St Anthony’s College made a 7-1 thrashing of the Secondary School’s Football League Premiership’s lone Tobago-based school, Speyside High, look routine on a blistering 36-degree day.
After the match this afternoon, St Anthony’s head coach Ronald Daniel declared his team’s ambition was a top-three finish in 2019.
“The season is young, it now start and we are looking forward to progression [this season] so we are continuing to work,” Daniel said. “We expect to be right on top the table, it could be first it could be second, but we will be in contention.”
The Westmoorings Tigers went about their business with a determination that drove the point home.
Kahim Thomas got a double in the 3rd and 12th minute to set the tone. The first was an expertly dipped free kick from 30 to make it 1-0 before the crowd of students, past students, parents and vociferous armchair commentators who braved the mid-afternoon rays that kept two snow cone men in business on either end of the ground.
Between scoring, Thomas also lent a helping hand, hanging it up for Kai Phillip to head in his first. Phillip’s second was one of a series of tap-ins the Tiger scored on Saturday.
Thomas’ second was a tap in as Zion Williams made his intentions clear, showing a clean pair of heels to his markers before centering perfectly.
Adriel George’s free-kick in the 21st was a smart consolation for a Speyside team that looked out of their depth for far too long during the 90-minute contest against the former champions.
The Tigers were up 4-1, having run their opposition ragged all first-half. While some of the faithful baked on the bleachers, and others huddled under the trees on the southern side of the pitch, the home side appeared energized by the second half whistle and came out with the same fervor.
“We are preparing to go forward [to bigger challenges],” Daniel said, “so we played like that so we don’t get lackadaisical and continue to play with high-intensity all season.”
Their supporting cast of Quinn Frederick, Real Gill, Thomas and Williams allowed the Tigers forwards to shine as they formed a queue to tap in, stroke home or gobble up a buffet of great service.
The one-way feel to the game prompted one bewildered young fan to ask his guardian why the team in blue wasn’t playing too.
Williams led the band in a medley of hits, disposing of Kael Moore and Ramsey Deandre in quick succession before squaring for Jean-Hiem McFee to eventually knock in the fifth, 5-1 after 49.
In two minutes, it was 6-1 in almost identical fashion. Again, Williams orchestrated, wielding his legs with the dexterity of a conductor’s baton. Phillip’s backheel was sublime, the finish into the left V, sublime.
Real Gill got in on the act too, destroying his marker with a quick pair of feet before Phillip completed his hat-trick and the rout off a fortunate rebound.
With the score well out of reach, St Anthony’s grew more lenient as all 22 players, the ref and those on the sidelines began to run out of gas.
“The boys were fantastic in all departments,” Daniel said post-match. “They performed today, and I think we got the right result.”
His opposing head coach, Terry Lynch, saw his team take a beating on their way to conceding 12 in their first two games of the season.
“I think we played well in some spurts,” Lynch said, “but the 20 minutes when we were bad, we were really bad. The first 12 minutes were bad and then we had an 8-minute period in the second half when we were really bad.
“Going forward, we have to be able to improve defensively, working hard [during the game] and concentration. I don’t think fitness is a problem at the moment just concentration and defensive structure.”
Speyside next face San Juan North who were on a bye this weekend. After their exertions on Saturday, the Tigers will rest next round.
Speyside High School (3-5-2): 22.Kehdary Daniel (GK); 12.Dionys Carrington, 18.Kiyel Dalrymple, 24.Ramsey Deandre; 11.Cel Toppin (Captain), 6.Deleon Beckles, 17.Jonathan Thomas, 8.Jelanie Thomas, 15.Kishon Huyghew; 10.Adriel George, 13.Moses Bernard.
St Anthony’s College (3-4-3) 1.Josiah Perez; 4.Ian Cowie, 16.Jordan Barclay, 6.Shurland Augustine, 14.Randy Antoine; 7.Kaihim Thomas, 13.Quinn Frederick 20.Real Gill; 19.Kai Phillip, 8.Jean-Heim McFee 9.Zion Williams.
Man of the Match: Kai Phillip (St Anthony’s College)
SSFL Premier Division results
(Saturday 14 September)
St Anthony’s College 7, Speyside Secondary 1 at Westmoorings;
Mucurapo East 2, Naparima College 2 at Mucurapo Road;
Carapichaima East 2, Presentation (San F’do) 1 (Jaiye Sheppard) at Carapichaima;
St Mary’s College 2, St Benedict’s College 4 at Serpentine Road;
Malick Secondary 2 (Mamade Guerra, Zion Carpette), Trinity Moka 1 at Moka;
Pleasantville Secondary 2, QRC 4 at Pleasantville;
Trinity East 2, St Augustine Secondary 2 (Tyrese Spicer ) at Trincity;
San Juan North are on a bye
(Wednesday 18 September)
Carapichaima East v Mucurapo East at Carapichaima;
Trinity East v Malick Secondary at Trincity;
Speyside Secondary v San Juan North at Speyside;
QRC v St Augustine Secondary at QRC;
Naparima College v St Benedict’s College at Lewis Street;
Presentation (San F’do) v St Mary’s College at Mannie Ramjohn;
Pleasantville Secondary v Trinity Moka at Pleasantville;
St Anthony’s College are on a bye