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Jabloteh one point from Pro League title

By JOEL BAILEY Sunday, December 16 2007

click on pic to zoom in

CL FINANCIAL San Juan Jabloteh is in pole position to win their first Pro League title since 2003 after Friday night’s Lucozade Sport Big Six Match Day Four action.

Jabloteh defeated North East Stars 2-0 at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima, while defending champions Joe Public fell 1-0 to Defence Force at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella.

Caledonia AIA’s title hopes were ended on the night, as they allowed W Connection to stage a come-from-behind 3-1 win at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva.

With the final day of action scheduled for Tuesday, Jabloteh have a tally of 59 points, three more than the “Eastern Lions” Joe Public while Caledonia is next on 55, Connection 54, Defence Force 50 and North East Stars 43.

On Tuesday, Jabloteh will square off against Caledonia at Arima while the “Eastern Lions” will be hosting Connection at the Marvin Lee Stadium, Dr Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence, Macoya, Tunapuna. Jabloteh need one point to secure the crown while Joe Public, by virtue of a vastly superior goal-difference, will retain their title if they beat Connection and Jabloteh fall to Caledonia.

At Arima on Friday night, North East and Jabloteh missed several early opportunities and the game seemed meandering towards a goalless draw, under persistent drizzle, until Cornell Glen broke the deadlock.

In the 72nd minute, Glen received a through pass from his captain Trent Noel and drilled his left-footer to the left of North East’s goalkeeper Curtis Granger.

Jason Marcano put the game out of North East’s reach in the 80th, heading home a right-side centre from Lester Peltier.

Seon Power had the misfortune of scoring an own-goal to consign Joe Public to a heart-breaking loss at Marabella, diverting a Kevon Carter centre past his goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett in the 51st.

Caledonia, like North East, saw their 2007 campaign end without any silverware as they lost their third straight game this week, following a 3-1 defeat North East Stars on Monday in league play and Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat by Joe Public in the FA Trophy final.

Conrad Smith took advantage of a defensive error by Connection to put Caledonia ahead in the 12th minute before ex-national defender David Atiba Charles netted a crucial double, heading past ’keeper Andrew Durant in the 45th and tapping in a Ronaldo Viana centre in the 50th.

Jonathan Frias finished the comeback for the “Savonetta lads” in the 80th, drilling a through ball past Durant.

As far as the Lucozade Big Six standings is concerned, Connection have ten points, Defence Force eight, Joe Public seven, Jabloteh four, North East three and Caledonia one.

In related news, the Pro League announced their Seven Seas Peak Performers for November — Michael McComie of Joe Public (coach), Alejandro Figueroa of Joe Public (goalkeeper), Keston Williams of Defence Force (defender), Kerry Baptiste of Joe Public (midfielder) and Frias of W Connection (striker).

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