Andrew Gioannetti and Nigel Simon
A lone goal from none other than Shackiel Henry was sufficient in seeing Presentation College San Fernando drop fellow league challengers Shiva Boys 1-0 to stand at the top of the BGTT First Citizens Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) South Zone championship, yesterday. The match was played at the David Williams Recreation Ground, Penal, with Henry scoring yet another important goal for his school, to increase his already impressive tally to nine goals in only five matches. The result put “Pres” on top of the South Zone standings on 15 points with a perfect five wins from five matches, while Shiva Boys, which entered the match trailing only by goal difference, dropped three points off the pace as a result.
Meanwhile, Naparima College, which has played a match more than Presentation and Shiva, went joint second with its fourth win of the campaign. Naparima defeated a miserable Moruga 5-0 in the second match of a double-header at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella. Almost halfway through the season, Moruga is yet to record a point.
St Benedict’s and Princes Town played to a 1-1 draw in the double-header opener.
Up North, St Anthony’s College continued in its defence of the zonal title with a narrow 1-0 victory over a formidable opponent in East Mucurapo, to remain undefeated in all competitions (schools’ football) since the beginning of the 2011 campaign. Shaquille Long, one of the more influential players who remained from last season’s “invincible” campaign, scored the all-important goal in the 72nd minute. The late winner was followed less than two minutes later by a penalty awarded to East Mucurapo. The referee adjudged the “Tigers’” Savion Kirton to have brought down nimble forward Aquil Campbell in the box. The St Anthony’s players and supporters disagreed with the call but celebrated a big save from goalkeeper Javon Samble, who denied the spot kick from Alvin Jones, before holding on to secure yet another positive result. Meanwhile, St Mary’s College jumped to fourth place with a 1-0 victory over Trinity College. The “Saints” continues to struggle in attack with only two goals for the season, which, however, earned the team three points on both occasions. In the other match, QRC secured its first points of the season, when it defeated newly promoted Diego Martin North Secondary 3-1.
In the East Zone, San Juan North Secondary and Arima North each missed out on going top of the table after contrasting results against St Augustine and Trinity East, respectively. With the match between Toco and El Dorado East (ten points) at Toco being postponed due to the stabbing death on Tuesday night of Peter Richards, one of Toco’s upper sixth form students, both San Juan North and Arima North, with eight points each had a chance to climb to the top of the seven-team table with wins. However, St Augustine had other ideas and rebounded from its 2-1 defeat to the El Dorado “Blue Thunder” on Saturday with a 2-1 beating of San Juan North at its Warren Street, St Augustine ground. After a goalless first half, Triston Hodge fired the host into a 63rd minute lead from the penalty spot following a foul inside the 18-yard box on striker Jordan Devenish while Ricardo John made it 2-0 seven minutes later. With six minutes left, Anthony Diaz conceded an own goal for San Juan to pull within one goal of its rival. However, the host held on for the win to climb to eight points, one behind second-placed Arima North, which came from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw with lowly Trinity East at Larry Gomes Stadium, Malabar. Tariq John banged in a first-half double in the 25th and 38th minute for Trinity to silence the “Dial Dynamos” but in the second-half, Marcus Gomez and Kern Roberts hit back for Arima. The win left El Dorado East still top of the table with ten points from four matches, while Arima North, a point behind, is next in the standings followed by San Juan North and St Augustine, each on eight points.
St Augustine 2 (Triston Hodge 63rd pen, Ricardo John 70th) vs San Juan North 1 (Anthony Diaz o.g. 84th)
Arima North 2 (Marcus Gomez 54th, Kern Roberts 84th) vs Trinity East (Tariq John 25th, 38th)
Toco vs El Dorado East, Toco - DNP
St Anthony’s 1 (Shaquille Long 72nd) v East Mucurapo 0
St Mary’s 1 v Trinity College 0
Diego Martin North 1 (Keston Frederick) v QRC 3 (Josh Williams 2, Akil Morris)
St Benedict’s 1 (Kyle Celestine) v Princes Town 1 (Ryan Caesar)
Naparima 5 (o.g. 7th, Wade Caesar 26th, Jameel Jeffrey 35th, Jabari Mitchell 45th, Michael Basdeo 54th) v Moruga 0
Presentation 1 (Shackiel Henry 60th) v Shiva Boys 0