Naparima College left nothing to chance yesterday when the team captured the inaugural BGTT Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division title with an emphatic 6-0 demolition of Shiva Boys Hindu College in the final round of league matches at home.
Led by former national senior footballer, Angus Eve, Naparima College secured the title thanks to the efforts of its own host of national Under-20 players.
Playing simultaneously, former league leader St Anthony’s College was hoping for Shiva Boys to create a massive upset as the Westmoorings team entered its fixture against East Mucurapo trailing by a sole point on the final day of the season. The tamed “Tigers”, however, could only muster a point in a 1-1 draw against the already relegated team.
On the opposite end of the island, “Naps”, started slowly by its standard, entering the half time break with a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal on the half-hour mark from top scorer Jabari Mitchell.
But then the second half began and closed in blistering pace, starting with a goal less than a minute in from Nicholas Dillon. Mitchell and Dillon’s national U-20 teammate, Martieon Watson made it 3-0 and 5-0 after scoring in the 62nd and 77th minutes, respectively, while Jarred Dass scored his first goal of the campaign in between, 20 minutes from time. Dass then scored his second and “Naps” final goal in the 80th minute.
It was the ideal finale of the first Premier Division contest for Naparima, which trailed traditional schools’ football powerhouse St Anthony’s for more than half of the season. Ironically, the tables drastically turned for both teams when Naparima secured a massive 5-1 win over the same “Tigers” in Westmoorings late last month. Incidentally the same three national players were on target in that match.
Meanwhile, San Juan North claimed a narrow 2-1 win over St Augustine with another national U-20 player, Josiah Trimmingham scoring the insurance item ten minutes from time to secure third spot and the last available place for a Premier Division team in the Big-Four national competition. The Big Four will kick off on October 25.
The fourth team scheduled to play in the Big-Four, from Tobago, which opted out of this year’s Premier Division, may be determined on Saturday when Speyside meets Goodwood. Speyside’s closest competitor, Signal Hill, needed a win to have a realistic chance of catching the leader, but instead suffered a 3-0 loss against Roxborough.
Naparima College 6 (Jabari Mitchell 31, Nicholas Dillon 46, Martieon Watson 62, 77, Jarred Dass 71, 80) vs Shiva Boys 0
St Anthony’s 1 (Kwesi Allen 68) vs East Mucurapo 1 (Jair Edwards 79)
Presentation College S/do 1 (Levon Bass 21) v St Benedict’s 1 (Kadeem Gittens 46)
Fatima 5 (Kyell Lancaster , Omari George, Marquise Hoyte, Jahreed Murray) vs Carapichaima East 2 (Jeremy Trim, Justin Joseph)
St Mary’s 3 (Aaron Skeene 2, 28, Marcus Mottley 63) vs Arima North 1 (Darren Charles 75-Pen)
San Juan North 2 (Romario Villafana 38 Own-Goal, Josiah Trimmingham 80) vs St Augustine 1 (Moses Jaikaran 85)
Trinity East 2 (Lloyd Pierre, Taje Commissiong) vs Chaguanas North 2
Speyside - Bye
Pentecostal L&L 2 vs Bishop’s High 1
Roxborough 3 vs Signal Hill 0
Goodwood 2 vs Scarborough 1
Teams Pld W D L F A Pts
Naparima 13 10 1 2 40 12 31
St Anthony’2 13 9 1 3 37 18 28
San Juan North 13 9 1 3 30 14 28
St Benedict’s 13 6 5 2 17 9 23
Trinity East 13 6 5 2 25 19 23
Shiva Boys 13 7 0 6 24 24 21
St Mary’s 13 5 4 4 16 14 18
St Augustine 13 4 6 3 19 19 18
Fatima 13 4 3 6 20 28 15
Presentation 13 4 1 8 16 16 13
Carapichaima East 13 3 3 7 10 25 12
Chaguanas North 13 2 4 7 8 31 10
Arima North 13 2 1 10 14 26 10
East Mucurapo 13 2 9 2 9 26 8
‘Naps’ hit Shiva for six to clinch title
By JONATHAN RAMNANANSINGH (Newsday)
“North, south, east, west, Naparima is the best,” were the chants of the faithful hundreds who turned up at Lewis Street Grounds, San Fernando, yesterday, to see their alma mater Naparima College capture the inaugural First Citizens/ BGT&T Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division title by delivering a 6-0 drubbing on Penal-based team, Shiva Boys.
Led by head coach Angus Eve and towering captain/defender, Amrit Gildharry, “Naps” made good on their home advantage and fired into local sporting history books to become champs of the inaugural Premier Division.
From the get-go, Naparima College dominated with slick passes along the slippery surface. Eight minutes in, Under-20 standout Jabari Mitchell announced his presence with a powerful free-kick which ricocheted off the Shiva Boys crossbar. Mitchell and Jarred Dass continued to weave through the Shiva defence until the former found a way through and netted the opener in the 33rd minute with a right-footed volley in the top corner.
The Penal team struggled in the opening half and were unable to capitalise on their rare chances in front goal due to a balanced back-line led by Gildharry. “Naps” would close the first period 1-0 ahead.
At the resumption, the home team doubled up after just three minutes as Martieon “Moco” Watson offered a defence-splitting pass to forward, Nicholas Dillon, who used his size and quick footwork to find the back of the net (2-0). Ten minutes later, the Shiva custodian Denzel Smith was beaten once more, this time Watson heading comfortably home from a Dillon cross.
Dillon continued to be a pain for Shiva defenders Kadeem Ashford and Jerry Ramdeo, as he dissected the back-line with precision passes.
The sight was a similar one in the 72nd as Dillon again placed one through to the feet of Dass, who bagged his second facing off with an oncoming Smith (4-0).
Five minutes later, Naparima College were celebrating again as Watson also got his second by successfully converting a penalty from an Ashford foul.
And with six minutes to go before the end of normal time, the blue and white Kenson-sponsored team hammered the nails into the Shiva Boys coffin as Nicoholas Thomas played one in for Dass, who slotted away easily to send the San Fernando fans into a frenzy (6-0).
Speaking to coach Eve after the one-sided encounter yesterday, he expressed elation with the inaugural title win and lauded all those involved in carefully building the team into a reckoning force.
“The feeling is great for myself, the team and the school as a whole,” he said, “The Under-20 guys proved to be a great asset for us but the boys played as team and won together. They are ecstatic. We worked really hard though and to win the League only in my second term motivates me toward the future.”
Eve was also pleased that he was able to help the prestigious southern school cap off a highly successful year, having been awarded a total of 30 scholarships earlier this week.
“It augurs well for the school. Being academically sound and also impressive in the sporting world is a great achievement.
Naparima fell a bit off the circuit competitively over the past few years but now they are back at the top where they supposed to be,” he concluded.
St Anthony’s meanwhile finished second after battling to a 1-1 draw against cellar-placed East Mucurapo. Kwesi Allen opened for St Anthony’s but Jair Edwards netted the equaliser.
San Juan North ended in third spot despite registering a 2-1 victory over St Augustine at Bourg Mulatresse. St Anthony’s and San Juan ended on 28 points, but St Anthony’s were second based on a superior goal difference.
In other results yesterday, Fatima showed little sympathy towards their guests Carapichaima East as they cruised to a 5-2 victory while St Mary’s whipped last-placed Arima North 3-1 at the St Mary’s Ground in St Clair.
Chaguanas North battled to a 2-2 draw with Trinity East at Chaguanas while Presentation San Fernando and St Benedict’s played to a 1-1 draw at Guaracara Park in Pointe-a-Pierre.