It's all come down to this for the boys from Shiva Boys Hindu College: beat the best to prove you can be the best.
Shiva Boys HC face Naparima in the penultimate round of the Secondary Schools Premier Division knowing that anything but a win today means that Naparima will retain their title. Last year, both teams met in the last round of games and Naps inflicted a humbling 6- nil drubbing on the Penal based team then celebrated the night away as they lifted the inaugural trophy crowning them the best of the best 14 school teams in the country. That experience must have chastened the Shiva team as for long periods in this year's tournament they seemed to be the only real team to capable of reeling in a Naparima team that has run through the league with machine like efficiency. Two draws in their last two games though, has left the destination of the title beyond their control. Now, only Naps are capable of throwing it away as they have amassed a five point cushion over their nearest rivals, Presentation College and six over the upstarts from Penal.
However, should Shiva manage to beat Naps the gap can be closed to three points between the two teams. Furthermore, as fellow south team Presentation are expected to win their game against last placed Trinity East they would be just two points behind Naps heading into an interesting last round of fixtures. Naps face a tricky journey to the sister isle to face relegation threatened Speyside. Despite their lowly position, playing away to a Tobago team has been the downfall of many a mighty team in the past. Speyside may just have the additional motivation to avoid relegation on their own turf and make Tobago proud with their last performance of the season.
Prior to that game, Speyside themselves will be involved in relegation do-or-die fixture with Fatima College. A win for the Tobago team would allow them to breathe a little easier, but a loss would pull them right back into the thick of things. Meanwhile, St Benedict's play St. Mary's and St. Anthony's host QRC in a mini-league that would make clearer who will qualify for the Big 4 places.
All of this pales in significance to what can be described as a title decider in Penal today. The rest of the league is watching to see if Shiva can power to victory in this Divali season.