November School News

October School News

Monday November 20th, 2000
Can Compre pull North level?


THE young do not always possess a sense of history. But the young footballers of Naparima College and Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive cannot be counted among that group. Not today.

When they step onto the Queen’s Park Oval pitch this afternoon from 3.30 p.m., history will be there for the taking, schoolboy glory to be embraced by some for the last time.

At stake will be the Royal Bank Intercol trophy. And much more.

The 2000 final pits North against South for the 17th time since the formation of the Colleges Football League in 1964.

The southerners have been the victors eight times in those head-to-head battles with one title being shared.

Naps themselves have contributed three of their four Intercol wins to that tally.

And this afternoon, they have the chance to enhance their growing legacy. A win today would make them, along with another south team, San Fernando Technical Institute, and Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive of Tobago, Intercol champion of champions with five wins.

Victory today would also give Naps back-to-back wins for the second time in their history.

Skipper Clint De Verteuil and his men, therefore, will not be lacking in motivation. History is on their side.

Naps, who should start as favourites today, have lost only twice in their six appearances in the final. But Mucurapo are yet to win a national decider.

The North Zone challengers have been Intercol champs once in 1983—when the Richard Leira-led side that also included Clint Marcelle and Ross Russell—won a round-robin series.

The Mucurapo Road side, however, have never triumphed in direct contests.

Twice in succession—in 1997 and 1998—they have reached the league Big Seven final only to lose each time.

Those statistics may mean little in the context of Intercol. Or they may mean a lot.

For in addition to their past record, the current Naps unit also have the advantage of having of being here before. Last season at Skinner Park, De Verteuil, Jace Peters, Fabien Lewis, Roderick Anthony, Ateba McKnight and Brenton De Leon were in the squad that carried off the trophy. McKnight got the lone goal against Princes Town Senior Comprehensive.

These six have been the foundation on which another solid Naparima campaign has been built. New addition Dia Hunte has complemented them with creativity in midfield.

But all but two of McKnight’s 15 goals have been scored in league play. Still, his shooting strength and ability to create openings will be a valuable asset in what should be a hard-fought encounter.

There has been no one outstanding team this season and the more successful ones have relied more on solid defence and resolute play than attacking flair. Mucurapo, like Naparima are in that mould. They have been one of the true upsetters in a competition of upsets.

While Naps had the one major battle-with Malick Secondary in the quarterfinals, Mucurapo overcame favoured South Zone league champs St Benedict’s in a penalty shootout at Skinner Park and East/Central runners-up El Dorado Secondary Comprehensive 1-0 at the Arima Velodrome.

The sound goalkeeping of Daurance Williams and the probing passes of Anton Joseph in midfield have been crucial to the Compre success thus far. Joseph’s penalty conversion and Williams’s penalty save put paid to ElDo. But for the champs to be dethroned, the defensive doggedness of stopper Paul Pantin and sharpness in front of goal by the nippy striker Kevon Carter will also be important.

Compre coach, former national captain Selris Figaro, would not have minded if he could have pulled the young Marcelle out of the past and placed him on the field today alongside his assistant, the Mucurapo legend Ian Clauzel.

Clauzel was a famous Intercol loser for Compre on the same ground back in 1978.

But if his charges play it cool today, he could find himself with his hand on the big prize some two decades after the fact.

North versus South The battle through the years:

South’s excellent eight

1967: St Benedict’s 3-0 vs QRC

1969: San Fernando Technical
2-0 vs Belmont

1970: San Fernando
Technical 2-1 vs
St Mary’s

1971: San Fernando Technical
2-0 vs St Mary’s

1972: San Fernando
Technical 2-1 vs

1973: Naparima 2-0 vs

1976: Naparima 1-0 vs

1977: Naparima 1-0 vs
John Donaldson

North’s seven successes

1964: St Mary’s 3-0 vs
St Benedict’s

1965: Fatima (Benedict’s win
2-1, disqualified)
1966: QRC (Benedict’s win
3-1, disqualified)

1968: St Mary’s 4-2 vs
St Benedict’s

1974: Tranquillity 5-1 vs

1978: John Donaldson 2-0 vs

1997: St Anthony’s 2-1 vs St Benedict’s

Naps hunts Intercol double

CIRCLING the cycle track at Skinner Park last year, jubilant supporters of Naparima chanted: "Ohhhh, we go win nex' year!"

That was minutes after "Naps" won its first Intercol football title in 22 years by edging Southern rivals Princes Town 1-0 on an Atiba McKnight goal.

