St Anthony’s College did a Donald Trump yesterday.
They won their Coca-Cola InterCol quarter-final clash with Fatima College with more ease than seemed would be the case initially, as did the United States’ new president-elect in Monday’s elections. But following a goalless first half, Che Benny’s 11-minute hat-trick powered them to a 5-0 victory and a North Zone semi-final meeting with East Mucurapo Secondary next week.
The “Tigers” were not the day’s hungriest team however, since national champions Naparima College downed Moruga Secondary 7-1 in a South Zone quarter-final.
In the first match of a double header at Mahaica Oval, Fyabad Secondary beat Pleasantville Secondary 3-1. They will now meet Shiva Boys Hindu College in one South Zone semi-final.
At St Mary’s ground, the final result was hard on Fatima — already demoted from the Premier Division — who battled gallantly in the first half, defending desperately, while also benefitting from some sloppy St Anthony’s finishing. Fatima also had a penalty claim for hand-ball denied and came close to taking the lead themselves through a Liam De Verteuil effort that was cleared off the line near the end of the first period.
To that point, the match seemed to be following the pattern of St Benedict’s College’s 1-0 upset of the St Anthony’s “Tigers” in the Premier Division, that sparked that southern side’s great escape from relegation.
But Benny, a constant threat to the Fatima defence with his dribbling, finally found a cutting edge to his game early in the second period, as Fatima lost their discipline, defender Joshua Pierre in particular.
He upended the elusive Benny with a hand to his face that earned him a first yellow card, and more crucially, gave Benny a chance to take a free kick just outside the 18-metre box, which he curled low into the left-hand corner of goalkeeper Jacob Camacho’s net in the 52nd minute.
The floodgates on a wet afternoon were opened, and Benny “soaked” Fatima further with another free kick six minutes later and a shot from a central position inside the “18”, after he had shifted one defender to make room in the 63rd.
Benny’s partner in crime in the Tigers attack, Kathon St Hillaire added a fourth in the 79th, by which time Fatima were feeling the hurt.
Pierre, then added to that pain when he earned himself a second yellow and an ejection for a rash challenge on St Anthony’s skipper Jules Lee, who was given a straight red for retaliation.
Both sides were now down to 10 men, but Fatima were in far worse shape and a Tigers substitute added to their misery with an 84th minute item.
Keeper Camacho could have done better with the tame shot. And he seemed to have a hard time getting over that blunder.
It was really, a hard way to end a hard season.
South Zone Quarterfinals
Fyzabad 3 Pleasantville 1
Naparima 7 Moruga 1
North Zone Quarterfinal
St Anthony’s 5 (Che Benny 3, Kathon St Hillaire, Krishon Alexander) Fatima 0
East Zone Quarterfinals
Trinity College East 5 Five Rivers 0
St Augustine 8 Toco 0
Tobago Zone Quarterfinal
Speyside High 8 Pentecostal Light & Life 0
North Zone Preliminary
Malick 6 Maple Leaf International 0
South Zone Quarterfinal
Presentation vs Princes Town West, Lewis Street