Naps start SSFL title defence in style

Published: Newsday, September 10th, 2015

Naparima  College began their title defence of the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division with a comfortable 2-0 win over QRC at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo, in the second game of the season-opening double- header.

Jarred Dass and Judah St Louis scored in either half to ensure victory for the Naparima squad.

QRC, with an attacking trio of Demetri Dunkley, John Paul Rochford and Joash Williams, started the game in high gear as Naparima were struggling to assert themselves.

In the sixth minute, Williams got a neat pass from Rochford on the left but he took too long to make a decision and Darriel Kurjah, in the Naparima goal, cleared the ball to safety.

Dass gave a warning to the QRC defence when, against the run of play, he got inside the penalty box but his shot was repelled by the Royalians goalkeeper Jadel Poon-Lewis.

Four minutes later (34th), Dass made amends, rising unmarked on the left to blast his header beyond the reach of Poon-Lewis, after a well-crafted pass from midfielder Renaldo Francois.

In the 37th, Francois could have doubled the lead when he got between defenders Tevin Lessey and Janos Lashley but, from an awkward angle, narrowly missed the target with his left footed effort.

Naparima continued their assertive play in the second half, and Akinola Gregory, with his first touch after coming on as a substitute, could have scored in the 57th but he shot wide from just four metres out.

Three minutes later, on the other end, Naparima captain Michael Basdeo was alert to clear a close-range shot from QRC’s Anfernee Stokes off the line, following a corner from the left.

Naparima changed gears and kept the QRC defence under pressure, as Shane Sandy powered his left-footed drive inches overbar while Dass headed Sandy’s corner against the crossbar and out of play.

However, St Louis secured the win for his team in the 77th, with a curling free-kick which flew to the top right-hand corner, beyond the airborne Poon-Lewis.

In the earlier match of the double- header, Ethan Shim scored a pair as St Mary’s cruised past Trinity East 3-0.

Shim netted the first goal of the season after nine minutes, from close range, after the Trinity East defence struggled to deal with a St Mary’s attack.

Trinity East’s midfielder Nickel Orr was at the heart of almost every move for his team, with clever moves with his left foot, but he lacked support from his compatriots.

And it came as no surprise when St Mary’s doubled their lead on the hour mark.

A counter-attack led by Aaron Skeene on the left saw the ball played to the path of fellow attacker Chinua Bernard in the centre.

Bernard went around the path of the advancing goalie Emmanuel John and, with two defenders retreating, the striker took his time and drilled home his right-footed effort.

John did well to prevent Shim from extending the lead in the 66th, from close range, but he could do nothing to stop the slimly- built midfielder from scoring his second goal, in the 86th, with a controversially awarded penalty which went to the bottom righthand corner.

Action will continue today with five matches, all scheduled to kick off at 3.45 pm.

Speyside High will welcome the visit of Carapichaima East at Speyside, Trinity North will entertain St Benedict’s at Moka in Maraval, San Juan North will host St Anthony’s at Bourg Mulatresse, Shiva Boys will square off against St Augustine at Penal and Fatima will take the trip to the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella to oppose Presentation San Fernando.