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St Augustine into Intercol semis; But Grayson upset by fixture jam with ‘Naps’ looming

East Zone Intercol champions St Augustine Secondary will have to win for the second time in three days come Wednesday afternoon if they want to have a shy at Coca Cola National Intercol glory.

Photo: St Augustine captain Joshua Marshall (centre) tries to get to the ball between QRC goalkeeper Jardel Poon-Lewis (left) and defender Adrian Constantine during a 2015 SSFL contest. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: St Augustine captain Joshua Marshall (centre) tries to get to the ball between QRC goalkeeper Jardel Poon-Lewis (left) and defender Adrian Constantine during a 2015 SSFL contest.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The “Green Machine” squeezed themselves into the semis after defeating Tobago Zone champions, Speyside High, by a 2-1 margin in Mt Pleasant today. But they now have just a single day recuperate before clashing with South Intercol winners and two-time Premier Division champs Naparima College at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium on Wednesday.

St Augustine coach Michael Grayson is far from pleased with the situation.

“We only have one day rest and it is not fair at all,” Grayson told Wired868. “It’s definitely a lack of foresight from the league and we spoke to them about it. The bottom line is these fixtures were made a long time ago and when they were drawn up (the SSFL) must know that if a team wins Monday then has to play Wednesday, it is asking too much.”

Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) general secretary Azaad Khan countered that, because the fixtures were compiled several months ago, it made it all the more difficult to alter it.

“These fixtures did not come up today,” Khan said. “We sent it to everybody (participating schools and coaches) before the start of the season and the onus was on them to look at the fixtures and raise any issues. No issues were raised.”

Photo: Naparima College forward Isaiah Hudson leaps into the air to celebrate his goal against Presentation College (San Fernando) in the South Zone Intercol final at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College forward Isaiah Hudson leaps into the air to celebrate his goal against Presentation College (San Fernando) in the South Zone Intercol final at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

Khan denied receiving any formal complaint from St Augustine about Wednesday’s National Intercol semifinal.

“There has been no formal complaint put forward to the league and that communication has to come through the school principal,” Khan added. “Unless the principal sends something, there is nothing we can do. If a formal request comes from St Augustine, then I’ll be able to tell them yes or no depending on what the two other persons on the fixtures committee say.”

If St Augustine are to lift the prestigious knockout trophy though, then they would have definitely done it the hard way.

The East zone champs avoided a potential banana skin in Tobago as they overcame a Speyside team which was trying to emulate the fairytale title run by last year’s Intercol winner Mucurapo East Secondary, which had been relegated prior to their Intercol triumph.

But Tyriq Alexander and Isaiah Lee scored for the Green Machine on either side of halftime to dash Speyside’s dreams.

Photo: Carapichaima East Secondary's Cadiz Chandler (left) tackles Speyside High School's Shaffie McKenzie during 2015 SSFL Premier Division action today in Speyside, Tobago. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Carapichaima East Secondary’s Cadiz Chandler (left) tackles Speyside High School’s Shaffie McKenzie during 2015 SSFL Premier Division action today in Speyside, Tobago. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“The game wasn’t easy at all and the officiating didn’t do us any favours either,” said Grayson. “Speyside played as though they wanted to prove something and (their play) did not reflect a relegated team at all…

“But the boys stuck to the game plan and played well, especially when Speyside equalised with about 15 to 20 minutes to go.”

Grayson’s charges must now prepare for a double-chasing Naparima team, which would have been afforded four days rest by the time the two teams meet on Wednesday. Coincidentally, it was Naparima that handed St Augustine their last defeat in this 2015 SSFL season.

But the St Augustine coach is not willing to throw in the towel just yet.

“We have no choice but to go out there and fight them with what we’ve got,” said Grayson. “We will definitely have something to say about Naps getting that double.”

Photo: QRC midfielder Joash Williams (left) tries to outrun St Augustine Secondary midfielder Jesse Joseph during 2015 SSFL action. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: QRC midfielder Joash Williams (left) tries to outrun St Augustine Secondary midfielder Jesse Joseph during 2015 SSFL action.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The first semi-final clash will see Central Intercol champs Carapichaima East Secondary battle with North Intercol champs St Anthony’s College at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 4:15 pm tomorrow.

“Caps” got the better of Presentation College (Chaguanas) with a 3-0 result in their zonal final on Saturday while St Anthony’s defeated St Mary’s College 3-1 in theirs final last Thursday.

Can Carapichaima and St Augustine defy the odds?

Maybe if Kathon St Hillaire or Isaiah Hudson allow it.