Today, that vow could come to pass when Naparima comes to town to tackle Northerners Mucurapo in the 2000 Royal Bank Intercol final at Queen's Park Oval, from 3.30 pm.McKnight is one of nine surviving members of last year's winning team aiming to score a back-to-back Intercol win for the San Fernando school.

Others include Jace Peters, who was voted 1999 Secondary Schools Football League "Player of the Year," skipper Clint de Verteuil, Fabien Lewis, Roderick Anthony, Brenton de Leon, Wendell Joseph, Lyndon Pompey and Kurt Richards.In addition, they will have the services of talented midfielder Dia Hunte-formerly of St Benedict's- and Tobago's goalkeeper Shai Prescod, who is a member of the national Under-17 team.

But Mucurapo, who last won the title in 1983 with the likes of Clint Marcelle and Ian Clauzel in the side, will be hoping to play spoilers.

Naps make it five


SUDDEN death was seconds away. And the time to seize the moment at the Queen’s Park Oval had long passed when the flying knight arrived.

The Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive defence was reeling under Naparima College substitute Gerol Forbes’s darting left-side run and cross when swoosh! Ateba McKnight, stretched out low and took aim with his head. With one firm flick, he put his school in the history books.

As McKnight’s header flashed past goalkeeper Daurance Williams and the first set of fireworks went off celebrating the 1-0 victory, the Oval took on a blue and white hue.

Those colours were dominant too at presentation time inside the pavilion when former president and Naparima old boy Noor Hassanali presented the Royal Bank Intercol trophy to Naps skipper Clint De Verteuil.

“North, South, East, West, Naparima is the best!” went the chorus from the chortling schoolboys on hand.

And they were right.

For the second straight year and the fifth time in their history, the South Zone school had been crowned national Intercol kings. Only Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive and San Fernando Technical Institute have so much silverware. And Naps completed their full hand with a side reduced to ten men.

“Come next year, I want to add more to it,” gratified Naps coach Jan Steadman remarked at the end.

McKnight, though, could not see beyond yesterday and his sweet, 16th goal of the season.

That priceless item made him, along with Alvin Rostant of the 1970s Technical, part of a rare group of players to have scored in two Intercol finals.

Last season against Princes Town, McKnight also gave Naps the win. And yesterday, he again proved to be Naparima’s man of the moment. For in a tight match on a tough pitch, he produced the inspiration that had been patently absent all afternoon.

After taking a pounding two days earlier in the World Cup fixture between Trinidad and Tobago and Panama, the surface provided a greasy, heavy test for the two teams.

The Mucurapo players especially struggled to keep their footing, far less construct meaningful attacks. And in the opening 20 minutes, they laboured to get out of their own half.

Naparima, though, were no more successful with getting the ball on target and the first half passed tamely.

But the stakes were raised eight minutes into the second period when Naparima defender Kareem Simon was ejected for his second booking, a late tackle on Shawn Andrews.

The Mucurapo players seemed elated. But the adversity only made the southerners dig deeper. Showing the character that has marked their last two seasons, they pressed on, Jace Peters dropping back into midfield leaving Mc Knight on his own up front.

Despite increased possession, Compre could not make their advantage count.

Striker Kevon Carter was livid with himself when Akil Pierre, having spotted his diagonal run to the right side of the penalty area, slipped him a pass from which he shot onto the crossbar.

It was no time for mistakes. But Naps creator Dia Hunte also made one when having weaved his way into the 18-metre box near the byline, he opted to shoot rather than square across the area.

In that moment the bit of inspiration the game desperately needed seemed to have gone.

But coach Steadman still had one last card to play.

Two minutes from regulation time, he sent on Forbes. No sooner had the sub reached the left side of midfield, he was darting toward the byline, on his run of runs.

Over came the cross and two Compre defenders watched as if mesmerised.

Then the knight swooped, preserving the kingdom Naps are building.


Naparima: Clint De Verteuil (Capt), Shai Prescod, Kareem Simon (red card), Lyndel Pompey, Fabien Lewis, Brenton De Leon (Gerol Forbes), Ateba Forde (Wendell Joseph), Roderick Anthony, Dia Hunte, Jace Peters, Ateba McKnight.

Mucurapo: Daurance Williams (Capt), Paul Pantin, Dave Nicholas, Akil Weekes, Bryan Arneaud, Akil Mark, Anton Joseph, Akil Pierre (Nkosi Strong), Shawn Andrews (Revin Samuel), Kevon Carter, Garvin Gulston (Ijana Mark).

