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St Anthony’s complain about draw as Intercol fixtures released; Promotion race heats up

St Anthony’s College head coach Nigel “Grovie” Grosvenor is crying foul at the results of this year’s first round draw for the 2016 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Coca Cola Intercol tournament. Grosvenor called the fixtures unfair after St Anthony’s and SSFL Premier Division champions Shiva Boys Hindu College were matched against two other top tier teams for their opening games.

The St Anthony’s team, which placed fourth overall in the Premier Division, are the top-seeded team in Intercol’s North Zone, while Shiva Boys leads the South Zone. St Anthony’s are set to face either Queen’s Royal College or Fatima College, while Shiva Boys must face St Benedict’s College.

Photo: St Anthony's College coach Nigel Grosvenor (right) looks on from the bench during their 2014 Big Four fixture against Naparima College at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: St Anthony’s College coach Nigel Grosvenor (right) looks on from the bench during their 2014 Big Four fixture against Naparima College at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

In an 29 October email to SSFL executives and school principals, Grovenor chastised the SSFL for the setup.

Coaches were told, he said, that teams would be seeded based on their position on the table after the league finishes. Coaches therefore “pushed their teams hard” to be among the top in their zones, since the higher a team ranked, the greater their chances of playing a lower Championship division team for their first game.

“So, how in the world did St Anthony’s end up first of the North schools and has to play the winner of QRC and Fatima— both Premier teams?” asked Grosvenor, in an email to the SSFL executive. “Imagine Shiva Boys, the National Champions, have to play St Benedict’s also of the Premier Division, and the other South teams have to play Championship teams. Now is that fair?”

Interestingly, during last year’s competition, the top performing zonal teams played against Championship opposition in the zonal first round. 2015 Intercol champions Naparima started their knockout quest with a 4-nil win against Championship team Princes Town West, while the Tigers also devoured Championship outfit Malick Secondary 5-nil in their first Intercol fixture last year.

Regardless of the schedule, when Intercol gets underway on Wednesday, 2 November, both powerhouse teams, Shiva Boys and St Anthony’s, will be among the favourites to take home the trophy.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College stand-in captain Tyrel "Pappy" Emmanuel (front, centre) and his squad celebrates after clinching the 2016 SSFL Premier Division crown after defeating Pleasantville Secondary 3-1 on 22 October 2016. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College stand-in captain Tyrel “Pappy” Emmanuel (front, centre) and his squad celebrates after clinching the 2016 SSFL Premier Division crown after defeating Pleasantville Secondary 3-1 on 22 October 2016.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The free-flowing Shiva, who lifted their maiden SSFL Premier Division crown last Wednesday, will be looking to add the prestigious knockout trophy to their 2016 earnings.

However, the Penal schoolboys will not have an easy road to success, as they must negotiate a very tricky South Zone before going on to the national stage. The top three Premier Division teams–Shiva, Presentation College (San Fernando) and Naparima College—all belong to the South Zone and the formidable Naps outfit will be eager to defend last year’s title.

Coach Hayden Ryan’s Shiva team were defeated by Naps at the semifinal stage of the South Zonal Intercol last year, and this year, armed with the Premier Division crown and a record points tally, Shiva will start their quest for a national double on 7 November.

Naps and Pres—both of whom finished below Shiva in the league table— will enter the quarterfinal stage of the South Zone Intercol against Championship opponents yet to be determined.

Angus Eve’s Naparima charges will take to the field on 9 November at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium against the winner of Moruga Secondary and Siparia West Secondary, while the Presentation Lions will square off 10 November at Lewis Street, San Fernando against the winners of the Princes Town West and Vessigny Secondary encounter.

Photo: Naparima College midfielder Judah St Louis (left) takes on St Mary's College forward Trey La Motte during SSFL Premier Division action at Serpentine Road on 8 October 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Naparima College midfielder Judah St Louis (left) takes on St Mary’s College forward Trey La Motte during SSFL Premier Division action at Serpentine Road on 8 October 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Also on 9 November, Fyzabad Secondary, which placed seventh in the SSFL Premier Division, will play the winner of Pleasantville Secondary and Point Fortin East in the other South quarterfinal at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium.

Meanwhile, St Mary’s College, Trinity College Moka and East Mucurapo Secondary, all of whom finished in the Premier Division mid-table, are assured of facing Championship opposition in the North Zone quarters.

The quest to join the SSFL ‘top dogs’ for the 2017 season started on Friday for five Championship teams: Princes Town West, Trinity College East, Carapichaima East “Caps” Secondary, Speyside High and Malick Secondary.

