The place to be on Wednesday afternoon is at the Guyana Football Federation’s (GFF) Training Facility at Providence, as defending champions Annandale Secondary and league leaders Lodge Secondary battle for top honours in the final match of the Guyoil/Tradewind Tankers Under 18 Secondary Schools league.
The highly anticipated encounter between the two secondary school football powerhouses was set in stone as a figurative ‘final’ in the league after Lodge and Annandale respectively secured 8-1 and 12-0 victories in the eighth round of play, to stay in contention for the top spot.
In the round 8 action, which began on Saturday, Marian Academy made a surge into the top five as they defeated St. Stanislaus 4-1. Rolland Hamilton opened the scoring in the 8th, and Marian held off until the second segment. There, Joel King equalized for St. Stanislaus in the 40th, but their relief was short-lived as Daniel Lowe gave Marian control of the encounter in the 42nd.
Ricardo Percival then netted back-to-back goals in the 51st and 56th minutes for the Marian victory, as they showed their true potential.
President’s College edged Queen’s College 2-1 when they met for battle. A kick from the penalty mark owing to an infraction saw President’s College securing their first goal in the 20th. Montell McAlmont later found the back of the net for PC’s second in the 46th. The Queen’s College consolation goal came off the boots of Captain Diarra Thomas in the 50th.
It seemed as though all the Lodge strikers had a chance in front the goal in their encounter with Cummings Lodge Secondary. Cummings Lodge, a usually solid team, looked lost at sea when they came up against the league leaders, and leaked goals like a broken pipe.
After measuring their opponents, Carl Grant was the first to score for Lodge Secondary in the 18th. Curt Edwards and Dorwin George also found the back of the net in the 24th and 26th respectively for a 3-0 half time score.
Nicolas Trotman netted the first of his hat trick in the 40th, shortly after play resumed. Dorwin George had another in the 52nd, while Trotman completed his three with goals in the 57th and 60th minutes. Grant later returned to complete his brace in the 68th for Lodge’s 8.
The Cummings Lodge lone goal came off the boots of Jitzak Martinez in the 45th.
The other two games in the round went down on Sunday, and Charlestown had a repeat of their previous game, this time holding the Bishops’ High School to a draw.
Tariq Prince handed Charlestown 2 in the first half with goals in the 15th and 19th, while Acquino Luke scored one for the ‘Bishops side in the 17th for a 2-1 score. In the second half of the encounter, Bishops’ took the lead by way of a Malachi Richards goal in the 43rd and a successful penalty that was buried by captain and goalkeeper Makayah Smith in the 50th. Similar to their 3-3 draw with Annandale Secondary in the prior round, Charlestown had to dig deep in the final minutes of the game to ensure the points would be shared. Kurt Carrington was the hero with a goal in the 65th resulting in the 3-3 draw.
Although the weather patterns said ‘overcast’ on Sunday afternoon, for St. John’s College it was a rainstorm of goals that flooded their nets when the faced Annandale Secondary. Clearly no match for the defending champions, St. John’s College threw up their white flag by the second half, and just went through the motions until the final whistle was sounded.
Had it not been for a few missed opportunities, the final score would have read 20-0.
Annandale’s scoring party began in the 9th minute as Colin Henriques found the back of the net for the first of his helmet trick. In the 11th, Ajaye Sobers netted his first goal of the tournament. It didn’t take Omari Glasgow long to join the action, as he scored in the following minute. The 14th, 15th and 30th minutes saw goals from Seon Haywood, Glasgow and Henriques as they pushed the half time score to 6-0, while visibly frustrating the goalkeeper.
One improvement that Annandale has made during this year’s tournament is their ability to remain consistent in the second half. As such, the situation did not get better for the St. John’s goalie as Annandale hit home an additional six goals.
Henriques (42nd, 48th) and Glasgow (36th, 43rd, 45th, and 47th) were the two on show in the second segment, as they sought to surpass Lodge Secondary in goal difference on the league table.
With Annandale’s 12-0 victory, the winner of the league will be left up to the result in Wednesday afternoon’s game, which will see Annandale and Lodge battling for the first time in this tournament. Lodge currently has 24 points, while Annandale has 22.
However, there is currently a three-way tie for third place as Bishops’, Marian Academy and President’s College all sit on 13 points.