Wednesday November 15th, 2000

Mucurapo edges into Intercol final

By Gregory Trujillo

MUCURAPO, coached for the first time by former national captain Selris Figaro, has earned the right to meet defending champions Naparima in the Royal Bank Intercol final Friday at Queen's Park Oval, Port-of-Spain, from 3.30 pm.

The Port-of-Spain school advanced to play for the most prestigious title of the Secondary Schools Football League yesterday by edging El Dorado 1-0 on a slushy field at Arima Municipal Stadium. Naparima reached the final Monday when they clobbered Presentation 4-1 at Skinner Park, San Fernando.

The lone goal yesterday was scored by Anton Joseph in the 42nd minute from the penalty spot. Joseph's penalty was one of three awarded by referee Neil Brizan in the match which was played in pouring rain for the first 30 minutes.

Following a careful start by both sides, Mucurapo's Akil Pierre had the first two tries at goal - one in the 10th minute, the other in the 14th. But his shots missed the upright by inches.

El Do's forward Ochieng Abosi had the first penalty of the match in the 20th minute saved by goalkeeper Daurance Williams, who fisted the ball overbar. It was his first miss from the spot in five kicks this season. The spot kick was awarded when Kieve Vanloo was pulled down by Akil Weekes on the edge of the area.

Two minutes after the miss, Abosi got a chance to redeem himself. But, after receiving a tailor-made pass from Vanloo just outside the six-yard box, his shot was saved by Williams with his feet. Soon afterwards, referee Brizan penalised El Do's left-back Joey Arthur for tripping Kevon Carter while he was making a surging run started on the right flank.

Joseph was asked by coach Figaro to take the kick and he calmly walked up to the ball and slotted it low and away to the right of 'keeper Cecil Thomas. On the stroke of halftime, Sterling O'Brian looked on in awe as his shot grazed the Mucurapo upright with Williams well beaten.

But for the first 15 minutes after the break the game went to pieces and the crowd had nothing to cheer about. The momentum eventually picked up midway in the half after Joseph dribbled three players and shot with his favourite left foot, the ball having to be turned around the post by Thomas.

Speedy Kevon James was causing all sorts of problems in the Mucurapo defence, and from one of his crosses, striker Junior Pamponette failed to get a touch to the ball on the last post. In the 83rd minute, Mucurapo had a chance of increasing its lead when Brizan awarded a penalty for a handled ball by Terrance Mc Allister.

Again, Joseph took the kick. But this time his chest high shot was to the right of Thomas, who dived full length to turn it around the post.

Seizing the day

Sports Desk

YOU never know how a man feels until you walk in his shoes, goes the old saying. Or something like that.

And for the past three weeks, young men across the country have been making tracks, all of them hoping their paths will lead them to the final of Royal Bank Intercol. Intercol!

To schoolboys from Moruga to Mucurapo, it's another word for glory, gratification and girls to schoolboys from Moruga to Mucurapo.

Youngsters and their schools set so much store by this, one of local sports most enduring, emotionally charged events.

The 2000 version of this 92-year-old contest has not been much different from its cousins of years gone by. Except that in these times, pleasure and pain seem to be even more keenly wound into a tight spring that uncoils dramatically every now and then.

So whose shoes would you walk in?

Would you have tried on for size Emmanuel Nurse's the day his Tranquillity side met Benedict's?

Leaping here, blocking there, the Tranquil keeper was Superman until three goals in about 21 minutes, the final one in the fifth mnute of extra time shot him down like deadly blasts of kryptonite. His reddened face told a sad, sad story.

At the Queen's Park Oval last week, so too did the visage of Malick captain Devon Jorsling.

His wet face buried in the soft turf, he was trying to forget the previous 106 draining minutes of battle with champions Naparima. For him the trauma of Jace Peters's extra time winner was simply too much to bear.

Would you trade places with Jeremy Delpino then? A St Mary's standout all season, the wingback had brought his side back from the brink against El Dorado with a late evening blast. But in the penalty shootout, a crossbar got in the way and his side went out with the crash.

He had to walk away, emptiness pouring on emptiness.

Not like Peters, the Naps stopper-turned-striker, elation flooding through his long frame when his shot hit the net against Malick and again and again against Presentation in the semis.

The energy in teammate Dia Hunte though seemed to be in the plaits dancing on top of his head after that game and the whipping of Pres. For him now, the path to glory is just a jig away.

For others, the journey starts again next year, everyone hoping to go the full mile.

And more....

Compre earn final berth

Sports Desk

THE 2000 Royal Bank Intercol final will be a clash between the North and the South.