And after playoff matches on Friday and Sunday, Speyside have taken the early lead, defeating Princes Town West and drawing with Trinity (East), capitalizing on home ground advantage. The Tobago boys are closely followed by P/Town, who got their first points of the five-team playoffs with a thumping 4-1 victory over Malick yesterday; Caps also sit on three points after their narrow 1-0 victory over Trinity (East) on Friday afternoon.

The top three teams at the end of the round robin Championship playoff will be promoted for the 2017 SSFL Premier Division season, and the trio of Speyside, Carapichaima and Trinity East are all trying to regain their Premier Division spots after being relegated last year, while P/Town and Malick are hoping to make their debut.

Photo: Carapichaima East Secondary's Micah Serrette (left) tries to keep the ball from Speyside High School's Elder Kamarie during 2015 SSFL action in Speyside, Tobago. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Carapichaima East Secondary’s Micah Serrette (left) tries to keep the ball from Speyside High School’s Elder Kamarie during 2015 SSFL action in Speyside, Tobago.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Malick, which once boasted the likes of attacker Gary Glasgow and playmakers Kerwin Jemmott and Arnold Dwarika in the 1990s, are fighting to regain past glory and will surely have their work cut out now if they want to make it to the SSFL top flight.

SSFL Championship Big 5 Playoff results

(Friday 28 October)

Speyside High 2 (Shaffie McKenzie 14, Kerri McDonald 34), P/Town West 1 (Brent Williams 2), Speyside;

Carapichaima East 1 (Theophilus Bourne); Trinity College East 0

Malick Secondary were on a bye.

(Sunday 30 October)

Speyside High 1 (Stephon Antoine), Trinity College East 1 (Nickel Orr) at Speyside;

P/Town West 4 (Anderson Peters 33 pen, Brent Williams 40, 56, Rushawn Murray 45 own goal), Malick Secondary 1 (Akeem Sealey 20) at Princes Town;

Carapichaima East were on a Bye.

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College winger Quinn Rodney (left) tries to escape from a Carapichaima East Secondary defender during a 2015 SSFL contest. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College winger Quinn Rodney (left) tries to escape from a Carapichaima East Secondary defender during a 2015 SSFL contest.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Upcoming fixtures 

[All games are scheduled to kick off at 3:30pm]

(Tuesday 1 November)

Carapichaima East vs Princes Town West at Carapichaima;

Malick Secondary vs Speyside High at Patna Ground, Diego Martin;

Trinity College East are on a Bye.

(Friday 4 November)

Malick Secondary vs Carapichaima East at Patna Ground, Diego Martin;

Princes Town West vs Trinity College East at Princes Town;

Speyside High are on a Bye.

(Sunday 6 November)

Trinity College East vs Malick Secondary at Trincity;

Carapichaima East vs Speyside High at Carapichaima;

Princes Town West are on a Bye.

Photo: Trinity College East striker Dareem Daniel (left) holds off St Anthony's College right back Jared Flement (right) during a 2015 SSFL Premier Division fixture. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinity College East striker Dareem Daniel (left) holds off St Anthony’s College right back Jared Flement (right) during a 2015 SSFL Premier Division fixture.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Upcoming Coca Cola Intercol 2016 Fixtures

(Wednesday 2 November)

Zonal Prelims [All games are scheduled to kick off at 3:30pm]

(North Zone)

Tranquility Secondary vs Blanchisseuse Secondary, Fatima Ground;

Diego Martin North vs Diego Martin Central, QRC Ground;

QRC vs Fatima College at Diego Martin North;

(South Zone)

Moruga Secondary vs Siparia West Secondary at Princes Town West;

Pleasantville Secondary vs Point Fortin East at Mahaica Oval.

Photo: Pleasantville Secondary midfielder Denzil Marcano (right)  takes on St Mary's College wingback Samuel Affonso during SSFL Premier Division action at Serpentine Road on 10 September 2016. (Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)
Photo: Pleasantville Secondary midfielder Denzil Marcano (right) takes on St Mary’s College wingback Samuel Affonso during SSFL Premier Division action at Serpentine Road on 10 September 2016.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Zonal Quarterfinals

(Thursday 3 November)

(East Zone)

San Juan North vs Barataria South, 3:30pm, St George’s;

Holy Cross College vs Valencia Secondary, 3:30pm, El Dorado East.

(Tobago Zone)

Goodwood Secondary vs Scarborough Secondary, 3pm, Mt Pleasant;

Mason Hall Secondary vs Bishop’s HS (Tobago), 5pm, Mt Pleasant.

