Experience was the difference in attack between the two teams, as last season’s treble winner St Anthony’s College, opened its account in the BGTT Secondary Schools’ Football League (SSFL) North Zone, with a comfortable 3-1 win over Queen’s Royal College, yesterday. Starting the season with a fresh batch of players, three of a handful who remained from last season’s successes were on target as the “Tigers” walked away with a deserved victory, in the second match of a double-header played at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. A close-range rebounded effort from Shaquille Long, in the first half along with well worked goals in the second session from from Kiel Pierre and Jonathan Cruikshank put St Anthony’s on top of the standings along with last season’s North Zone runner-up East Mucurapo, which defeated Fatima College 2-0, in the earlier encounter. QRC pulled one goal back, which St Anthony’s led 2-0, through Tariq Nichols. In the opening match, East Mucurapo started off stronger despite playing on the counter-attack for large spells. Its strategy paid off with first half goals from the ever-dangerous attacker and captain Aaqil Campbell and from promising midfielder Akeem Roach.
Campbell finished from a close-range rebound, before Roach found the back of the net with a neat finish in the bottom right-hand corner, with a shot from outside the penalty box. Fatima was arguably the better team in the second half, but a flurry of attempts was insufficient in seeing Fatima respond to the early blows. In the East Zone, 2011 InterCol finalist Arima North Secondary was held 1-1 by St Augustine Secondary, at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Arima. Creative attacker Marcus Gomez, who is a new addition to the TT Pro League’s North East Stars, opened his account in the 20th minute, which took Arima into the half with a one-goal lead. However, in the 73rd minute, his item was cancelled out by an effort from Gerard Maloney in the 73rd minute, as both teams went away with one point each.
The Zone’s second match also followed with a 1-1 stalemate between El Dorado West Secondary and San Juan North. El Dorado’s top forward Shaquille Bertrand scored in the 68th minute, just three minutes before Kwesi Elvin levelled for San Juan North. Shiva Boys also started its defence of the South Zone league title strongly with a 3-0 victory over Pleasantville Secondary. Attacking prodigy Nathaniel Garcia scored a goal in the 20th minute, before completing a hat-trick in the second half (48th, 76th). Presentation College defeated Naparima College by the same scoreline. Akil Pierre, J’van Pontiflet and Angel Williams scored the goals for “Pres”. Opening day action in the Central Zone was postponed a day later as a result of the inclement showers. The two matches scheduled for last evening, will now be played in a double header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, today, beginning with a clash between Couva West Secondary and Gasparillo, from 3 pm. Zonal champions Carapichaima East Secondary will tackle Tabaquite Secondary in the second match, at 5 pm. The other match will see Presentation College Chaguanas taking on Chaguanas North Secondary, at Presentation College Ground, at 3:45 pm.
East Mucurapo 2 (Aaqil Campbell, Akeem Roach) v Fatima College 0
St Anthony’s College 3 ( Shaquille Long, Kiel Pierre, Jonathan Cruickshank) v QRC 1 (Tariq Nichols)
Shiva Boys 3 (Nathaniel Garcia 20th, 48th, 76th) v Pleasantville Sec 0
Presentation College S/do 3 (AKil Pierre 11th, J’van Pontiflet 52nd, Angel Williams 58th) v Naparima College 0
St Augustine Secondary 1 (Gerard Maloney 73rd) v Arima North 1 (Marcus Gomez 20th)
El Dorado West 1 (Shaquille Bertrand 68th) v San Juan North 1 (Kwesi Elvin 71st)
Today North St Mary’s College v Diego Martin North Sec, St Mary’s Ground- 3:45 pm
Central Zone Couva West v Gasparillo, Ato Boldon Stadium- 3 pm
Carapichaima East v Tabaquite, Ato Boldon- 5 pm Presentation College Chaguanas v Chaguanas North, Presentation- 3:45 pm
El Dorado West v Trinity College East, El Dorado- 3:45 pm South Zone
Moruga v St Benedict’s College, Moruga- 3:45 pm