Yesterday at the Arima Municipal Stadium Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive of the North Zone earned the right to meet the defending champs and South Zone's League runner up Naparima College when they narrowly edged El Dorado Secondary Comprehensive 1-0 in an exciting affair.

In the final, to be contested at the Queen's Park Oval on Friday, Naps will be chasing their fifth title to join Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive and San Fernando Technical Institute as the only two teams to have lifted the title so often.

For Mucurapo, however, it will be their first chance since 1983 to register another lien on the coveted title.

In yesterday's semifinal, ElDorado, whose last success in the Intercol series was back in 1986, gave a good account of themselves. But several missed opportunities—including a penalty—and some poor finishing were mainly responsible for their downfall.

The game got under way in pouring rain which left pools of water on the ground that made ball control very difficult. But as was the case in their quarterfinal match against St Mary's College at the same venue last week, ElDo were the first to settle down.

Kieve Van Loo, Junior Pamponette and Sterling Obrian made several early raids on the Mucurapo goal but on each occasion they found the defence, marshalled by Paul Pantin with support from Dave Nicholas, Akil Weekes and Brizan Arneaud, very difficult to get by.

In the 27th minute of play, the "Blue Thunder" missed a great opportunity to take the lead when referee Neil Brizan ordered a penalty after Van Loo was brought down in the area by a Mucurapo defender. The pom-pom girls from ElDo and the large group of their supporters started to celebrate but they were soon silenced when Mucurapo's custodian Dorrance Williams leapt high to his right to push the Ochieng Abosi's shot over the bar.

One minute later, Abosi had an opportunity to make amends and put his team ahead.

Receiving a neat pass from Pamponette inside the six-metre box, he contrived to put his shot straight at the keeper.

Mucurapo, however, took the lead in the 41st minute against the run of play with what turned out to be the winner.

It came from the penalty spot after striker Kevon Carter broke loose and raced down the right side only to be brought down with a vicious tackle from Joey Carter.

Anton Joseph made no mistake from the spot, beating ElDo's keeper Cecil Thomas with a low well placed shot into the far right-hand corner of the net.

After the interval, Mucurapo came out the more positive and business-like of the teams, getting to the ball faster than their opponents in the early stages.

Surviving the early onslaught, ElDo bounced back into the game, launching several raids on their opponents' goal.

It was only as some brilliant goalkeeping by the two custodians and solid defence work that kept the scoreline unchanged.

Mucurapo should have increased their lead late in the proceedings when they were awarded another penalty.

But Joseph, called up to take the kick again, saw Thomas fling himself to his right to push the ball around the post.

An elated Mucurapo coach, former national defender Selris Figaro said after the match that he was always confident that his team would make it to the final.

"I knew it was there," he told the Daily Express. "As a matter of fact we should have won the league as well."

Naps overrun Pres

Sports Desk

PRESENTATION San Fernando’s Sean Siloch scored a little beauty of a goal yesterday afternoon at Skinner Park. But it was Naparima College who carried off the day’s bounty.

Neither Siloch’s item nor the subsequent efforts of his College teammates could stop “Naps” from setting up another date with history.

The reigning Royal Bank Intercol champions coasted into the final on the strength of a 4-1 whipping of their old rivals in the first semifinal of the series.

They will now await the winner of today’s second semi at the Arima Velodrome between ElDorado Secondary Comprehensive and Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive.

Should ElDo win, the final will be staged at the Velodrome on Thursday. But if Mucurapo taste victory, the venue will be the Queen’s Park Oval on Friday.

Naps captain Clint De Vertueil and his men will not worry too much about the location of the final game, though.

The chance to win their school’s fifth national Intercol crown and join Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive and San Fernando Technical Institute as the tournament’s most successful teams since the formation of the Colleges Football League will be motivation enough.

The more immediate desire to hold on to their crown was what powered yesterday’s win. But the champs got a little help.

Presentation’s National Under-17 goalkeeper Marvin Phillip will want to forget the first 12 minutes of the game.

In front of a Park with the stands packed to the brim, he made two errors which produced two goals in the space of two minutes.

Both mistakes came off right-side corners.

The first saw Phillip race out of his citadel in a vain attempt to reach a ball that Jace Peters was able to calmly head into an empty goal. It was the first of a double for the converted striker.

The second Naparima goal, though, went to Peters’s striking partner Ateba McKnight.

This time, Phillip failed to hold onto an initial effort on goal and McKnight was on spot to take advantage and again head home.

