Last update: 06-Dec-2013 4:49 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Saints edge Mucurapo 1-0 in North opener
A brilliant first half strike from forward Chinua Bernard proved to be the slender difference between the two teams when St Mary’s College edged East Mucurapo 1-0 in the opening North Zone match in the BGTT/ First Citizens Secondary Schools Football League, yesterday.
The Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, was host to a thrilling double-header which provided excitement for a surprisingly sizable crowd which braved the heavy rainfall in and around Port-of-Spain.
But, unlike the weather, the fixture was anything but gloomy, particularly for the Saints which enjoyed the perfect start to the league campaign after a miserable fourth placed finish last year. On the contrary, East Mucurapo, which finished runner-up in the league last season was left to rue its numerous opportunities created in the second half.
The losing team, in fact, created the better chances, but failed to seriously test the CIC goalkeeper Christian Attong, even in the second period, despite several spells of domination.
St Mary’s, in the opening periods of the first half looked a mature, well drilled team, which through attackers Rashaad Hyacinth and the lone striker, Bernard. Perhaps St Mary’s was too cautious and opted to play it way into the six-yard box instead of capitalising on half-chances.
The Saints eventually took a deserved lead in the 41st minute when Bernard received the ball from an indirect freekick in the box, onto the right hand side and approached a flat Mucurapo defence, before striking a left footed effort from the edge of the box into the far top corner of the goal.
Half time came and went with St Mary’s looking a team with ambition to challenge the defending zonal champion St Anthony’s College. Rashaad Hyacinth, another standout midfielder for the Saints last season, almost gave his team a two-goal advantage minutes into the second half when he struck a goal-bound freekick, which was miraculously saved by Aaron Enil, in Mucurapo’s goal.
Mucurapo responded well with three clear cut chances created out of almost nothing against a strong defence mashalled by the Saints’ Miles Yorke. Two chances, a header and a shot went over the crossbar, while a volley from Mucuapo’s star midfilder Aaqil Campbell was tipped over by Attong in full stretch. In the end, not many could argue that St Mary’s did not deserve a win.
The match, which faced a delay, was followed by a parade of representative of all North Zone teams, and the highly anticipated encounter between defending Coca-Cola InterCol winner St Anthony’s College and reigning SSFL Big-Five winner Carapichaima East Secondary in the inaugural Ormond Gabriel Trophy. The match concluded after press time.
At half-time the match was 3-2 in favour of St Anthony’s College. St Anthony’s goals were scored by Jabbarie Caresquero, Adriel Kerr and Shm Clauzel. Cluzel scored in the 45th minute after the match was tied at 2-2. Caps’ scorers were Shaquille Holder and Simon Joseph (see full report in tomorrow’s Guardian).
Today, all other zones will open with double-headers beginning at 3 pm.
South Zone – Skinner Park, San Fernando
St Benedict’s v Shiva Boys, 3 pm
Presentation College San Fernando v Naparima College, 5 pm
Central – Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva
Presentation College Chaguanas v Vishnu Boys, 3 pm
Couva West v Chagaunas North, Ato Boldon Stadium, 5 pm
East Zone – Arima Velodrome
St Augustine v El Dorado East, 3 pm
Arima North v San Juan North, 5 pm
Tobago – Shaw Park
Signal Hill v Speyside, 3 pm
Scarborough v Mason Hall, 5 pm
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