A cloudburst two hours before the start of play caused the ground to be muddy but, the home team played an enterprising, quick passing game that was remarkably accurate.

 They dominated the first half and it was no surprise when, from a long throw in, which was back headed into the visitors' goal-mouth, Scott Sealy notched a beautiful goal in the 30th minute.

 He dropped to the ground and hit a right foot volley that gave Germain, in goal for the West Moorings team, no chance.

 The brilliant passing of St Mary's befuddled the visitors and constant pressure saw a second eight minutes later as James Odogwa slipped the first of his double into the right hand corner of the goal.

 Second half started as the first ended with the home team running the visitors off their legs and getting a third and Odogwa's double.

 Hayden Martin, St Mary's coach, believes a combination of complacency and a change of tactics by the St Anthony's team, caught his boys on the hop and pressure on the goal led to a penalty as goalkeeper, Johann Marin, tackled dangerously.

 It was converted by Marcus Chinsam and shortly after, the continued pressure saw a shot by Abiola Clarence deflected past the despairing Marin, making the score 3-2 with nine minutes to play. The home team picked up its game and the score remained unchanged after seven minutes extra time.

 Score: St Mary's College 3 (Scott Sealy(1), James Odogwa (2) v St Anthony's College 2 James Chinsam and Abiola Clarence.

Naparima does it in injury time

 DEFENDING South Zone champions Naparima scored in injury time to defeat arch-rivals Princes Town 1-0 at Skinner Park, San Fernando yesterday.

 And, Presentation (San Fernando) and newcomers Vessigny Composite battled to a dismal goalless draw in the opening match of the double-header programme in the BWIA Secondary Schools Football League.

 Naps, reigning League and Intercol champions, had to wait until the second minute of injury time to secure three vital points against Princes Town.

 The goal was scored by Brenton de Leon, who made contact with the ball from a left-side corner. His effort got a deflection before flying past goalkeeper Marlon Sylvester.

 The first half was a drab affair with three chances going abegging for both sides.

 Atiba Mc Knight of Naparima had the first real scoring chance of the game in the 25th minute but 'keeper Sylvester, who had a solid game, narrowed the angle to block his shot.

 Ten minutes later the same player had his effort again blocked by Sylvester.

 Princes Town's midfielder Andre Charles saw his free kick from 25 metres out narrowly missing the crossbar by inches in the 73th minute. Only midway through the second half both teams showed glimpses of the form which saw them dominate last season.

 Anthony Noreiga of Princes Town had a left foot blast flash wide of the near post and Mc Knight and de Leon had further missed chances. In the meantime, Sylvester and defender Ryan Christopher deserved credit for some vital clearances.

Wednesday September 6th, 2000

St Anthony's kicks off vs CIC

 ST ANTHONY'S College, defending champions of the BWIA Secondary Schools Colleges Football League, open their 2000 campaign with a match against one of the most experienced teams in the league.

 This is as the first match of the North Zone of the tournament kicks off at St Mary's College Ground, Serpentine Road, at 4 pm today.

 The West Moorings team has lost some of their players, as do all school teams each year, but they still have the services of their influential captain and goalkeeper, Mikhail Germaine. Still there too are Steven Cruickshank, Julius James, Kenwyn Jones and promising reserve goalkeeper, Marcus Chinsammy.

 Nigel Grosvenor, coach of the champs, is quietly optimistic of his team's chances of retaining their title. "It will not be easy. Everybody wants to defeat the champions and we will have a hard time, especially at the start of the season. We have lost seven of last year's starters and, while we have four of the under-17 national team, they are 16-year-olds up against bigger, more experienced players.

 "We just have to be patient and overcome a nervous start. If we play and enjoy ourselves, the results will take care of themselves," he said.

 St Mary's College's Martin Hayden, has a few of his last year's players, Nicholas Lee, Scott Sealey, Jeremy Delpino, Ryan and Rhett Abraham as well as two of the national under 17s, who have just passed their CXC and are in their first year sixth form.

 "We will be using a 3-5-2 system but that is not cast in stone," says coach Hayden. "Our boys will give a good account of themselves."

Tuesday September 5th, 2000

Who’ll steal ElDo’s thunder?

Sports Desk

El Dorado Snr Comprehensive
1999 placing-Champions

El Dorado Senior Comprehensive’s footballers will this year be bidding to prove that a different cast doesn’t necessarily mean a different script.