An already tough job had now been made doubly difficult for Pres. But within five minutes, Siloch had halved the deficit.

With his back to goal just outside the penalty area, he conjured up a chance out of virtually nothing. Turning on his marker, the tall, gangling markman executed a deft chip that put the ball out of the reach of goalkeeper Shai Prescod.

Three goals in 17 minutes and the Park was primed for more excitement.

But little else in this game approached the drama of that opening period.

Apart from Siloch’s goal and a move soon afterwards in which Shay Sutherland put a sidefooter wide from the left edge of the six-metre box, Pres did little.

They found great difficulty creating chances and Siloch, spearheading the attack, spent most of the game as a spectator.

His colleagues in defence, however, had their hands full keeping track of the roving Peters and McKnight.

In the second half, though, Siloch had a chance to grab the equaliser but well placed to hit home, he put his shot straight at Prescod.

After that the game ambled along until Brenton De Leon settled the issue in the 69th minute, rifling home a loose ball that the Presentation defence had failed to clear.

Two minutes from the end, Peters, looking suspiciously offside as he collected a high bouncing ball behind the defence, deepened Pres’s misery with a left-footed blast.

“Pres go home! Pres go home!”

The Naparima boys were in good voice.

Not surprisingly. They after all still have a final saviour.

Monday November 13th, 2000

‘Naps’ vs ‘Pres’ in grudge match


WHEN the draw was made up for this year’s edition of the Royal Bank Intercol competition, a semifinal match-up between Naparima and Presentation College was not a likely fixture.

Similarly, Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive in the final four would not have been many people’s first pick. But such has been the unpredictability and the drama of this 2000 competition, that the unexpected has almost become the norm.

Already, there have been six matches that have stretched into extra time, three of them going all the way to a penalty shootout.

Who then is to say what the final pairing will be at the Queen’s Park Oval this coming Saturday when the tournament ends.

This afternoon at Skinner Park, the defending champions Naparima will attempt to get there for the second straight year when they play their oldest rivals, Presentation.

The Naps boys may feel like they have already played a final. Last week's gritty quarter final battle with Big Four winners Malick Secondary Comprehensive saw then win in the sixth minute of the second half of sudden death extra time. That Jace Peters winner kept Naps’ season alive.

The consistency that saw them sweep all three titles open to them last year, has been missing this time. But still, Naps have only lost twice this term, both times to St Benedict’s College.

Getting over the Malick hurdle leaves them as favourites. Naps have also beaten Pres twice, the second occasion being a 5-1 thrashing at today’s venue.

But Naparima skipper Clint De Verteuil and his players would best be advised to forget about that win.

Since they beat Holy Cross College 4-2 in the first round, Presentation have moved steadily on. East/Central champs Arima Senior Comprehensive were stopped 2-0 in the second round and Trinity College were edged 1-0. In Sean Siloch, Pres also have the tournament’s leading goalscorer.

Intercol, as this series has already shown, is a great equaliser. And the longer the game remains level, the greater will be the danger for Naps.

In the other semifinal to be played tomorrow at the Arima Velodrome, El Dorado Secondary Comprehensive have the opportunity to progress to their first Intercol final since 1986 when they won it all.

Last season, the easterners seemed capable of doubling their haul until Malick dismantled them in the quarterfinals.

This time, they have made low-key progress in the early rounds. Their quarter final against St Mary’s College though tested them to the full. But ElDo survived a CIC comeback that took the game into extra time to prevail 3-2 on penalties. Their game seems steady enough to get them over Mucurapo today.

But Compre also have lost time to make up for.

The North Zone side won their only national title way back in 1983 when Intercol was decided through round-robin play.

And they got to this semifinal stage via a slightly fortuitous bye after Elizabeth’s College of Tobago was disqualified and Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive refused to take their place.

Compre though, while not prolific in front of goal, are solid enough on their better days to make tomorrow’s contest a hard-fought, close one.

The knowledge that in their last game, they travelled into the cauldron of Skinner Park and beat favourites St Benedict’s (4-2 on penalties) will fortify them.

More of that form today, and the final will have a maroon presence.

ElDo into quarters


IN marks out of ten, Fatima College goalkeeper Declan Squires would easily have earned eight for his work yesterday afternoon on St Anthony’s ground.

 Anticipating well, advancing bravely and showing good athleticism, he distinguished himself in a creditable team performance in Royal Bank Intercol. But the two marks the little man lost yesterday will haunt him for days.

 The second half of the second round fixture against ElDorado Secondary Comprehensive was just past the quarter mark and the rain was pouring down when Squires went for a speculative, ill-directed left-side Kevin James cross.

