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Fatima's captain and attacker Christian Bailey, centre, powers his way through Queens Royal College defence of Nicholas Thompson, right, and Zakari King during the Secondary School Football League North Zone Intercol Final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, Port-of-Spain. Bailey scored one goal in Fatima 5-0 win. (Photo by Daniel Prentice)
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A plethora of defensive blunders by the QRC defence, coupled with an unquenchable thirst by the Fatima attackers, gifted the latter the North Zone Intercol title on Friday 5-0 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo in Port-of-Spain.

The Royalians, expected to be no match for their more superior opponents, appeared to have been unsurprisingly eager to hand the title to their Mucurapo Road counterparts, courtesy of basic blunders in their defence for a team in the Premier Division of the Tiger Tanks Secondary Schools Football League.

The game was just two minutes old when Fatima took the lead. Christian Bailey raced on to a lifted pass on the right flank and whipped the ball in for the unmarked Michael Chaves. However, a mix-up between goalkeeper Christiano Austin and defender Phillip Gray, gifted an almost surprised Chaves the ball to steer into an empty net for the 1-0 Fatima advantage.

Thereafter, it was all Fatima, dominating all departments of the game. In the 15th minute, Bailey was again the architect of his team's second goal. He picked out Chaim Williams lurking at the back post with a lifted pass and the latter, under no pressure from the QRC defence, calmly slipped the ball under the legs of the advancing Austin at his first post for a 2-0 lead. 

By then the game had been dead and buried, as the Royalians struggle continued. Their attempt to convert defence into attack in the 24th minute cost them dearly. Phillip, on the right side of QRC's defence, was then robbed of the ball by Bailey as he lazily approached a back pass. 

Bailey then raced into the QRC penalty area and slipped the ball past the hapless Austin for a 3-0 advantage.   

The Royalians, credited for twice winning after going behind against Tranquility and Malick recently, thought they could have had a repeat when a one-two down the left flank saw Kaylon Tuckett centre for the oncoming Nathan Quashie. But with all the time in the world, Quashie failed to control the ball as he hit it high over the crossbar.

Four minutes from the half-time interval, Chaves added his second goal of the game. Austin, from the goal kick, lashed it to Zakari King, who in return sent the ball back to him. Austin then handed the ball to Chaves under pressure, and the talented Chaves just had to hit the ball into the empty net for the 4-0 lead, as they went to the break.

Coach Kenwyne Jones employed a more defensive strategy in the second half and it helped QRC stem the flow of goals from the constant pursuit of the Fatima men.

However, the Royalians could not prevent the fifth goal in time added on, when Austin went low to keep out Bailey's shot but pushed it into the path of Alijah Nunes to complete the rout.

Afterwards, Fatima coach Hutson Charles said they are aiming at the national Intercol title and they will be ready to take on anybody they come up against.

Results

Fatima 5 (Michael Chaves 2nd, 41st, Chaim Williams 15th, Christian Bailey 24th, Alijah Nunes 90+2) vs QRC 0

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Fatima thump QRC for North Intercol title
By Jelani Beckles (T&T Newsday)


THE agony of a second-place finish in the Secondary Schools Football League premiership tournament was used by head coach Hutson Charles to spur on his Fatima team ahead of the North Zone Intercol final on Friday. It seemed to work as Fatima defeated Queen’s Royal College (QRC) 5-0 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo.

Fatima lost to St Benedict’s College 3-1 in the final of the premiership league competition on October 26 at Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

Charles knows the North Zone Intercol title is not as illustrious as the premiership crown but is satisfied his team got their hands on silverware.

“I just showed them the second-place medal. (It was) just a reminder…I told them we don’t want to get this type of feeling again. Today is a different vibe. These guys went out there and played their heart out and they deserve it.”

Fatima was out the blocks quickly as Michael Chaves gave them the lead in the second minute. Defender Philip Gray and QRC goalkeeper Christiano Austin got in each other’s way trying to make a clearance, and the ball fell kindly to Chavez who scored from a few yards out.

The QRC goalie continued to show signs that it would be a rough outing for him as in 14th minute as he misjudged a shot from distance that hit the post.

A minute later it was 2-0 as Chaim Williams chested the ball in the box and with Austin running out to narrow the angle, Williams slotted home.

QRC struggled to create quality chances on goal, unlike their opponents.

In the 25th minute, Fatima captain Christian Bailey made it 3-0. He intercepted a QRC pass, which caught their defence out of position, and ran into the box to slot past Austin.

In the 29th minute, QRC had some solid build-up play before the ball fell to Musaddiq Mohammed, but his shot was blocked. QRC had their moments, but their final shot let them down repeatedly.

In the 41st minute, Austin made another blunder. After receiving a pass from one of his defenders, Austin tried to dribble his way out of the box but Chavez stole the ball and completed his brace and made it 4-0 at half-time.

Chaves continued to shine for Fatima after the break, dribbling goalbound from half-line, but his shot went wide in the 61st minute. Fatima continued to dominate possession with QRC trying to hit on the counter attack. Both teams had strong support with students, parents and alumni in attendance.

It was the Fatima contingent who went home smiling as Alijah Nunes rounded off the scoring in the 92nd minute, tapping home a rebound to make it 5-0.

“I am elated, I am happy,” Charles said. “Happy just for the fact it has been a while since Fatima College, the senior team, has not won a trophy. For the boys to bring it home today it is very good.”

Charles said they had a plan for QRC coming into the contest. “We watched QRC play a couple times and we devised a plan, and that plan worked to perfection tonight.”

Charles said QRC prefer playing from the back line, but believes their defenders are not that composed on the ball, so Fatima pressured the defenders which led to errors by the Royalians.