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Fatima College’s Michael Chaves, right, challenges Bishop’s High School Johan Elliot for the ball during the Secondary Schools Football League Premiership Division match at Fatima Grounds, Mucurapo Road, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. ...ABRAHAM DIAZ
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Fatima College is on the verge of capturing the Premier Division title of the Secondary Schools Football League after yesterday’s impressive 3-0 victory over Bishop’s High School in Tobago yesterday.

The result sent the Fatima men to 31 points with three more rounds of matches to go. Second is San Juan North Secondary who dropped two points in a 1-1 tie with Malick Secondary for a total of 26 points while St Benedict’s also moved to 26 points by beating Queen’s Royal College at home 4-2.

Fatima will now have to lose at least two matches to surrender the title to any team.

Meanwhile, a hat-trick from Brandon Parks, coupled with braces from Maalik Jarvis and Nieem Taylor stood out as East Mucurapo Secondary battled past Pleasantville Secondary 8-5 in the Premier Division yesterday at Trinity College Ground in Moka.

Coach Dale Saunders’ prediction of a ten-goal victory seemed to have borne early fruits as Nieem Taylor fired them into the lead after just two minutes. But the pair of Jarvis and Parks almost built camps in the Pleasantville goal area all afternoon long.

Taylor, the scorer of the opening goal, was pushed to the ground in the ninth minute, as East Mucurapo sought a cushion for Taylor’s first goal. And from the freekick, Taylor with a thumping shot that goalkeeper Khylon Clark could only parry into his six-yard box, for Park to muscle his marker off the ball before hitting into the empty net for a 2-0 advantage.

Later, Jarvis then got his name on the scoresheet when he was upended on his way to the Pleasantville goal in the tenth minute. The referee pointed to the penalty spot and Jarvis picked himself up to send Clark the wrong way for a 3-0 lead.

Still, with a dominant display from the start, East Mucurapo was far from finished as they sought more goals. Parks was the target in the 19th minute when Al-Kalipha Henry made tracks down the left flank and centred for the oncoming Park to hit home.

Pleasantville, promoted from last season’s play-off, struggled to find the form that earned them that promotion. And it showed with a weak right side that East Mucurapo exploited all afternoon long.

Goal number five came as Kamali Henry was fed a ball down the left flank and he turned past his marker before hitting it hard and low past the bewildered Clark in the Pleasantville goal.

In the 34th minute, East Mucurapo sealed a six-goal advantage heading to the half-way break.

For a second time, Henry (Al-Kalipha) takes the Pleasantville defence for a run down the left flank and centred for a sliding Parks to meet and hit into an empty net for a 6-0 lead.

A Pleasantville win seemed like a mere matter of formality, but East Mucurapo surprised all with a display of true grit that brought them within a three-goal margin at the end.

Pleasantville, not only increased their resistance but battled tooth and nail in a true display of determination. But first, Taylor got a clear sight at goal, and he drilled the ball low past Clark from some 20 yards out in the 50th minute.

A minute later, Jarvis got his hat-trick as he galloped onto a neatly threaded ball from Parks and he beat the goalkeeper with a fierce shot that rattled into the Pleasantville nets.

With that goal, the home team was just two goals away from their prediction until Pleasantville almost pulled a surprise upset that would have gone down in SSFL history. Led by a double from Kelon Williams, the visitors caused hearts to race before the referee could sound his whistle to signal the end.

RELATED NEWS

Fatima extend SSFL lead, San Juan slip as St Benedict's move to second.
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh (T&T Newsday).


A late brace from Fatima College’s Michael Chaves gave them a stern 3-0 victory over Bishop’s High School at the College Grounds in Mucurapo when round 12 of the Secondary Schools’ Football League premiership division kicked off on Saturday.

The contest remained goalless until the 74th minute when Fatima’s Joshua Mason broke the deadlock. Four minutes later, Chaves sent them further ahead, and added another four minutes from regulation time, to seal a comfortable win.

The result for Fatima saw them maintain their view atop of the standings on 31 points, which comprises ten wins, one draw and one loss, from 12 matches.

However, a potentially detrimental 1-1 result between hosts San Juan North (26pts) and Malick Secondary (14pts) at Bourg Mulatresse saw the former slip from second to third.

This outcome helped defending SSFL premier champions St Benedict’s climb into second spot as they defeated Queen’s Royal College 4-2 at Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.

The win for the La Romaine Lions sent them to 26pts, but into second place owing to a superior goal difference.

The battle for top spot rages on on Wednesday, with only three match days remaining in this year’s competition.

Meanwhile, at Trinity College Grounds in Moka, a whopping 13 goals were scored in East Mucurapo’s 8-5 victory over Pleasantville.

In other matches, Naparima College dropped points for a third consecutive match as they drew 2-2 to Speyside away in Tobago.

The hosts went ahead in the 16th minute through skipper Nkosi Quashie. The visitors equalised later on in the first half, 38th’, courtesy striker Tevin Panthor and it remained 1-1 at the break.

When play resumed, both sides pressed for the go-ahead goal. Speyside were rewarded for their efforts in the 85th, through Riquelme Phillips, which put them 2-1 up. With five minutes of regulation time and extra time to go, the home team may have thought they would seal the three points. But a persistent Naparima outfit answered back in the 90th minute as Israel Joseph salvaged a point for the travelling team.

Meanwhile, 13 goals were scored in East Mucurapo’s 8-5 win over Pleasantville at Bourg Mulatresse. From as early in as the second minute, East Mucurapo went ahead after a fine strike from Nieem Taylor. Seven minutes later, Taylor put in a free kick from the left, which was parried away by Pleasantville goalie Khylon Clark, but fell to the feet of Brandon Parks, who made no mistake to send them 2-0 up.

It got worse for the South team soon after as defender Jelani Roberts fouled Taylor in the penalty box to give away a direct kick. Khidr Atiba successfully converted to put East Mucurapo further ahead in the 11th minute.

In the 19th, Jarvis burst down the left and easily put the ball across to Parks, who slotted home another. Pleasantville’s chances were few and far between as Henry found the back of the net once more, with a brilliant individual run in the 28th. Parks then got a hat-trick after another good run by Henry, who picked up another assist, to take them to 6-0. The goal fest continued in the second period as Taylor scored a long-range effort in the 49th, and then got his hat-trick three minutes later (8-0).

Undeterred, Plesantville staged a late fightback as Kiev Robinson launched a far, high shot past East Mucurapo custodian Dayshaun Alexander to make it 8-1 in the 53rd.

Minutes later, Pleasantville number ten Kelon Williams netted a quick brace to make it 8-3. And in the 84th, another spectacular run from Williams saw him assist Robinson to halve the deficit.

And into time added on, Pleasantville added another as Joshuel Simon fired home from distance; 8-5 it ended.

In other matches, Trinity East (14pts) beat St Anthony’s College (22pts).

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