 But in attempting to catch the ball, to the horror of his schoolmates on and off the field, Squires put it into the net via his hands and his head! That was the first of two swift strikes that took East/Central Zone runners-up ElDo into the quarterfinals of the tournament for the second straight year.

 At Skinner Park, Mucurapo sprang a major surprise, putting South Zone league champions St Benedict’s out of the tournament. Compre had looked like doing it right up until the dying minutes of regulation time before the Southerners scored a crucial equaliser to give themselves a second wind. It proved an illusion.

 In the penalty shootout that followed the end of the 90 minutes, it was Mucurapo who kept their nerve and their aim to emerge 4-2 victors.

 ElDorado captain Jesse De Four and his men will be glad to put this match behind them and carry East/Central hopes another step. For yesterday, the North’s Senior Division qualifiers were their equals up until those two crucial minutes when James and Junior Pamponette liberated ElDo. 

 A largely sterile game, devoid of much attacking enterprise, would still have encouraged Fatima’s hopeful travelling support, though. The “Blue Thunder” saw their attacks fizzle in the face of determined marking and tracking by the Fatima midfield and defence.

 In front of Squires, tall stopper Brandon Cuffie was imposing and Marvin Martinez on the left side of midfield was a key outlet in the first half.

 Things might have turned out much differently had Rafael Jones’s fine curling right-footer not smacked the crossbar after beating the leaping keeper Cecil Thomas. The game was only about 20 minutes old but Fatima never came so close again. And in the first period, ElDo fared no better.

 But things changed for them 13 minutes into the second half. The hot dry afternoon was dull and wet when Squires made his fatal slip. A Fatima boy bowed his head and held on to it tight.

 And before his mates on the field could refocus, Pamponette nailed their coffin shut.

 Running undetected from the left side into the penalty area, he rifled his shot into the far corner. 

 Having gone a whole league season and one Intercol match without conceding a goal, Fatima had given up two in two minutes.

 The “Thunder” had been finding greater penetration on the left side of the Fatima defence in the second half, second half substitute Sterling O’Brien being the chief exploiter. And before the end of the game, the Easterners should have doubled their lead.

 The little boys taking their soaking in the rain were still chanting “go Fatima!” in the dying minutes. But their side was already gone. Until next year. 

Yesterday’s scores

Fatima....0 El Dorado....2 (K.James, J.Pamponette)

St Benedict’s....1 Mucurapo.....1 (Mucurapo won 4-2 on penalties)

Benedict's sent packing again

Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive stormed into the quarter-finals of the 2000 Royal Bank Intercol series yesterday when it got the better of St Benedict's College 4-2 on penalty kicks at Skinner Park.

Based on history and the record of the two teams this season, the result would appear to be the biggest upset of this year's action. But having to judge from yesterday's opening whistle, neutral fans would surely have placed their bets on the North Zone team.

After grabbing a 19th minute lead through Anton Joseph, Mucurapo was forced to play 30 minutes of sudden-death extra time after Kendell "Neck" Davis gave the southerners a second life with an injury time equaliser to leave the scores at 1-1 and force extra time and the eventual shootout. But, having finished the regular season as the leading goalscorer with 17 goals, Davis went from hero to villain. Having squandered several scoring chances at vital stages of yesterday's game before redeeming himself on the stroke of full time, Davis then missed one of his team's attempts during the shootout.

But Benedict's was never able to take command yesterday. Its defence failed to clear on at least three occasions eventually resulting in a free kick on the edge of the penalty box which lead to Mucurapo's goal. Goalkeeper Sadiki Stewart lost sight of Joseph's kick which ended in the right corner of the net.

Benedict's was making several inroads into the opposing half but lacked the necessary touches to break the "Compre" defence of Paul Pantin, Dave Nicholas and Bryan Arneaud. Nkosi Blackman and Davis brought the best out of goalie Daurance Williams nearing the interval. Down 1-0, the southern fans were obviously anticipating the La Romain "Lions" to come back out of the dressing room roaring. Instead, it was the small bunch of loud "Compre" fans who were making their presence felt in a big way as the minutes ticked away.

Kevon Carter almost sealed the match in the 77th minute when his effort came off the left near post.
Then, just as some fans began strolling out of the Park with their heads hanging while Benedict's coach Muhammad Isa and his technical staff fought to hold straight faces, "Neck" popped up to force extra time. A free kick from the right side went through the "Compre" defence and Davis was on spot to head home to send the Benedict's stand rocking.

