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De­spite a day of rest from the Pre­mier Di­vi­sion pro­gramme of the Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League (SS­FL) on Sat­ur­day, Na­pari­ma Col­lege main­tained its top spot on the 15-team stand­ings on 29 points, but St An­tho­ny's Col­lege has now re­duced the gap be­tween them to three points af­ter a con­vinc­ing 4-1 win over Mal­ick Sec­ondary at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um in Bal­main, Cou­va.

How­ev­er, St Mary's Col­lege will have a fight on its hands to avoid rel­e­ga­tion this sea­son af­ter go­ing down 0-5 to Cara­pichaima Sec­ondary at St Mary's Col­lege Ground in St Clair.

Coach Ker­ry Jamer­son said he plans to win his re­main­ing three match­es which hope­ful­ly will keep them afloat. The 'Saints' as they are known, now have match­es against East Mu­cu­rapo, Spey­side and Trin­i­ty Mo­ka to keep them in the top flight schools' tour­na­ment, and coach Jamer­son said as some­one who does not give up, he hopes that his play­ers will not give up ei­ther.

On the heels of two 7-0 drub­bings against the League's top two teams Naps and St An­tho­ny's, the wound­ed Saints ap­peared not to have had any com­fort or safe­ty, with­in the sanc­tu­ary of their own home yes­ter­day. And de­spite a dogged fight to hold off the vis­i­tors, an in­ex­pe­ri­enced Jor­dan Be­dasie just could not stand for their cause.

The game was just a few min­utes old when Caps strik­er Isa­iah Samuel un­der­lined their in­ten­tions with a thun­der­ous right-foot­ed dri­ve that crashed against the cross­bar be­fore go­ing to safe­ty. The open­ing item though came in the 21st minute from one of the Caps' many first-half at­tacks. Dex­ter Neils with a search­ing run down the left flank, cen­tred nice­ly for an un­marked Samuel to take with the right foot, be­fore dri­ving past Be­dasie in­to the bot­tom left cor­ner of the post.

Samuel threat­ened to in­crease his team's lead in the 31st minute, ben­e­fit­ting from a well-float­ed right-side cross from Josi­ah Hen­ry, but his ac­ro­bat­ic over-head kick just whisked wide.

How­ev­er, the CIC de­fence could do noth­ing when Caps cap­tain Bran­don St Clair rose high to head home a left-side cor­ner, for the first goal of his hat-trick in the 34th minute.

And soon be­fore the in­ter­val, Ma­lik Robin­son re­ceived from Em­manuel Cor­riea in­side the CIC area. Re­al­is­ing he was un­marked, the diminu­tive mid­field­er drove across the area be­fore beat­ing Be­dasie with a low shot that squeezed be­tween his legs for a 3-0 ad­van­tage.

There­after the Saints, skip­pered by Xavier O'Gar­ro, kept their op­po­nents at bay un­til the 80th minute. St Clair watched on as the CIC de­fence strug­gled to clear Cor­riea's right-side cen­tre, and when it fell, the lanky T&T un­der-15 de­fend­er, was quick to pounce on the loose ball by steer­ing it in­to the back of the goal.

The game ap­peared to be head­ing for a 4-0 Caps win when Samuel un­leashed a pow­er­ful shot that Be­dasie failed to hold on to, and St Clair was on to the loose ball in a flash to fire in for his team's fifth goal, and his hat-trick.

In an ear­li­er game at the Man­nie Ramjohn Sta­di­um, Queen's Roy­al Col­lege al­so re­bound­ed from a dis­ap­point­ing 3-4 loss to Spey­side in the sis­ter-isle on Mon­day, by edg­ing St Bene­dict's 1-0, cour­tesy a goal by Miguel Cross mid­way in the first half.

YES­TER­DAY'S RE­SULTS

QRC 1 (Miguel Cross) vs St Bene­dict's 0
Caps 5 (Isa­iah Samuel 21st, Bran­don St Clair 34th, 80th, Ma­lik Robin­son 44th) vs CIC 0
Pleas­antville 3 vs Spey­side 1
East Mu­cu­rapo 5 vs Trin­i­ty Mo­ka 2
St An­tho­ny 4 (Dar­ius Dou­glas, Zion Williams, Re­al Gill, Kai Philips) vs Mal­ick 1
San Juan 3 vs St Au­gus­tine 1
Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege 1 vs Trin­i­ty East 0

Lat­est SS­FL Team Stand­in­gs

Teams*P*W*D*L*F*A*GD*PTS

1*Na­pari­ma*11*9*2*0*30*10*20*29
2*St An­tho­ny’s*11*8*2*1*36*11*25*26
3*Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege*10*8*1*1*26*6*20*25
4*Cara­pichaima Sec*11*6*4*1*21*14*7*22
5*East Mu­cu­rapo*11*6*3*2*23*11*12*21
6*QRC*10*6*1*3*19*20*-1*19
7*San Juan North*11*5*2*4*26*10*16*17
8*St Au­gus­tine*11*3*4*4*26*22*4*13
9*Pleas­antville Sec*11*4*1*6*15*16*-1*13
10*Trin­i­ty East*10*3*2*5*14*19*-5*11
11*Spey­side Sec*12*3*2*7*18*38*-20*11
12*St Bene­dict’s*10*3*1*6*12*19*-7*10
13*Mal­ick Sec*12*3*1*8*18*27*-9*10
14*Trin­i­ty Mo­ka*11*1*1*9*13*40*-27*4
15*St Mary’s*11*1*1*9*5*39*-34*4


SOURCE: T&T Guardian