St Anthony’s College (North) retained its title in the North Zone BGTT First Citizens Secondary Schools Football League with a 2-1 win over East Mucurapo, at Fatima College Ground, yesterday.
Needing only one point from the fixture to secure the title, the St Anthony’s “Tigers” complemented their perfect season by completing the double over nearest rivals East Mucurapo. Garvin Samaroo opened the scoring in added time of the first half to give the St Anthony’s a 1-0 lead.
Mucurapo mustered a response from Shaquille Donatie in he 61st minute, before Samaroo scored his second and the winner in the 73rd minute for the visitors. The ‘Tigers’ still has two matches left in the league, before heading into the Big Five semi-final against the winner of the East Zone.
El Dorado on track for East title
Defending champions St Augustine’s 5-0 win over Barataria South, yesterday was overshadowed by an El Dorado 1-0 win over San Juan North in the East Zone.
Dwight Quintero’s penalty on the stroke of half time was enough to keep El Dorado joint top with Arima North, which also won their match, 2-0 against Trinity East.
It was Arima’s final league fixture, while El Dorado have one more match remaining on Wednesday against Barataria South. A win would see El Dorado take the title.
St Augustine, with goals in the second half from Nicholas Marcano, Shannon Gomez, Joel Henry and Jamal Creighton kept them in the race.
A win for St Augustine over Trinity tomorrow, and a loss for El Dorado on the same day, will see the defending champions reclaim the title.
Arima North 2 (Kern Roberts 46th, Ryan George 73rd) v Trinity East 0
St Augustine 5 (OG 35th, Nicholas Marcano 71st, Shannon Gomez 62nd, Joel Henry 79th, Jamal Creighton 80th) v Barataria South 0
El Dorado 1 (Dwight Quintero (pen) 35th) v San Juan North 0
St Anthony’s 2 (Garvin Samaroo 45th, 73rd) v East Mucurapo 1 (Shaquille Donatie 61st)
QRC 1 (OG) v Fatima 0
St Anthony's edge Mucurapo for North Zone title
By Kern De Freitas (Express).
Samaroo scored in the final minute of the first half and then slammed another item past Mucurapo goalkeeper Dwayne Thomas in the middle of the second period, giving his team the lead each time on a muddy pitch.
But it was his second goal that also handed them a berth in the SSFL "Big Five" national league competition.
St Anthony's then had to survive a late onslaught by the "home team", as well as a silly booking of Rayshard Allen in the 90th minute that added to the drama of nearly seven minutes' stoppage time.
But the Tigers clung on for the win and had their "2011 North Zone champions" T-shirts ready to celebrate through the hastening darkness of the Mucurapo sky.
St Anthony's controlled much of the first half as midfielder Luke Hernandez dropped a corner kick on to the Mucurapo crossbar and a few minutes later Samaroo bamboozled three defenders, but could not beat Thomas from point-blank range.
Striker Darryl Trim was not his accurate self, missing from open position on the left, as St Anthony's struggled to get their final shot on target.
The same could be said for Mucurapo, who did look dangerous going forward. But Kevin Lewis up front also lacked that final finish, even after a pair of defensive blunders by the Tigers defence.
Samaroo, though, finally found his scoring touch just before half-time, albeit with Thomas's help. He slipped a loose ball past his marker and shot from the right of the six-metre box and Thomas let the ball slip under him and over the line.
Mucurapo came out with intensity in the second period and it took them 16 minutes to get the reward. Keil Pierre slipped and gave Sharkeel Donatien just enough room and space and a deflection took the ball beyond Jamaal Francois in St Anthony's goal.
In the end, the match belonged to the Tigers and, for the fifth time in ten years, so does the North Zone.