Easy winners last season, ElDo will be forced to do without some key players. The creativity of Kwame Wiltshire, the craftiness of Abede Fernandes, the strength of Kirth Hutchings and the sturdiness of Devin Jordan and Michael Julius in defence will all be missing from coach Trevor Spicer’s line-up for the 2000 campaign. But Spicer still has the services of Junior Pamponette, Kevin James, Sterlin O’Brien and Jaboree Lamsie to try to mould a title-winning team once more. Despite the major loss of experience and skill, a confident manager John Henry expects that the new players will combine with the returning seniors to write the same “Blue Thunder” screenplay.

They would still be quite content if it is not as elaborate as last season’s.

St Augustine Snr Comprehensive
1999 placing—2nd

It was inconsistency that put a spoke in the Green Machine’s progress last year.

After keeping pace with ElDo for the first round, St Augustine veered off the championship route with some indifferent play leading to matching results in the second. But coach Kenny Thomas’s side has been hard at work in the off-season. And with the core of last year’s team returning, they will be looking to find the consistency that could finally put them back on the title trail they last travelled in 1995.

Arima Snr Secondary
1999 placing-3rd

Losing the nucleus of his 1999 team has not dampened coach Michael Grayson’s spirits. In fact, he appears to be licking his chops in anticipation of the new season.

Together with assistants Dave Weeekes, Owen Tyrel and Peter Lewis, Grayson believes the “Dial Dynamos” have what it takes to repeat their 1997 zonal winning performance.

“We gonna do much better than last year. This year, the East Zone should be a bit more balanced....It should be a tight race for the championships.”

The foundation of his squad will be built on good incoming Arima Junior Secondary players and the much improved team 2001 national players Alf Skeete and Keron Phillips. On that base, the Arima coach hopes to construct a winning season.

San Juan Snr Secondary
1999 placing—4th

Like Arima’s Grayson, coach Bertram O’Brien also harbours championship dreams. But there is a significant gap between dreamland and reality.

O’Brien’s confidence is premised on how well his returning charges Kestern Brito, Devon Prince, Cordell Lucas, Nicholas Jagessar and Anthony Thompson have fared, along with the rest of the Bourg Mulatresse squad, in pre-season camp.

A delayed start to preparations may, according to O’Brien, cause the team to stutter in their first couple of games. But he expects them to find themselves and begin to show their true worth very quickly after that.

Barataria Snr Comprehensive
1999 placing—5th

“It’s a completely new team this year,” Barataria coach Gwenwyn Cust concedes.

In fact, all that remains of the 1999 outfit are three Under-15 players who were instrumental in the school’s capture of the title at that level in the East.

There will be more Under-15 and Under-16 players making their way into the team in an attempt to fill the void left by the departing seniors.

Despite this fact and the diminutive size of his squad, Cust maintains that Barataria’s chances are good and he has high expectations for his charges.

“What we lack in size,” he declared, “we’ll make up for in skill, technique and wit.”

Presentation College
1999 placing—6th

Since the merger of the Central and East Zones in 1998, Presentation have failed to make an impression on the top teams in the zone.

And this season they have to contend with the loss of the influential Ahmed Mohammed and striker Michael Dillon

But coach Glenford Thomas says that his team has given him reason to be optimistic about this season.

“We’ll be looking to place in the first three,” he said, “and hoping to keep the Pres flag flying high as usual in Intercol.”

According to him, there have been marked improvements in attitude to and discipline in training-supervised, in Thomas’s absence, by Kurt Cruickshank, John Thatcher, Hayes Jones and Ian Andrews.

With potent striker Michael Greene, Khayal Hosein, captain Keegan Marcus and the core of the Under-15 team that won the 1998 national title back in the fray, Thomas does seem to have some reason to be sanguine about the immediate fuiture.

Carapichaima Senior Comprehensive
1999 placing—7th

Carapichaima are hoping that new coach Anthony Streete can yield better rewards for the school.

The former professional player with CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh has lost the punch up front that Anthony Fergusson, Mark Billy supplied last year.

But he has retained the Parks brothers, striker Maurice and defender Mark, as well as midfielder Justin Hamilton to assist him in producing the goods this time around.

Manager William Wallace has said that pre-season training has gone extremely well and he expects the more mature and experienced players to step up and give a better showing in the league this year.

Toco Composite
1999 placing—newly promoted

Toco’s promotion to the Championship Division for the first time in eight years has been tempered by the fact that eight of the players that helped to get them there won’t be around this season.

What coach Stanley Lee Pow has had to work with after Toco edged Tabaquite 3-2 for the final East Zone spot is a mostly young and inexperienced team.

This in addition to problems with getting their grounds up to standard. Sponsorship of uniforms and transport are two other major concerns.

For him, though, survival is the key.

“The boys are very young and very small physically,” he pointed out.

“Given their age, if we hold on to a place in the championship division, I expect the team to perform very well in subsequent years.”