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SAVE Naparima goalkeeper Levi Fernandez makes the first save in the sudden death penalty shoot out during the Coca-Cola Intercol National Boys’ final between Naparima College and San Juan Secondary at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, last evening. Naparima won 4-3 on penalties.
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Na­pari­ma Col­lege is the 2018 Co­ca-Co­la Na­tion­al In­ter­col cham­pi­ons af­ter the team de­feat­ed San Juan North Sec­ondary School 4-3 from the penal­ty spot in an ex­cit­ing fi­nal at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um in Cou­va yes­ter­day.

Watched by a large crowd that in­clud­ed the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith, who met the play­ers be­fore kick-off, the south­ern­ers added the pres­ti­gious sil­ver­ware to the Sec­ondary School Foot­ball League (SS­FL) Pre­mier Di­vi­sion and South In­ter­col ti­tles, for an im­pres­sive triple crown this sea­son.

Af­ter a goal­less 90 min­utes of foot­ball, Na­pari­ma goal­keep­er Levi Fer­nan­dez held on to Jer­ry Mor­ris' ef­fort from the spot for his team­mate Tyrike An­drews to equalise at 3-3 and send the game in­to sud­den-death penal­ty kicks.

In the first shootout, San Juan's Ak­il John­son missed when his shot re­bound­ed off the up­right. Then with a per­fect sea­son on the line, Seon Ship­ley made no mis­take with his at­tempt from the spot which sends the crowd in­to wild cel­e­bra­tions as the ball hit the net at the back of the goal.

In the ear­ly ac­tion of the match-up, San Juan mount­ed a se­ries of ear­ly at­tacks that had Na­pari­ma on the de­fence in the first half as both teams were play­ing at that venue for the first time this sea­son but San Juan was play­ing like it was their home ground.

San Juan thought they might have scored when Elair Brew­ster's well-float­ed ball from a left side free-kick found the head of Re­nal­do Boyce, but it can­noned off the cross­bar and in­to safe­ty.

Na­pari­ma came to life in the lat­ter part of the first half and from a Deck­lan Mar­celle's cross from the left, they got their first chance at goal. How­ev­er, Isa Bram­ble con­nect­ing head­er did not trou­ble keep­er Em­manuel John in the 32nd minute. With ho­n­ours even af­ter that at­tempt on the San Juan goal, the teams went in­to the dress­ing room even­ly matched as the half-time score­line stayed goal­less.

Af­ter­wards, both teams can­celled each oth­er out in the ear­ly part of the ses­sion un­til San Juan's Brew­ster got a rare chance from a ball that was loft­ed in­side the penal­ty area. How­ev­er, his weak at­tempt was quick­ly se­cured by Na­pari­ma goal­keep­er Levi Fer­nan­dez.

The south­ern­ers re­ceived re­newed en­er­gy when Mark Ramdeen turned and twist­ed his mark­er on the left flank be­fore his thun­der­ous dri­ve can­noned off the cross­bar and safe­ty be­hind the goal line. As play con­tin­ued with both teams seek­ing ti­tle ho­n­ours and brag­ging rights, both sides could not be sep­a­rat­ed, and they had to set­tle the af­fair from the penal­ty spot.

Teams

Naparima College (4-2-3-1): Levi Fernandez (GK) (C); 5.Daquon Foster, 4.Tyrike Andrews, 13.Jeron Pantor, 15.Marvin Waldrop; 6.Shoaib Khan, 17.Nathaniel Perouse; 10.Declan Marcelle (9.Ezekiel Kesar), 8.Kodel Frontin, 7.Mark Ramdeen; 19. Isa Bramble (20.Seon Shippley).

Unused Substitutes: 12.Asukile Christopher, 14.Molik Khan, 16.Akil Johnson,  24.Jabari Lee, 30.Enrique Changiah.

Coach: Angus Eve

San Juan North Secondary (4-2-3-1): 1.Emmanuel John (GK); 19.Adrian Duncan (10.Jerry Morris), 4.Elisha Garcia, 22.Kyle Thomas, 17.Kareem John; 14.Darion Warner, 18.Malik Farrier; 2.Tyrell Cameron (13.Christon Mitchell), 3.Elair Brewster (16.Obadele Dickson), 11.Isaiah Chase; 9.Renaldo Boyce (C).

Unused Substitutes: 6.Jordan Britto, 8.Jeremiah Rodriguez, 12.Mattias Kendo, 30.Emmanuel Clarke.

Coach: Jerry Moe

RELATED NEWS

Naparima crowned National Intercol champions.
T&T Newsday Reports.


NAPARIMA College's captain and custodian, Levi Fernandez, produced a spectacular performance in the final of the National Coca-Cola Intercol by flying exceptionally well throughout the game before saving three penalties in an intense shootout. San Juan North Secondary fell victim to a 4-3 loss from the spot at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, after the match ended 0-0 in regulation time. With penalty kicks deciding the newly crowned 2018 Champions, Fernandez saved his side's perfect season and captured the title which eluded them for the past three years.

