November 17, 2006

Inter-league football

Inter-League Football continues … Sion Hill Out!

The second round – the roundrobin phase of the senior division of the Guinness Inter-League Football competition has begun.

Eight leagues made it. Kingstown with maximum eight points from their six matches topped group two.

Also emerging from the preliminary phase were Barrouallie, Brighton and Stubbs.{{more}}

Marriaqua, Arnos Vale, Bequia and the National Under-20 successfully negotiated their chances and advanced from group one.

And already some teams have started to establish their supremacy. Last Saturday Marriaqua beat Stubbs 5-1 and Bequia beat the National Under-20 3-1.

On Sunday Arnos Vale edged out Barrouallie 1-0, while the organisers will rule on the outcome with Brighton leading Kingstown 3-1 at half time when some of the lights at the Victoria Park malfunctioned.

But the competition is poorer as the potent Sion Hill is missing from the final pack. The 1994 inaugural Thompson Invitational champion and the 1999 national Inter-League champion and 1998 and 2003 second place team failed to put it together on the field despite having one of the most formidable line up in the fourteen team competition.

Sion Hill had a chance to reach this stage but went under 2-3 to Brighton last week Friday night. Placed in a must win situation, Sion Hill meandered their way to their less fancied but more purposeful opponents.

Like Sion Hill, Arnos Vale which won the last two competitions held in 2000 and 2003 had to gain three points against South Leeward and this they did scoring a last minute 6-5 win. Kingstown won the 1998 league and were losing finalist in 1994 and 1999.

This phase of the competition, teams will jostle for the eight positions going on to the next stage – the elimination rounds, which are the quarter finals and semi-finals.

But it will be a test of stamina and fitness as the demands of playing as many as three matches in eight days will be the asking.

It will be a tight schedule for the organisers, the executive committee of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation to complete this aspect of the competition before the end of the year.

The Inter-League competition began August 19, which signalled the return of football to the refurbished Victoria Park.

Apart from the senior competition, an Under-17 and women’s competitions form part of the inter-league structure.