CANIOS RUIZ scored twice and Addae Paponette netted the other as QRC defeated Fatima 3-1 yesterday, in the final of the inaugural Fruta Form One (Under-13) National League football competition.
Jaden Williams got the consolation strike for Fatima, but the Royalians held firm for the win at St Mary’s Ground, St Clair.
Fatima started the 60-minute game at a high tempo, but they were unable to get the finishing touch on a few occasions.
In the fourth minute, Josiah Gobin had a good chance to put Fatima ahead, but his right-footed effort went high and wide.
Ruiz collected a floated pass from Zen Renro with his chest, before unleashing a right-footed shot which narrowly missed the target.
Fatima came close in the 22nd minute, as the energetic winger Luke Correia fed Michael Chavez to his right, but Chavez’s low shot was held by goalkeeper Arthur St Louis.
That miss proved costly as seconds later, central midfielder Paponette made a run past a couple of defenders before drilling a right-footer beyond the reach of Fatima goalie Ailan Panton.
A minute into the second half, the Royalians extended their lead. A long ball was pursued by Ruiz who got around the advancing Panton and slotted his left-footed effort into the vacant net.
Panton suffered a knock to his face in the play and had to be replaced by Jaden Ottley.
In the 42nd, Correia was given a golden opportunity to pull one back for Fatima but his deflected shot went wide, after he was set up by Josiah Cumberbatch.
With nine minutes of regulation time left, Ruiz sealed the deal for QRC with a simple tap-in, after exchanging passes with Micah Alexander.
Williams ensured that it would be no clean sheet for QRC, as he converted a penalty in the 56th, after his free-kick struck the arm of Paponette.
QRC coach Wendell David was pleased with his team’s success in this inaugural competition.
“I think it was long in coming,” said David. “I want to thank the sponsors for highlighting these boys. It’s a blessing.”
The QRC coach noted his team was able to withstand the early attacks from Fatima and later dictate proceedings.
“If you look at the team consistently, we could take cuffs. The other teams were unable to take punches. It was just a matter of time. We punched them, and they couldn’t get back in the fight.”
David is hopeful that his team will be able to stay together and continue the school’s recent success at the age-group levels.
“We have the Under-14s,” he said. “We should have football (tournaments) to keep these fellas together. QRC has been doing an excellent job. When you look at all the divisions, we have been dominant.
“We have won Under-19s North Zone and Nationals,” David continued. “We have won Under-16s. Hats off to the QRC programme, to Mr (David) Simon, the principal of QRC who has been there for us over the years. I think we deserve it.”