(Friday 4 November)

(Central Zone)

Presentation College (Chaguanas) vs Tabaquite Secondary, 3:30pm, Edinburgh 500;

Gasparillo Secondary vs Couva East Secondary, 3:30pm, Carapichaima East;

Chaguanas North vs Miracle Ministries, 3:30pm, Couva East.

Photo East Mucurapo midfielder Joshua Constantine (centre) shows his studs as he goes for the ball while St Benedict's College midfielder Kristoff Burkett (second from left) has second thoughts during SSFL Premier Division action at Mucurapo Road on 6 October 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)
Photo East Mucurapo midfielder Joshua Constantine (centre) shows his studs as he goes for the ball while St Benedict’s College midfielder Kristoff Burkett (second from left) has second thoughts during SSFL Premier Division action at Mucurapo Road on 6 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Bhajan/Wired868)

(Monday 7 November)

(South Zone)

Princes Town West vs Vessigny Secondary, 3pm, Irwin Park;

Shiva Boys HC vs St Benedict’s College, 5pm.

(North Zone)

Trinity College Moka vs Tranquility Secondary/Blanchisseuse Secondary, 3:30pm, Fatima Ground;

East Mucurapo Secondary vs Diego Martin North/Diego Martin Central, 3:30pm, St Anthony’s Ground, Westmoorings.

(East Zone)

Trinity College East vs Five Rivers Secondary, 3:30pm, El Dorado East;

St Augustine Secondary vs Toco Secondary, 3:30pm, Holy Cross.

(Tobago Zone)

Speyside High vs Pentecostal Light and Life, 3pm, Mt Pleasant;

Signal Hill Secondary vs Roxborough Secondary, 5pm, Mt Pleasant.

Photo: Signal Hill Secondary supporters cheer on their team during SSFL Premier Division action against Shiva Boys Hindu College in Tobago on 5 October 2016. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)
Photo: Signal Hill Secondary supporters cheer on their team during SSFL Premier Division action against Shiva Boys Hindu College in Tobago on 5 October 2016.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA Images/Wired868)

(Wednesday 9 November)

(South Zone)

Fyzabad Secondary vs Pleasantville Secondary/Point Fortin East, 1:45pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;

Naparima College vs Moruga Secondary/Siparia West Secondary, 3:45pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium.

(North Zone)

Malick Secondary vs Maple Leaf International, 3:30pm, QRC Ground;

St Anthony’s College vs QRC/Fatima College, 3:30pm, St Mary’s Ground.

(Thursday 10 November)

Presentation College (San Fernando) vs Princes Town West/Vessigny Secondary, 3:30pm, Lewis St, San Fernando.

(Saturday 12 November)

St Mary’s College vs Malick Secondary/Maple Leaf International, 3:30pm, Fatima Ground.

Photo: A St Anthony's College player (left) slips away from a QRC opponent during SSFL action at QRC grounds on 26 October 2016. (Courtesy Nicholas Williams/Wired868)
Photo: A St Anthony’s College player (left) slips away from a QRC opponent during SSFL action at QRC grounds on 26 October 2016.
(Courtesy Nicholas Williams/Wired868)

About Roneil Walcott

Roneil Walcott
Roneil Walcott is an avid sports fan and freelance reporter with a BA in Mass Communication from COSTAATT. Roneil is a former Harvard and St Mary's College cricketer who once had lofty aspirations of bringing joy to sport fans with the West Indies team. Now, his mission is to keep them on the edge of their seats with sharp commentary from off the playing field.

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11 comments

  1. He has a pretty valid point but where was he when the SSFL discussed and ratified the Intercol draw? Noticed Shiva Boys didn’t complain.Too late now..

  2. It’s a knockout competition. Are there rules which state that two premiership teams are not to play against each other in the first stage? It’s a situation of win or go home.

  3. Las …..the top seed matches up with the low seed in the same league …… just like the nba ….why does he need to do a matchup against a championship team. Even the fa cup matches premiership teams together many times. To be the best you have to beat the best sooner or later if his team isn’t ready now (barring injuries) they’re not gonna be ready. Set a better example to your kids to build character and man up rather than whimp around looking for the easiest way through obstacles!

  4. I doh think either QRC or Fatima would be a tough draw in the quarters… ??

  5. Why he ent talk about naps n pres look at the school they get to play what wrong him ,always complaining St Anthony’s o geeze man play d people football nah man

  6. You don’t think Grovey has a point though?

  7. Grovey shut the hellup with your nonsense and man up …punk!!

    • Earl Best

      Aye, if you were facing the prospect of taking on QRC in an intercol game, you too would be having nightmares; in this case, fear is fair.

      Ask the Wired868 CIC pair of Liburd and Walcott, who are currently rejoicing that the Blue and White didn’t draw the Blue and Blue.