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SSFLCorrigon gives champs Mucurapo winning start

Defending champion East Mucurapo, neighbours Fatima and St Anthony’s bagged three points each yesterday when the season kicked off in the North Zone of the BG T&T Secondary Schools Football League.

Although not showing the flare of last season, Mucurapo managed to turn back newcomers Woodbrook 1-0 in a dull affair on the nearby Fatima grounds. Earlier at the same venue, Fatima survived a series of missed chances by opponents, Queen’s Royal College to hang on to win 1-0. Down at Westmoorings, home team St Anthony’s, with seven of its surviving members from last year, stopped Trinity by a lone goal as well. Mucurapo, coached by Selris Figaro and Ian Clauzel, took the lead in the 32nd minute, as a result of a defence blunder.

Tesfa Corrigon was the marksman. He pressured the defence, won the ball and hit away from goalkeeper Isiah Cummings. Mucurapo could easily have walked away a comfortable winner had it not been for missing at least three one-on-one chances in the second period—one by Corrigon and two by Kerdeem Sobian. With nine of its players from last year in its squad, QRC paid the penalty for squandering several easy opportunities against Fatima. The goal resulted when a right-sided cross by newboy Andrew Smith was played into the pathway of lanky Ross Russell Jr. Rather than collect, Russell used a back-heel flick which beat a stranded ’keeper, Kareem Joseph.

After going into halftime with the lone goal from Reshad Wint in the 16th minute, St Anthony’s could not find the net again, inspite of several calls for penalties in addition to some missed chances. Wint scored when he buried a powerful header from a right sided corner from Kadeem Riley. In second round matches tomorrow, St Mary’s will be away to Fatima, QRC plays Mucurapo at home in St Clair and Trinity opposes Woodbrook in Moka. Kick-off in all matches is 3.45 pm.

East

San Juan fires warning in East
Defending champions, San Juan North Secondary began defence of its East Zone Secondary Schools Football League Zonal crown with a 2-0 win over Arima North Seconday at the Arima North Secondary Ground, yesterday. San Juan, with only defender Daniel Apparacio returning from last year’s all conquering team got their goals on either side of the interval to share the lead at the top of the table with last year’s runner-up St Augustine Secondary and Trinity College East.

At the Crown Trace Ground, Tacarigua, St Augustine Secondary pipped El Dorado East Secondary 1-0 with the lone goal for the “Green Machine” coming from a header off a free-kick by Nikkel Collymore in the 60th minute. In the other match , Trinity scured maximum points, with a 2-0 shut-out of league debutants, Sangre Grande Secondary at Ojoe Road Recreation Ground, Sangre Grande.

South

Shiva Debutants blank Siparia
Shiva Boy’s College made a stunning debut in the South Zone with a 3-0 win over Siparia Secondary at Penal, yesterday. The zonal newcomers went ahead in the 39th minute when Jamal John converted a penalty which they took into the break. On the resumption, Shiva Boy’s doubled their advantage thanks to Dwight Pope in the 72nd minute before Alfred John sealed all three points on the stroke of half-time.

With the win, Shiva Boy’s moved into early pole possesion after defending champions, Naparima College was held to a 1-1 draw by rivals Presentation College of San Fernando, and Vessigny High School and St Benedict’s College battled to a 0-0 draw. In the feature match of a double-header at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre, Adisa Cumberbatch fired Naparima ahead in the 72nd minute only for Andre Moodie to earn a share of the points for Presentation, eight minutes later from the penalty spot. Princes Town was on a bye while league matches continue on Saturday.

Results

North
FATIMA 1 (Ross Russell Jr 71st) v QRC 0
EAST MUCURAPO 1 (Tesfa Corrigon 32nd) v WOODBROOK 0
ST ANTHONY’S 1 (Reshad Wint 16th) v TRINITY 0

East
ST AUGUSTINE SEC 1 (Nikkel Collymore 60th) vs EL DO EAST SEC 0.
SAN JUAN NORTH SEC 2 vs ARIMA NORTH SEC 0
TRINITY EAST 2 vs SANGRE GRANDE SEC 0

South
VESSIGNY 0 vs ST BENEDICT’S 0
NAPARIMA 1 (Adisa Cumberbatch 72nd) vs PRESENTATION 1 (Andre Moodie pen 80th)
SHIVA BOY’S 3 (Jamal John 39th pen, Dwight Pope 72nd, Alfred John 90th) vs SIPARIA 0


Fatima edge QRC in opener
By Kern De Freitas (T&T Express)


Fatima College showed yesterday just how patience can lead to success, withstanding a first half onslaught by Queen's Royal College to register a 1-0 win, the first of the 2009 Secondary Schools Football League.

At their Mucurapo Road home ground, Fatima owed much thanks to goalkeeper John Thomas, who pulled off some tough saves to keep his team in it, with a 0-0 halftime scoreline.

QRC captain Akeil Clarke had the first real chance of the match, but Thomas turned his effort wide in the 20th minute. In fact, Fatima had little in the way of first half chances. What they did well was defend in numbers and hold on to the ball, passing well in midfield.

Again in the 28th it was Thomas to the rescue, thwarting left winger Stephen Wiltshire from point blank range.

QRC had themselves to blame for chances gone abegging, striker Akil Morris dragging wide in the 29th, while Jayon Murray (33rd) and vice-captain Shabaka Mahluli put free kicks wide before the interval.

Immediately on the resumption, Thomas rescued his side again, blanking Murray at the near post after a defensive mistake.

Then Fatima began showing their attacking intent, especially with the introduction of Rondell Charles on the right wing.

Their increasing threats caused QRC to panic in the 51st and 61st minutes, but the visitors managed to keep Fatima at bay. Defender Keegan Rattan chipped over in search of goal and teammate Andrew Tinto flashed past the far post as his team inched closer in the 65th.

It was little surprise when Ross Russell Jr finally hit the net to calm his side's nerves, heightening those of their opponents. With confusion in the penalty area and QRC failing to clear, Russell directed a low header past custodian Kareem Joseph for the home fans, outnumbered by their rivals, to erupt into lusty cheers.

The tide turned once more, with QRC pressing for the equaliser that would prevent defeat in their season-opener. Thomas did well to deny substitute Jonathan Chang's free kick in the 80th, while at the other end, Charles put his set play wide.

One last chance came for QRC in the 90th, but another sub, Harrison Phillips, headed wide after Fatima's defence snuffed out a shot by Chang.

First blood went to Fatima, but QRC know there is time to bounce back-the season's only just begun.