San Juan's winger, Isaiah Chase, tested Fernandez in the early minutes of the match by taking two shots from distance but the goalkeeper was well alert to the tasks at hand. Naps thought they had opened the scoring in the 22nd minute from a set piece but the goal was ruled offside despite Isa Bramble placing the cross into the back of the net.

Fernandez was in flying form when he saved a powerful shot from San Juan's captain, Ronaldo Boyce in the 47th minute. Two minutes later Chase skied his effort from outside the box. Naparima's midfielder, Mark Ramdeen, then crept into the game when his shot struck the post in the 63rd minute. Fernandez was then called to action in the 72nd minute when he had to dive low to deny Chase of a goal from a shot inside the six-yard box.

Boyce then had his second attempt blocked five minutes later by the unbeatable custodian. The score remained 0-0 until the end of the match as both goalkeepers made their impact. Elisha Garcia managed to save two consecutive shots in the shootout for San Juan North but they were unable to captivate from their advantage.

Speaking after the match, MVP of the match, Fernandez said, "Being the captain of this spectacular side for this season it was a big responsibility for me and when everyone thought it was over in the shootout, I was still calm and confident in myself that I would save at least one penalty." He continued, "It is a remarkable feat to go unbeaten for the entire season and to keep five clean sheets in the Intercol. We know it would have been a physical game against a strong team but I think I did my job which was to keep the ball from hitting the back of the net and we give thanks to God for us achieving this prestigious milestone."

Naps celebrate Intercol victory.
By Radhica De Silva (Guardian).


Cel­e­brat­ing their Triple Crown vic­to­ry hav­ing emerged In­ter­col cham­pi­ons for the third time in their school's his­to­ry, foot­ballers of Na­pari­ma Col­lege held a spe­cial as­sem­bly at their school in San Fer­nan­do on Wednes­day.

As their school­mates ap­plaud­ed lusti­ly, the foot­ballers pre­sent­ed their foot­ball tro­phies to the au­di­ence hav­ing copped the Pre­mier League cham­pi­onship, the South In­ter­col cham­pi­onship and the 2018 Co­ca-Co­la Na­tion­al In­ter­col Cham­pi­onship.

Prin­ci­pal Dr Michael Dowlath said the foot­ballers were un­de­feat­ed through­out the sea­son and de­spite the nail-bit­ing fi­nal match and the star­tling penal­ty kicks by their op­po­nent San Juan Sec­ondary, the Na­pari­ma foot­ballers emerged vic­to­ri­ous­ly.

Dowlath said the school was proud as it was the third time that it won the Triple Crown hav­ing copped the ti­tles in 1999, 2015 and 2018.

"The sup­port from the stu­dent's rhythm sec­tion was re­al­ly out­stand­ing this year. This type of suc­cess is an ex­am­ple of the kind of holis­tic ed­u­ca­tion that we pride our­selves in at Na­pari­ma Col­lege," Dowlath said.

He added that it was not the on­ly suc­cess achieved at the school this year.

"We al­so won the Ju­nior Achiev­ers Lead­er­ship de­bate se­ries this term and the Na­tion­al Chess Cham­pi­onship as well. We re­al­ly try to de­vel­op all-around men and we are proud of the stu­dents and their com­mit­ment and per­se­ver­ance to their aca­d­e­m­ic and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties," Dowlath added.

Dowlath al­so ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the coach­ing staff led An­gus Eve and man­ag­er Percey Sam­lals­ingh who played foot­ball for Na­pari­ma Col­lege.

"We want to rec­og­nize that foot­ball is a great part of the Na­pari­ma Col­lege. We have pro­duced Mark Ramdeen who was a mem­ber of the Na­tion­al Un­der 20 team. We con­tin­ue to pro­duce play­ers who go on to top Na­tion­al suc­cess," Dowlath added.

He al­so said that the school had 14 na­tion­al ti­tles, the most of any sec­ondary school in T&T.

Re­spond­ing to the Na­pari­ma vic­to­ry Coach Eve said the school has been suc­cess­ful in foot­ball over the past few years.

"That con­sis­ten­cy was proven by us play­ing the en­tire sea­son un­de­feat­ed and when we went in­to the In­ter­col we said we will not con­cede any goals. The boys showed their dis­ci­pline and that is the hall­mark of the school it­self. Every one of my 25 play­ers was tremen­dous. Cap­tain Levi Fer­nan­dez was un­be­liev­able in his lead­er­ship," Eze said.

He thanked all the play­ers, de­fend­ers, strik­ers, mid-field­ers, their par­ents, mem­bers of staff, spon­sors and the prin­ci­pal for help­ing the team to se­cure the vic­to­ry.