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Na­pari­ma Col­lege kept the lead in the Pre­mier­ship Di­vi­sion of the Sec­ondary Schools Foot­ball League (SS­FL) by de­feat­ing one of its main chal­lengers this sea­son Mal­ick Sec­ondary 2-1 at Trin­i­ty East Ground in Arou­ca on Sat­ur­day.

Af­ter con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries for Mal­ick which made them the on­ly un­beat­en team go­ing in­to Sat­ur­day's round of match­es, the 2018 triple crown cham­pi­ons led the stand­ings de­spite draw­ing with East Mu­cu­rapo in its sec­ond match over a week ago. Naps got its open­ing goal in the 79th-minute from Nathaniel Per­ouse for the slim ad­van­tage. Mal­ick, on its re­turn to the top-flight com­pe­ti­tion, left it un­til the 93rd-minute to get the equalis­er from Amir Sim­mons.

The game ap­peared to be head­ing for a 1-1 stale­mate un­til the pro­lif­ic Seon Ship­p­ley grabbed the win­ner three min­utes af­ter (96th) to push the south­ern­ers to 10 points, a mere one-point lead ahead of its arch-ri­vals Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege which ham­mered St Bene­dict's Col­lege 4-0 at the Man­nie Ramjohn Sta­di­um in Mara­bel­la.

And over at St Au­gus­tine, vic­to­ry con­tin­ues to elude the home team af­ter it played to a 2-2 tie with Cen­tral gi­ants Cara­pichaima. The 'Green Ma­chine' as St Au­gus­tine has been known over the years, has now drawn three match­es and lost one.

And at Mo­ka Mar­aval, Trin­i­ty Col­lege Mo­ka was held to a 2-2 draw by Spey­side High. Ker­ry Lynch, the Spey­side coach told Guardian Me­dia Sports af­ter the match that his team has been find­ing its own and will on­ly be­come stronger as the sea­son con­tin­ues.

At St Clair in the fea­tured match of the day, an ex­cel­lent dis­play of at­tack­ing foot­ball, cou­pled with a few ac­ro­bat­ic at­tempts be­tween the post by goal­keep­er Josi­ah Perez, guid­ed St An­tho­ny's Col­lege to a 2-1 vic­to­ry over the home team Queen's Roy­al Col­lege (QRC).

And on an­oth­er day, the Tigers of West moor­ings might have es­caped with a wider mar­gin of vic­to­ry as Ju­maane Mc Neil, the QRC cus­to­di­an and sev­er­al eas­i­ly squan­dered chances, pre­vent­ed an al­most per­fect dis­play on the day.

QRC, sup­port­ed by the school's fa­mous rhythm sec­tion, was put on the back foot ear­ly, as Zion Williams, Kai Phillip and Jean-Heim Mc Fee and com­pa­ny were ea­ger to make up for the two dropped points against St Au­gus­tine Sec­ondary in their first game.

How­ev­er, Nathaniel James, con­sid­ered one of the bet­ter play­ers in the SS­FL, gave the Roy­alians the ad­van­tage in the 20th-minute against the run of play.

It came af­ter Re­nal­do Mullings played a give-and-go up the left flank be­fore he cen­tred for an on­rush­ing Miguel Cross. But the lat­ter's at­tempt was fist­ed by Perez but on­ly in­to the com­fort­able path of James to turn the ball in­to an open goal for a 1-0 lead.

The vis­i­tors re­spond­ed with a flur­ry of at­tacks that ei­ther end­ed with shots that went wide or were saved by Mc Neil.

The team should have scored when Phillip cut in­side from the right side but his thump­ing shot was pushed wide in the 33rd minute.

A minute lat­er, the Tigers were re­ward­ed for their per­sis­tence.

And from a left side cen­tre, de­fend­er Clax­ton, in an at­tempt to pre­vent the ball from reach­ing await­ing Williams, un­will­ing­ly stabbed it in­to his own goal to hand St An­tho­ny's the equal­iz­er in the 34th.

Four min­utes be­fore the break the Tigers ex­pect­ed­ly took the lead for the first time from the free-kick. Mc Meil came air­borne to fist out a well-float­ed cross from the set-piece, but it on­ly went as far as Williams on the right side, who fired in a low dri­ve that took a de­flec­tion off Ian Cowie be­fore go­ing in for a 2-1 lead, which they took to the in­ter­val.

Af­ter­wards, QRC came out fight­ing, and the team was un­lucky not to score in the 49th-minute when James spun on top the area from a head­ed-on pass, but his rasp­ing shot was tipped over by an ac­ro­bat­ic Perez. The Tigers cus­to­di­an was again called up­on in the 69th-minute, this time to push over Jahiem Grander­son left-foot­ed dri­ve from close range.

On the oth­er side, how­ev­er, it was Tigers who saw clear cut chances from Williams, Phillip and Sowande Pri­eto foiled by the QRC goal­keep­er.

SAT­UR­DAY'S SS­FL RE­SULTS

St An­tho­ny's 2 (Ian Cowie, OG Don­nell Clax­ton) vs QRC 1 (Nathaniel James)
St Au­gus­tine 2 vs Cara­pichaima 2
Na­pari­ma 2 (Nathaniel Per­ouse 79th, Seon Ship­p­ley 96th) vs Mal­ick 1 (Amir Sim­mons)
Trin­i­ty East 1 (Je­re­mi­ah Williams) vs San Juan 1
Trin­i­ty Mo­ka 2 (Jardel Mitchell 6th, Menes Jahra 42nd) vs Spey­side 2 (Dil­lion Beck­les, Ronal­do Samuel)
Pre­sen­ta­tion (San­Fer­nan­do) 4 vs St Bene­dict's 0
Pleas­antville 2 vs CIC 0

Lat­est Shell/FCB SS­FL Pre­mier­ship Di­vi­sion

Team*P*W*D*L*F*A*GD*Pts

1*Na­pari­ma*4*3*1*0*10*3*7*10
2*Pre­sen­ta­tion*4*3*0*1*14*2*12*9
3*St. An­tho­ny's*3*2*1*0*10*3*7*7
4*Mal­ick*3*2*0*1*8*3*5*6
5*Pleas­antville*4*2*0*2*6*6*0*6
6*QRC*4*2*0*2*8*11*-3*6
7*East Mu­cu­rapo*3*1*2*0*9*3*6*5
8*Trin­i­ty East*3*1*2*0*5*5*1*5
9*Cara­pichaima*3*1*2*0*5*4*1*4
10*Trin­i­ty Mo­ka*4*1*1*2*5*11*-6*4
11*Spey­side*4*1*1*2*5*15*-10*4
12*St. Au­gus­tine*4*0*3*1*6*8*-2*3
13*St. Bene­dict's*4*1*0*3*5*11*-6*3
14*San Juan*3*0*1*2*2*4*-2*1
15*St. Mary's*4*0*0*4*2*14*-12*0


SOURCE: T&T Guardian