Red was the colour of celebration yesterday, as St Anthony’s College clawed their way to yet another national Coca Cola InterCol title after a testing 2-0 victory over St Augustine Secondary at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
It was not easy for the “Tigers” from Westmoorings to stall the “Green Machine” and the North Zone champions got some breaks, but in the end they did look the better team overall.
The result means St Anthony’s are joint first atop the all-time list of InterCol winners with Naparima College and Signal Hill Secondary with six such titles, and second on the overall list of national wins (including “Big Five”) with nine, alongside St Augustine and Naparima, and one behind leaders Signal Hill (ten).
The Tigers were also the last team to defend their InterCol title, which they also did in 2003.
St Anthony’s dominated the first half and had more chances as St Augustine defended deep, waiting to counter-attack. But the Tigers were not clinical enough, and St Augustine created problems for them with long overhead balls, and sometimes a diagonal run from the left.
St Augustine striker Ricardo John was unfortunate to be called for offside before St Anthony’s took advantage of some lax defending to edge in front. The Green Machine fans were celebrating in the 37th minute when John headed in on the third St Augustine try with the St Anthony’s defence all at sea, until they realised the assistant referee had raised his flag.
To add insult to injury, St Anthony’s took the lead seven minutes later. One too many times, St Augustine were caught sitting deep, waiting on the Tigers to make a mistake and this time they did not.
Having won the ball deep in St Augustine’s half, the Tigers shuffled around the passes until Carlton Long had space to slip the ball from centre to right, and a surging Millette slammed it into the roof of the net with his right foot.
That ended the half in their favour, and left St Augustine with work to do.
However, the determination that has been the hallmark of St Augustine’s InterCol campaign this year surfaced in the second period, particularly through the hard work of Jordan Devonish, whose approaches from both the centre and the right represented clear and present danger.
Twice in the space of two minutes they missed close shots on goal, one called for offside and the other by Devonish, who would later fire overbars from good shooting range off a cross from Kwesi Williams in the 64th minute. But it just wasn’t going to be their night.
Although his pass provided the opener, Long just did not have his shooting boots on. He missed twice more from inside the penalty area with a free shot on offer.
Keane McIvor sealed the affair in the 82nd from 20 metres thanks to a pass from Kadeem Corbin. McIvor completed the counter-attack when given too much room outside the penalty area, and he made space on his left foot, unattended and drilled past Romain with the help of a slight deflection.
Andrews had the last chance of the match with a few minutes remaining, hitting wide from the left of goal.
In the end the effort meant little as the Tigers hoisted the trophy for a second successive year to the chants cheers and drums of jubilant supporters. It gave them yet another taste of history.
Tigers claim 6th National Intercol title.
By Kevin Sunich (Newsday).
ST ANTHONY’s College outplayed St Augustine 2-0 in the final to retain their Coca Cola Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) National Intercol title at the Hasely Crawford Stadium yesterday.
Adrian Millette and Kean McIvor found the net to give the defending champs their sixth intercol title. The match which was witnessed by a fair sized crowd, most of whom were supporters of the Westmooring Tigers had a Carnival style atmosphere.
The Tigers enjoyed the better of the first half as they had more chances and more possession. The “Green Machine” who also had a couple of chances in the first period resorted to sitting back and allowing the North Zone champions to do as they wanted. Adrian Millette should have scored in the 20th minute however, his shot went just wide of the target.
The Tigers point man Shaquille Long then saw his point blank range shot saved by Romain Romario.
Gustine who had a couple of chances go wide of the mark could count themselves unlucky as a Ricardo John goal in the 35 minute was disallowed after the linesman raised his flag on the play which came from a left side free-kick.
The home team would however, take the lead just before the final whistle as Millette ran onto a pass on right side of the box before firing past Romario which sparked wild celebration by the St Anthony’s supporters.
Gustine started the second with more purpose and got two early chances. First John ran onto a through pass, however, he was denied by a defender in the box. A minute later Jordan Devonish ran onto a pass, evaded an advancing Sample in the box, but over ran the ball and it was cleared by a defender.
At the other end Trevin Latapy went just wide of the target for Tigers in the 55th minute.
They had another chance in the 66 minute however, Long’s shot from a left side cross went high over the bar from the top of the six-yard box.
Gustine’s captain Nicholas Marcano went just over the bar from a 35-yards right side free-kick in the 69th minute.
The St Anthony’s rhythm section was so loud that it corked the St Augustine supporters.
Gustine after starting the second half on the attack soon resorted to once again sitting back and allowing the Tigers to their way.
Mc Ivor then put the icing on the cake with a beauty, hammering a left foot shot from 35-yards out which flew past a helpless Romario in the 82nd minute to make it 2-0.
Gustine had a couple of chances last but the St Anthony’s defence was equal to the task as they held on for the win.
Tigers head coach Nigel Grosvenor said it was just reward for the team this season. “It has not been easy for us this season. We have lost a number of players due to injury this season and this is a welcome title. We have worked very hard and the boys did what they had to do and it resulted in this title.
Meanwhile Gustine’s coach Michael Grayson said they have only themselves to blame for the defeat.
“When you don’t put away your chances it will hurt you. We had our chances in the first half and we failed to convert and that could have been the turning point,” said Grayson.
He said the result however, would have been different had his three national Under-17 players been on the pitch and not in Colombia.