Blackman, Davis and Dennison Scipio then missed clear-cut chances on either side of extra time.
Then it was time for a winner from the "lottery" system of selecting a winner and Mucurapo coach Selris Figaro's side made sure there was no coming back for Benedict's. Keith Williams and Weakes converted for the "Saints" but Williams then came up big to deny Davis and Andre Alexis. Arneaud, Joseph, Pantin and Shawn Andrews converted their kicks to silence the Park and send Benedict's, who was also beaten in the "Big Four" final by Malick, packing yet again.


Tuesday November 7th, 2000

Elizabeth’s score big Intercol upset

ELIZABETH'S College sprang one of the biggest Intercol upsets in years yesterday when they beat Tobago giants Signal Hill Senior Comprehensive.

But the joy brought by that 3-1 second round win at Shaw Park inspired by a Damian Leacock hattrick, may be shortlived.

According to 2nd Vice President of the Secondary Football League, Theophilus Trim, Elizabeth’s fielded three players whose eligibility was being questioned by the SSFL.

Trim said the league’s credentials committee had found “a number of anomalies in their registration,” and had suspended the players until the school could provide further information.

The school he said, had been notified about the decision by letter. The Elizabeth’s matter is one of a growing list of matters that requires a judgment by the SSFL.

Today, the league is to hear a protest by St Anthony’s College over the elgibility of Naparima College player Dia Hunte who scored a double in his side’s 3-0 win over St Anthony’s in the first round.

Signal Hill conquered

TOBAGO champions, Signal Hill, finally were conquered yesterday. Having not lost a game in the sister isle all season, " The Hill" was finally stopped by neighbours Elizabeth's College 3-1 in the quarter-finals of the Royal Bank Intercol, the biggest upset of the series.

Signal Hill had a 1-0 lead at the interval thanks to an 18th minute strike from Gregory Khan.But the Tobago powerhouse found the going difficult in the second-half as Elizabeth's mid-fielder, Damion Leacock, took over, notching a hattrick in the 56th, 69th and 79th minutes.

It was only the second time in a decade that Signal Hill lost to a Tobago side in the Intercol. They were beaten in 1992 by the Roxborough. Elizabeth's will now face Mucurapo on Thursday in a quarter-final at Shaw Park.

Presentation, meanwhile, became the first team to reach the semi-finals after edging out Trinity 1-0 at Skinner Park. A lone goal by Michael Rogers 10 minutes from the close earned the San Fernando school a spot in the final four. Rogers received a through ball on the right flank from midfield and shot past the Trinity custodian from just inside the penalty area to send the Presentation supporters in a frenzy.

Presentation will now wait on the winner tomorrow's Malick/Naparima clash at the Queen's Park Oval.  Today, St Mary's will oppose El Dorado at the Arima Municipal Stadium in the other quarter-final, from 4 pm.

Friday November 3rd, 2000

Intercol boiling over

THIS year's Royal Bank Intercol series has almost reached boiling point. After a hectic first round, in which several top contenders were knocked out, the teams and their fans are now getting ready for another hectic round of action this week. The preparation of flags and other kinds of paraphernalia and the "beefing up" of rhythm sections will, therefore, continue in earnest as the fans get ready for more action.

Fatima is one of the teams ready to make an impact. The Mucurapo boys, who played in the Senior Division of the North Zone this year and have earned promotion back to the top flight for next season, showed they had not lost touch with the "big times" by advancing to the second phase of the series last week. But Fatima will now face an even more difficult task as they come up against East powerhouse El Dorado on Friday. Malick, the 2000 "Big Four" champs, goes into action today.

They come up against Toco at the Arima Municipal Stadium from 3.30 pm. Also down to play today are Pleasantville and Trinity, who meet at Westmoorings at the same time.

First round results:

Presentation 4 v Holy Cross 2; Naparima 2 v St Augustine 1; Malick 7 v Moruga 0; Trinity 5 v Fyzabad 1; Bishop's 3 v Roxborough 2; Toco 1 v Chagauanas Senior 0; Arima 4 v Vessigny 0; Mayaro 3 v Barataria 2; Scarborough 0 v Elizabeth's 1; St Mary's 3 v Success/Laventille 0; Tranquillity 3 v St Benedict's 4; St Anthony's 3 v QRC 3 (St Anthony's won 4-2 on penalties); Mucurapo 6 v Presentation Chaguanas 1; El Dorado 1 v Carapichaima 0; San Juan 2 v Pleasantville 3; Princes Town 0 v Fatima 2; Signal Hill -bye.

