A brace each from Jamaal Thomas and Daylon Riley for St Mary’s College has given the ‘Saints’ drive for promotion to the Premier Division of the Tiger Tanks Secondary Schools Football League next year, a major boost.
With the double strikes, St Mary’s College, known popularly as the ‘Saints’ by their fans, confirmed their first victory of the five-team play-off with a 5-1 win over central zone campaigners Miracle Ministries Secondary School at St Mary’s College Ground on Serpentine Road, St Clair on Saturday afternoon.
With the top three teams from the play-off advancing to the premier division, the ‘Saints’ raced ahead courtesy of a 34th-minute strike from Thomas. Two minutes later, Josiah Connell beat the Miracle Minsitries goalkeeper at his far post for a 2-0 CIC advantage that boosted their confidence of a victory in front of their home fans.
However, the central lads were given hope before the half-time interval when Daniel Hope was brought down inside the penalty area in the 39th minute. And Hope cut the St Mary’s lead in half at 2-1 when he converted from the penalty spot in the 40th minute.
At the resumption, Riley restored the two-goal advantage with a 65th minute strike, before pushing his team even further ahead 4-1 with his brace in the 83rd minute.
With the game heading for a 4-1 triumph for the ‘Saints’, Thomas then re-wrote the script six minutes into time added on, by scoring his second goal of the match to round off a comfortable 5-1 victory.
Meanwhile, in the southland, Siparia West Secondary was scheduled to host Arima North Secondary but the game was called off due to an unsuitable field.
Coach Lyndon Andrews said he was disappointed to have not played but after seeing the condition of Siparia ground, he was not surprised that the game was called off.
Arima will next play Miracle Ministries at a date and venue to be determined.
The second round of matches in the play-off will be determined soon, but it is expected to take place this week.
St Mary’s 5 (Jamaal Thomas 34th, 90+6, Josiah Connell 36th, Daylon Riley 65th, 83rd) vs Miracle Ministries 1 (Daniel Hope 40th).