Despite a flurry of opportunities and half chances, Fatima College failed to break down a stubborn St Anthony’s College team, which after playing to a 0-0 draw at home, successfully defended its BGTT/First Citizens Secondary Schools Football League North Zone title, for the second time, yesterday.
The Nigel Grosvenor-coached “Westmooring Tigers”, which won the North Zone title for three straight years, sealed its spot at the top of the seven-team standings with an unassailable 26-point tally, four more than East Mucurapo, which has just one match remaining in the roster.
St Anthony’s has completed its 12-match league schedule, and will now look ahead to the Big-Five competition, where it is scheduled to meet the winner of the Central Zone. The match was a fairly even one with Fatima having several chances to take an opening lead, if not for a strong St Anthony’s defence.
Decent handling and proper positioning from the “Tigers’” custodian Jevon Sample also kept his team in contention. The result meant that St Anthony’s College has gone unbeaten in 31 competitive SSFL and InterCol matches, since the first day of the 2011 season, and is rightfully one of the favourites to retain the overall title this season.
Unfortunately, for both the team and the coach, the win was recorded in the absence of Grosvenor, who only arrived from the U-16’s tour of Colombia, to meet the team in mid celebration. Team manager Anthony Clarence expressed much satisfaction in the way the team has defended the title, even without some of its key players who were out due to injuries.
“We want to go all the way. But, as champions everyone will be gunning for you. Even though the match was equal, Fatima showed that they were hungry for a result and we know that going forward will bring the same from teams around the country,” said Clarence.
He continued, “We cannot lapse. Our next match which will probably be against Carapichaima, will be difficult, so the players will continue working hard.” While St Anthony’s cannot be reached in the final standing, East Mucurapo is also out of reach from the five other teams for the runners up spot.
However, the teams which are placed from third to seventh in the standings, will be trying either to seal their places or advance in the standings with the final round of matches to be played on Wednesday. This will determine their positions in the Coca Cola InterCol Zonal quarterfinals.
Also to be decided are the disciplinary committee’s rulings of matches in the Central and Tobago Zones. The ruling of the match between Chaguanas North and Carapichaima East Secondary, in which the former took a 2-1 win in controversial fashion, will be decided before lunchtime today. If Carapichaima is awarded three points, the team will move to the top of the standings, with one match remaining.
In Tobago, Scarborough will lift the title with a victory over Mason Hall, when the two teams clash tomorrow. Presentation College San Fernando (South) and Arima North (East) are the two teams which have already confirmed their zonal title status, and a place in the SSFL Big-Five competition.
Teams P W D L F A Pts
St Anthony’s 12 7 5 0 19 8 26
East Mucurapo 11 6 4 1 22 8 22
Fatima 11 5 3 3 17 12 18
St Mary’s 11 5 2 4 14 11 17
QRC 11 3 2 6 20 27 11
D/Martin North 11 2 2 7 9 21 8
Trinity 11 1 2 8 5 19 5