(Second Round)

Signal Hill 2 v Bishop's 0.
Playing Today: Toco v Malick, Arima Municipal Stadium; Pleasantville v Trinity, St Anthony's, 3.30 pm.
Playing Friday: Fatima v El Dorado, St Anthony's, 3.30 pm; St Benedict's v Mucurapo, Skinner Park, 4 pm.
Playing Saturday: St Mary's v Mayaro, Fatima ground, 3.30 pm.

Malick, Trinity cruise into semis

GOALS win matches and it doesn't matter how fashionable they look. And yesterday, Malick, benefitting from three glaring goalkeeping errors, marched into the quarter-finals of the Royal Bank Intercol series after a 3-1 win over Toco at the Arima Municipal Stadium. In another game yesterday, Trinity crushed Pleasantville 5-0.

A double by Kevon Serrette and another strike by substitute Kareem Joseph, goals that can be best described as "gifts" from Toco goalkeeper Rinaldo Brewster, booked Malick a meeting with defending champion Naparima next week.

Toco's only goal came via a penalty from Devon Alexander, who found the net for the16th time this season with that effort. Despite non-stop support from the fans, Toco was let down by Brewster, who did everything right until the 23rd minute when he ran out to make a clearance from a left-side cross by Joel Marquis.

He missed the ball entirely and it rolled beautifully for Serrette, running in from the right, to walk it over the line.
Most of Toco's attacks were centred around Alexander, who caused the world of worry to the Malick midfield and defenders with his speed, clever dribbling and ball control. And in the 36th minute, while making one of his telling runs from centre field, Alexander was sandwiched in the box by Zambo Swift and Anson Streete.

Referee Jaggernauth Goolcharan immediately pointed to the penalty spot and Alexander himself got up and neatly placed a shot to the right of Malick goalie Nasif Joefield to make it 1-1. Both teams fought for the advantage in the second half and it was not until the 62nd minute that the deadlock was broken by Malick. Marquis rifled a low left-footer from just outside the area towards goal. The ball flew to the left of Brewster, who again failed to hold cleanly, and Serrette was left with the easy task of tapping home.

Error number three from Brewster came in the 75th minute. Again it was Marquis who dribbled his way down the left flank and weaved his way past three defenders before crossing. Brewster made a mess of Marquis' cross, parrying the ball straight onto the boot of Young who was standing almost on the goalline. At Westmoorings, Pleasantville were unlucky not to take the lead after 20 minutes when Dillon Mitchells' header came crashing off the woodwork.

But the boys from Moka eventually settled down to take the lead thanks to an own goal from Jamal Young.
Nine minutes after the resumption Oni Thomas got Trinity's second when his low right footer beat goalkeeper Julien Providence at his far post. Kerwyn Ramkisoon added the third item slipping the ball under a diving Providence after some clever work from Kieron Benito. Hyron Brown then netted goals four and five (65th and 70th) as Trinity rounded off an impressive performance.



Trinity snatch 5-0 victory


 PLEASANTVILLE'S Intercol dreams were dashed during a 30-minute period.

In their Royal Bank Intercol second round match against Trinity College yesterday at St Anthony’s College Ground, Pleasantville saw a goalless scorecard go to 5-0 against them as the “Moka Boys” advanced to the quarterfinals of the knockout competition.

 It was a dominating Trinity side that gave Pleasantville a reality check. 

 Buoyed by their 3-2 defeat of San Juan last week to reach to this stage, Pleasantville pegged themselves back in the penultimate minute of the first half.

 Their lethargic game yesterday was a stark contrast to the sharpness they showed against San Juan. But their defence failed to pick up Clevon George from a short corner. Kerwin Ramkissoon’s header from George’s cross was going wide of Julien Prudence’s uprights before Nicholas Ramjaran could only blast it into the net.

 It signalled just the beginning of the four more goals to come.

 Their heady feelings must have faded when Trinity striker Oni Thomas made an individual run into the box before hitting past Providence. 

That was followed shortly by Ramkisson’s right-footer from Thomas’s square that beat Providence once more.

 The real dismal status of their situation must have been evident to them by now.

 But Trinity made it certain with their fourth and fifth goal from Hyron Brown.

 From advancing to being kicked out in the matter of a few days, Pleasantville had seen their dreams of Intercol come crashing down.

 Yesterday’s Scores

 Pleasantville 0 Trinity 5 (own goal, H. Brown 2, O. Thomas, K. Ramkissoon)

Malick 3 (K. Serrette 2, K. Joseph) Toco 1(D. Alexander)