NAPARIMA College striker Avi Bhagwat scored once in each half to trump Signal Hill Secondary 2-0 in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) National U14 final at Lewis Street in San Fernando on Wednesday.
Good communication from the Naparima front line of Bhagwat, Donovan Drayton and Adasa Richardson created both goals as the south team captured their first SSFL title in two years.
Drayton and Richardson showed intent early on as the former placed a neat pass to the latter, who hit low and hard, but had his attempt bounce on the wrong side of the left post, past Signal Hill custodian Tevez Houlder.
Drayton came close two minutes later but his strike just skimmed the crossbar.
The Naparima backline also stood firm as Mikhail Clement and company did well to stave off the few attacks which came from the visitors.
In the 21st minute, a nice turn from Drayton in the Signal Hilll half made room for him to play in a charging Bhagwat, who made no mistake and slotted home a low, right footed shot past a diving Houlder.
Into the second 35-minute period, Signal Hills’ J’Meke Watkins threatened the home team but he could not get in the final shot to level the score.
Naps continued to press for another and were soon rewarded. Richardson burst down the right flank and put in a low cross which beat oncoming striker Aaden Ali. However, as the ball flew past the goal mouth, Bhagwat was there at the far post to rifle home another and seal the school’s first title of the 2023 season.
Winger Gianluca Bailey also impressed on the left and always posed a threat going forward.
Signal Hills’ Jaden Marcelle worked hard in the midfield to create opportunities for a fightback but his attempts went in vain.