Jabloteh kings of TT football
By JOEL BAILEY Thursday, December 20 2007
KHALEEM HYLAND and Jason Marcano were on target for CL Financial San Juan Jabloteh as they sealed their third Pro League title, and their first since 2003, with a 2-1 win over Caledonia AIA at the Larry Gomes Stadium, Arima on Tuesday night.
The night featured a trio of games on Match Day Five of the Lucozade Sport Big Six competition, with 2006 league kings Joe Public, in front of their home supporters at the Marvin Lee Stadium in Tunapuna, playing to a 1-1 draw against W Connection, who walked away with the Big Six crown.
Caledonia and Defence Force, who both had good spurts during this year’s season, ended up without any major silverware, with the Army-Coast Guard combination holding North East Stars to a 2-2 tie at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
At Arima, Jabloteh opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, as Antiguan forward Gaeson Gregory relayed a pass from his captain Trent Noel into the path of Hyland who drilled his shot past Caledonia’s goalkeeper Andrew Durant.
Noel, arguably the most consistent player for the season, had a hand in Jabloteh’s decisive second goal 13 minutes later. He was impeded by Dexter Franklyn, but the ball fell nicely to an unmarked Marcano who slotted it home.
Conrad Smith pulled one back for Caledonia in the 76th, heading a Dwight Peters’ right-side centre past Jabloteh’s goalkeeper Cleon John while Jabloteh defenders appealed for off-side.
The “Eastern Lions” Joe Public started the game three points behind Jabloteh and needed to beat Connection to have any hope of retaining their title.
Terrence McAllister put the “Lions” in front after 12 minutes, hitting a Silas Spann free-kick past goalie Marvin Phillip, before Connection’s veteran captain Earl Jean notched his 11th goal for the season when he responded in the 31st,.
Richard Roy 10 and Devon Jorsling 13 goals, scored in the 12th and 45th minutes for the Army-Coast Guard combination, but Randolph Jerome replied for North East in the 43rd while midfielder Kevin Jeffrey equalised in the 52nd.
Regarding the Big Six contest, last year’s runners-up W Connection prevailed this year with 11 points, two more than Defence Force while the “Lions” finished third on eight points, followed by 2006 winners Jabloteh (seven), North East (four) and Caledonia (one).
P W D L F A Pts
San Juan Jabloteh 32 18 8 6 47 31 62
Joe Public 32 17 6 9 50 25 57
W Connection 32 15 10 7 61 32 55
Caledonia AIA 32 16 7 9 47 33 55
Defence Force 32 15 8 9 46 39 53
North East Stars 32 11 10 11 42 36 43
United Petrotrin 27 10 5 12 38 35 35
Superstar Rangers 27 9 5 13 48 42 32
Police 27 5 1 21 28 79 16
Tobago United 27 3 2 22 25 80 11