Photo: St Anthony's College winger Kathon St Hillaire (left) crosses beyond St Mary's College defender Jerome Dempster-Babb during the North Zone Intercol final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: St Anthony’s College winger Kathon St Hillaire (left) crosses beyond St Mary’s College defender Jerome Dempster-Babb during the North Zone Intercol final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

(Road to the Coca Cola National Intercol final)

East Zone Intercol Final

(Wednesday 18th November)

St Augustine 2 (Kenton James 24, Jesse Joseph 76), Five Rivers Secondary 0, Larry Gomes Stadium;

North Zone Intercol final

(Thursday 19th November)

St Mary’s College 1 (Ethan Shim 83), St Anthony’s College 3 (Brent Joel 50, Nathan Harte 58 own goal, Kathon St Hillaire 89), Hasely Crawford;

Photo: St Anthony's College winger Kathon St Hillaire charges at the St Mary's College defence on the way to scoring his team's third goal in the 2015 North Zone Intercol final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: St Anthony’s College winger Kathon St Hillaire charges at the St Mary’s College defence on the way to scoring his team’s third goal in the 2015 North Zone Intercol final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

South Zone Intercol Final

(Friday November 20)

Naparima College 3 (Anderson Toussaint 48, Isaiah Hudson 55, Justin Sadoo 63), Presentation College (San F’do) 2 (Kareem Riley 25, Terrell Williams 90+3), Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;

Central Zone Intercol Final 

(Saturday November 21)

Presentation College (Chaguanas) 0, Carapichaima East Secondary 3, Ato Boldon Stadium;

Photo: Naparima College left back Khris Stroud (centre) is taken out by a Presentation College (San Fernando) player while Pres coach Shawn Cooper (right) looks on during the South Intercol final in Marabella. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College left back Khris Stroud (centre) is taken out by a Presentation College (San Fernando) player while Pres coach Shawn Cooper (right) looks on during the South Intercol final in Marabella.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

National Intercol quarterfinal 

(Monday November 23)

Speyside 1, St Augustine 2 (Tyriq Alexander, Isaiah Lee), Mt Pleasant Ground;

National Intercol semifinal

(Tuesday November 24)

St Anthony’s College v Carapichaima East Secondary, Hasely Crawford Sadium, 4:15 pm;

Photo: St Anthony's College students get behind their team during the 2015 North Zone Intercol final against St Mary's College at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo: St Anthony’s College students get behind their team during the 2015 North Zone Intercol final against St Mary’s College at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

National Intercol semifinal

(Wednesday November 25)

Naparima College v St Augustine, 3.30 pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;

Photo: Naparima College supporters roar on their team during the South Intercol final in Marabella. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College supporters roar on their team during the South Intercol final in Marabella.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

National Intercol final

(Monday November 30)

About R.Walcott

R.Walcott
Roneil Walcott is a Journalism and Public Relations student at COSTAATT and a freelancer at Wired868. Walcott is an avid sports fan and former Harvard Cricket Clinic member and ex-St. Mary’s College cricket player.

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24 comments

  1. Green machine all the way, get the W for coach Kenny

  2. They aint get licks and they complaining

  3. From my understanding, the other complication is the protest review timeline is subject to the schedules of the people who are on the review committee. Not sure if an “emergency” protest hearing is possible.

  4. ..The so called “hidden curriculum”. We don’t need any more sheeple..

  5. ..Ah wish ah cud like dat comment twice Lasana..

  6. And think of what example the St Augustine principal is giving his pupils if he doesn’t protest?
    That when a clear wrong is done against you as an adult, you should shrug and bear it.
    Some more young men tutored in the system of rolling over and taking pistle.
    Even if they win on Wednesday, I think St Augustine’s students will take away a bad lesson from this if their principal doesn’t stand up and say we would like a fairer schedule.

  7. ..That os more explicable even if not sensible. All CFU tournaments are played with that rythm as it is more economical. Less hotel and other expenses for the organizer..

  8. The Womens national team recently played Friday, then Sunday, then Wednesday then Friday….all in one week. Common sense not that common

    • The difference is all teams are subjected to the same nonsense. So they are all treated just as badly.
      Here Naparima has a huge advantage. I guarantee you that Naparima would have quite rightly protested if the shoe was on the other foot.

  9. ..All it SHOULD have taken was some understanding of basic physiology and recuperation to NOT schedule one day between matches..

  10. It’s not as easy as saying there is no football on Friday and push back the final, ground availability is always a problem for us . This fixture was known by all for some time now, all it would have taken was a letter from the Principal asking for a review of the fixture because of the possible recovery problem.

  11. But what would happen with a protest? They would then change the game to Thursday? Then as a result the date for the final has to be changed as well? Won’t that then affect venues for Superleague or Zonal games? Or team practices?

    • The final is next week Monday. It would be ironic if Naparima complained on the grounds that it would cut preparation time to final to four days while St Augustine has two days.
      Venue issues can be sorted. There is no football at all on Friday. So they can play it then and push back the final.
      That is if they want to be as fair as possible to St Augustine. If not… Oh well.

    • Thanks for the clarification, You’re on top of all things footballwise as usual, buddy!

  12. I guess teams didn’t look forward to see how much rest time E1 would get before playing T2. Because that’s all it would have been in fixture list at the time.
    And imagine both games in 48 hours are away. Crazy. It shouldn’t have been done in the first place.
    I hope St Augustine protests quickly.

  13. Fixtures were out a long time ago though…it should have been raised before. Admittedly, it was a lack of foresight especially as the Tobago team was involved so there would have been travelling to consider as well. But somebody should have mentioned it beign a problem before.

  14. The arrogance with which the SSFL rep answered the question is telling….

  15. ..Nobody objected so they allow a team one day’s rest between matches? They needed an objection to see the foolishness in that scheduling?..