Kevon Jes­sop and Chris­ton Fre­i­tas were both on tar­get as Cul­tur­al Roots Unit­ed claimed its sec­ond North­ern Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion Pre­mier Di­vi­sion ti­tle with a 2-0 vic­to­ry over its clos­est ri­vals Trend­set­ter Hawks in front of its home fans at Dibe Recre­ation Ground, Long Cir­cu­lar, St James on Wednes­day night.

Start­ing the match a point be­hind Hawks with two match­es in hand, Cul­tur­al Roots which on­ly gained pro­mo­tion back to the top flight in 2017 af­ter win­ning the Cham­pi­onship Di­vi­sion the pre­vi­ous year, got a goal from Jes­sop in the 15th minute be­fore Fre­itas added the oth­er two min­utes lat­er.

The win meant that Cul­tur­al Roots leapfrogged Hawks in­to top po­si­tion with 32 points from 14 match­es and two left to play while Hawks end­ed their 16-match cam­paign with 30 points.

Third-placed Can­taro Unit­ed FC had a chance to take the ti­tle race down to an­oth­er round of match­es, as they went in­to their fix­ture with Pat­na/Riv­er Es­tate Unit­ed with 31 points from 14 match­es.

How­ev­er, Pat­na/Riv­er Es­tate dashed its hopes with a 3-1 spank­ing with strikes from Nicholas Alexan­der, Jesse Ed­wards and Akel La Bor­de to can­cel out Stephan David sixth-minute open­ing item.

The ti­tle win con­tin­ued a fine re­turn to the lime­light for the Rayshawn Mars-coached Cul­tur­al Roots who were al­so win­ners of the NFA FA tro­phy in 2018 be­fore col­lab­o­rat­ing with Club San­do for a one year stint in the Na­tion­al Su­per League last sea­son and then re­turn­ing to the NFA this cam­paign in stun­ning fash­ion.

Last week­end, the key twist in the Pre­mier Di­vi­sion ti­tle race oc­curred when then lead­ers Trend­set­ter Hawks and sec­ond-placed Can­taro Unit­ed SCC both fal­tered which paved the way for Cul­tur­al Roots Unit­ed to claim a sec­ond league crown in the club's his­to­ry.

This af­ter, Hawks was clipped 3-1 by North Coast SCC with a goal each from Kyle Jack, Dameion Williams and Ron Quin­tero on Sun­day, and re­mained on 30 points from 15 match­es at the top of the nine-team ta­ble, one ahead of Cul­tur­al Roots who have two match­es in hand, while Can­taro Unit­ed is third with 28 points from 14 match­es af­ter a 1-1 draw with Bel­mont FC.

Corneal Thomas net­ted a dou­ble to lead Front Line FC to a 5-1 spank­ing of Har­vard FC and pro­mo­tion to the 2020 NFA Pre­mier Di­vi­sion as Cham­pi­onship Di­vi­sion win­ners on Thurs­day night.

How­ev­er, it could have all be so dif­fer­ent had Pe­tit Val­ley/Diego Mar­tin Unit­ed, which went in­to the fi­nal round with a one-point lead on the ta­ble did not stum­ble in its en­counter with RSSR FC, los­ing 1-0 at the Hase­ly Craw­ford Sta­di­um, Train­ing Field, Mu­cu­rapo. RSSR had pre­vi­ous­ly de­feat­ed Front Line 4-3 in its penul­ti­mate match as well.

At St Ann's, Kyle David­son fired Front Line in­to a 14th minute lead while Kei­th Williams made it 2-0 in the 25th with his 18th goal of the cam­paign be­fore Jer­ron Mor­ris (77th), and Thomas, with a late dou­ble in the 80th and 90th to fin­ish with a sea­son-best tal­ly of 23, capped off the scor­ing to spark off wild cel­e­bra­tions as Cham­pi­onship Di­vi­sion win­ners.

The win lift­ed debu­tants, Front Line FC to 34 points from its 14 match­es, two ahead of Pe­tit Val­ley/Diego Mar­tin Unit­ed.


Pre­mier Di­vi­sion
Cul­tur­al Roots Unit­ed 2 (Kevon Jes­sop 15th, Chris­ton Fre­itas 17th) vs Trend­set­ter Hawks 0
Pat­na Riv­er Es­tate 3 (Nicholas Alexan­der 25th, Jesse Ed­wards 35th, Akel La Bor­de 73rd) vs Can­taro Unit­ed FC 1 (Stephan David 6th)

Sun­day, De­cem­ber 1:
North Coast SCC 3 (Kyle Jack 20th, Dameion Williams 26th, Ron Quin­tero 90th) vs Trend­set­ter Hawks 1 (Josi­ah Joseph 37th)
Bel­mont FC 1 (Matin Sedighi 21st) vs Can­taro Unit­ed FC 1 (Stephan David 46th)
St Fran­cois Na­tion­als 3 vs Paramin Schol­ars 0 - by de­fault


No­vem­ber 28:
RSSR FC 1 vs Pe­tit Val­ley/Diego Mar­tin Unit­ed 0
Front Line FC 5 (Kyle David­son 14th, Kei­th Williams 25th, Jer­ron Mor­ris 77th, Corneal Thomas 80th, 90th) vs Har­vard FC 1 (Shaquille Pe­ters 45th)

Cur­rent NFA stand­ings

Pre­mier Di­vi­sion

1. Cul­tur­al Roots*14*10*2*2*42*14*32
2. Trend­set­ter Hawks*16*9*3*4*43*17*30
3. Can­taro Utd*15*8*4*3*48*23*28
4. Bel­mont FC*14*7*3*3*25*21*24
5. St Fran­cois Na­tion­als*14*5*6*3*27*24*21
6. North Coast SCC*14*4*5*5*27*26*17
7. Pat­na/Riv­er Es­tate*15*5*2*8*25*31*17
8. Mis­cel­la­neous Lav'tille*13*1*2*10*20*57*5
9. Paramin Schol­ars*15*0*4*11*14*58*4

Cham­pi­onship Di­vi­sion


1. Front Line*14*11*1*2*62*24*34
2. P.V/D.M*14*10*2*2*62*19*32
3. Har­vard*14*7*2*5*26*27*23
4. Seek­ers FC*14*7*1*6*36*33*22
5. RSSR FC*14*6*0*8*28*38*18
6. Mor­vant El­e­ments*13*4*1*8*25*53*13
7. Malvern SC*14*3*2*9*21*42*11
8. Com­bined Forces*14*2*1*1*25*50*7

Up­com­ing match­es

Pre­mier Di­vi­sion

On De­cem­ber 7
Mis­cel­la­neous Laven­tille Unit­ed vs Bel­mont FC, Soogrim Trace, Laven­tille, 7 pm

De­cem­ber 8
North Coast SCC vs Cul­tur­al Roots Unit­ed, Blan­chisseuse, 3.30 pm

De­cem­ber 10
Bel­mont FC vs North Coast SCC, Hase­ly Craw­ford Sta­di­um, Train­ing Field, Mu­cu­rapo, 8 pm

De­cem­ber 11
Cul­tur­al Roots Unit­ed vs Mis­cel­la­neous Laven­tille Unit­ed, Dibe Rec. Grd, Long Cir­cu­lar, St James, 7 pm
Can­taro Unit­ed vs St Fran­cois Na­tion­als, Can­taro Grds, San­ta Cruz, 7 pm

SOURCE: T&T Guardian