SSFL 19: Speyside score four times in last 15 minutes to edge QRC 4-3 in rescheduled fixture

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Newly promoted Premier Division team Speyside High climbed three places to eighth spot in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) standings this afternoon after a thrilling comeback in east Tobago.

Queen’s Royal College led 3-0 up until the 75th minute, yet lost 4-3 as the ‘Country Boys’ continued their impressive run since conceding 12 goals in their opening two matches against Malick Secondary and St Anthony’s College.

QRC Nathaniel James
Photo: QRC attacker Nathaniel James celebrates his strike against St Augustine Secondary during SSFL action in St Clair on 18 September 2019.
(Copyright Nicholas Bhajan/CA-Images/Wired868)

QRC, who have enjoyed a revival too after a shaky start to the 2019 season, are sixth in the 15-team standings and a win today would have seen them overtake East Mucurapo Secondary to fifth. Coach Nigel Grosvenor must have thought they were home and dry today, when a double from National Under-15 attacker Nathaniel James put them three goals clear, midway through the second half.

James’ strikes were his eighth and ninth goals of the season which pushed the 15-year-old to joint second in the second charts alongside St Augustine Secondary’s Tyrese Spicer. St Anthony’s College forward Kai Phillip leads all scorers with 12 goals at present.

But Speyside found a response. The Tobago school spurned an early chance to take the lead when C’el Toppin missed a penalty in the fifth minute. However, midfielder Jelanie James got a lifeline from the spot in the 75th minute. It was the third penalty of the match, as James (N) also scored from the spot for QRC.

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Rapid fire items by Deleon Beckles and Nicholas Sanchez pulled the hosts level by the 85th minute. And, three minutes into second half stoppage time, Adriel George grabbed the winner for coach Kerry Lynch’s Speyside.

The triumph took Speyside to 11 points and almost certainly assures them of top flight SSFL football in 2019. At present, St Mary’s College and Trinity College Moka are in the relegation spots with four points apiece although St Benedict’s College (seven points) and Trinity College East (eight points) are not out of trouble yet.

Photo: Speyside High midfielder Jelanie James (left) tries to keep the ball from Trinity East midfielder Romario Mahabir during SSFL action at Trincity on 28 September 2019.
(Copyright Kerlon Orr/CA-Images/Wired868)

Only two teams will be relegated in 2019 with three outfits set for promotion, which will assure the Premier Division has 16 teams in 2020.

SSFL Premier Division result

(Monday 14 October)

Speyside Secondary 4 (Jelanie James 75, Deleon Beckles 83, Nicholas Sanchez 85, Adriel George 90+3), QRC 3 (Kadeem Joseph OG 19, Nathaniel James 28, 49) at Speyside.

Upcoming fixtures

(Wednesday 16 October)

[All games kick off at 3.30pm]

St Augustine Secondary v Speyside Secondary at St Augustine;

Naparima College v Carapichaima East at Lewis Street;

Trinity East v East Mucurapo at Trincity;

San Juan North v Malick Secondary at Bourg Mulatresse;

Presentation (San F’do) v QRC at Mannie Ramjohn;

Trinity Moka v St Benedict’s College at Moka;

St Anthony’s College v Pleasantville Secondary at Westmoorings;

St Mary’s College are on a bye.

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