Fatima College (34 points) moved to within a victory of claiming the 2023 Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) premier division title after getting a resounding 4-0 win over Trinity College East at Fatima Grounds in Mucurapo on Wednesday.
The Hutson "Baba" Charles-coached Fatima journey to Lewis Street, San Fernando on Saturday for a clash with four-time premier division champions Naparima College. A victory for Fatima there will see the north zone school dethrone 2022 winners St Benedict’s, who are second in the standings with 29 points.
Fatima, the 2022 national intercol champions, took a big step towards their goal as they put in an astute display against Trinity, last year's East zone intercol winners. The hosts weathered early raids by Trinity, who rattled off at least four long-range efforts on goal in the opening 15 minutes.
In the 22nd minute, the early Fatima nerves were calmed as their T&T youth attacker Michael Chaves dusted himself off to convert from the penalty spot after being fouled by Trinity captain Nicholas Whiteman. Fatima doubled their lead just four minutes later, as their speedy winger Christian Bailey struck a sweet right-footed shot into the bottom corner after "capping" Whiteman just outside area.
By the second half, Trinity's attacking threat was nullified by the Fatima rearguard. The lanky pair of Yohance Atherton and Elijah Camacho were particularly solid in their central defensive and midfield roles, stalling Trinity's counter attacks with relative ease.
At the other end, Fatima put the game to bed with a brace from second-half substitute Luke Correia. The diminutive Fatima forward made it 3-0 with a tap-in on 65 minutes — just five minutes after entering the match. He then put the icing on the cake for Fatima in stoppage-time as he calmly rounded Trinity goalie Jadon Pollard to slide into an empty net.
Benedict’s continue to show form at the back end of the league campaign, as they hammered Pleasantville Secondary by an 8-0 margin in Marabella. Daniel Jones and Jeremiah Niles scored twice to power Benedict’s to the win. Pleasantville, who have only mustered four points so far this season, will be relegated to the Championship division next season alongside Chaguanas North Secondary (four points) and Bishop’s High School Tobago (three points).
Chaguanas played to a 1-1 draw with Speyside Secondary in Edinburgh, Chaguanas. Meanwhile, Bishop’s were spanked 4-0 by Arima North Secondary who got a double from their lively forward Tyrell Stapleton.
San Juan North Secondary joined Benedict’s on 29 points, as they got a healthy 4-1 win over St Mary's College in Bourg Mulatresse, San Juan. Like Benedict’s, San Juan still have a mathematical chance of winning the title. However, they must win their remaining two matches and hope for Fatima to slip up in their final two matches versus Naparima and St Mary’s.
Naparima's own title hopes have already been dashed but they were able to show off their scoring prowess in St Clair with a 4-1 win over home team Queen's Royal College.
Malick Secondary improved to 17 points, as the league's leading scorer, Oba Samuel, registered a hat-trick for his team in a 5-1 drubbing of fellow North zone team East Mucurapo Secondary.
Elsewhere, Presentation College San Fernando (25 points) eked out a 1-0 win over St Anthony’s College (22 points) at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.
SOURCE: T&T Newsday