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A 92nd-minute strike from midfielder, Jardel Sinclair, put an end to Presentation College San Fernando’s 44-year Coca Cola National Intercol title drought and also sank hearts of the San Juan North-faithful when action climaxed in the 2019 finals at Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, on Wednesday.

fter 94 minutes of end-to-end action, Presentation College emerged 2-1 winners following a gruelling encounter which was sadly marred by an ugly last-minute spat, resulting in three players being sent off in the dying seconds. Amidst an explosion of celebration, coach of the newly-crowned champions, Sean Cooper, seemed lost for words after the well-deserved victory.

“Great!” he said, followed by a long pause. “Great! We worked hard for it. Nobody expected us to do this well this year. It’s our rebuilding year. The win is even sweeter having conquered perennial champions Naparima College along the way. More importantly, we kept the titles in South. Despite what anyone says, South continues to dominate schools football.”

In the opening minutes of the first period, San Juan North looked good up front while "Pres" seemed to have a shaky start. San Juan though, capitalised on their fluidity and silenced the hundreds of chanting South fans when Isaiah Chase latched on to a loose ball, in the Presentation area, and notched home the opening goal in the fifth minute.

The "Pres Lions" though, seemed undaunted. Trailing by one goal in the early stages, the Aleem Barclay-led unit buckled down and began to string some nice passes together. Forwards, Ackeel “Hulk” Jacob and Jaiye Sheppard continuously ran at the San Juan defence as they pressed for the equalising goal. San Juan also created several chances but the "Pres" backline stood firm.

With minutes to go before the break, Presentation's custodian launched a long ball which fell to the feet of Sheppard. He sprinted past one defender and then laid it off to a bursting Jacob on the left flank. Jacob rose his head in search of a team-mate and smartly played a penetrative ball behind the San Juan defence, to find a charging Sheppard, who slotted away past goalie Kareem Rodriguez.

At the resumption, both teams seemed to take some pace off their attack. Most of the second half action took place in the middle of the field as Presentation and San Juan sought to conserve their energy. San Juan’s front two, skipper Ronaldo Boyce and Jerry Morris, tried valiantly to break the deadlock but was constantly crowded out by Presentation’s Adica Ash and company.

Both teams had their moments of brilliance in the second period but cancelled each other out on every attempt. The game was also stopped on a few occasions as cramps became a norm due to the extensive mental and physical pressure placed on these young men. However, with four minutes allotted for extra time to go, "Pres" opted for one last charge.

Nkosi Charles collected on the right flank and travelled goalwards. There he would find a surging Sinclair, who made no mistake, hammering home one of Presentation College’s most historic goals in Intercol history. Ato Boldon Stadium exploded in jubilation as San Juan dropped their heads in dismay. Sinclair flung his jersey off in celebration and sprinted to his erupting schoolmates, diving into a sea of celebration.

With just seconds to go and tensions running high, Jacob again burst down the right side and was fouled by a San Juan defender near the corner flag. The "Pres" striker opted to live up to his nickname “Hulk” and confronted the North player, which led to a short scuffle. Players from both teams sprinted over in an attempt to quell the situation, but their presence seemed to add fuel to the fire.

Officials from the Presentation and San Juan camp also got involved in the small fracas. Eventually, the San Juan defender was ejected, followed by Jacob and Justin Cornwall, for their unacceptable involvement. Seconds later, the referee had seen enough, and blew off the heated title match as "Pres" fans stormed the pitch in elation.


SOURCE: T&T Newsday

RELATED NEWS

Sinclair guides Pres to first InterCol title.
By Walter Alibey (Guardian).


Jardel Sin­clair may have scored the most im­por­tant goal of his en­tire life yes­ter­day.

Al­though it wasn’t any­thing spec­tac­u­lar, his sim­ple tap in from N’Kosi Charles’ right-side cen­tre in the 94th minute, earned Pre­sen­ta­tion Col­lege, San Fer­nan­do their first-ever Co­ca Co­la Na­tion­al In­ter­Col ti­tle with a come-from-be­hind 2-1 win over San Juan North Sec­ondary at the Ato Boldon Sta­di­um in Cou­va.

The win was al­so sweet re­venge for the south­ern­ers, who were beat­en by San Juan in 2016 fi­nal.

A tear­ful Pres coach Shawn Coop­er said af­ter­wards that it took years and months of hard work but they were fi­nal­ly able to get the job done.

The south­ern­ers had been the win­ners of nu­mer­ous South Zone In­ter­Col and na­tion­al league ti­tles pre­vi­ous­ly, but the Na­tion­al In­ter­Col had al­ways elud­ed them, at least un­til the mul­ti-tal­ent­ed Sin­clair was tak­en in at the in­sti­tu­tion and broke the jinx yes­ter­day.

San Juan North, beat­en by Pre­sen­ta­tion in the Pre­mier Di­vi­sion of the SS­FL, forged ahead when a throw-in from the left side reached an un­marked Re­nal­do Boyce in the Pres area in the fourth minute. Boyce col­lect­ed the throw-in and quick­ly re­leased to Isa­iah Chase, who hit hard and low shot past Pres goal­keep­er Isa­iah Williams for the 1-0 ad­van­tage.

Coop­er’s at­tempt to avoid be­ing beat­en twice by San Juan in the fi­nal re­ceived a ma­jor dent at this point.

How­ev­er, his team set­tled quick­ly and was re­ward­ed af­ter a se­ries of at­tacks on the San Juan goal. Hard­work­ing strik­er Ac­k­eel Ja­cob was re­leased down the left flank and he quick­ly cen­tred for the un­marked Jaiye Shep­pard to steer home in the 19th minute.

Pres, who de­throned Na­pari­ma Col­lege for the 2019 South Zone In­ter­Col crown, had on­ly them­selves to blame for not tak­ing the lead in the mo­ments that fol­lowed. Sin­clair’s ac­ro­bat­ic at­tempt from Ja­cob’s lift­ed pass in the box sailed over­bar in the 36th minute. Then Shep­pard, who was picked out all alone in the box from a right-side cross, put his head­er wide with the goal at his mer­cy.

The scores thus re­mained 1-1 at the half and when play re­sumed, Pres launched yet an­oth­er at­tack at goal, send­ing the speedy Sin­clair down the right flank to cen­tre for Naim Bis­nath to hit an un­con­trolled left-foot­ed ef­fort over the cross­bar.

The game ap­peared to be head­ing for a penal­ty shoot-out un­til sub­sti­tute Charles, fol­low­ing a god bit of skill on the right side, pulled a cross-back for Sin­clair to guide in­to the goal for the win­ner in the fourth minute of time added on for stop­pages and send the south­ern crowd in­to wild cel­e­bra­tions.

How­ev­er, be­fore the end could have been sig­nalled, ref­er­ee Crys­tal Sobers had to pro­duce red cards for Pre­sen­ta­tion’s Ja­cob and Justin Corn­wall, as well as San Juan’s El­isha Gar­cia for un­sports­man­like con­duct.

Results

Presentation College San Fernando 2 (Jaiye Sheppard 19, Jardel Sinclair 90+3), San Juan North Secondary 1 (Isaiah Chase 2) at Ato Boldon Stadium.

(Teams - Wired868.com)

San Juan North Secondary (4-4-2): 1.Emmanuel John (GK); 19.Adrian Duncan, 4.Elisha Garcia (red card) 18.Malik Farrier, 17.Kareem John; 13.Christon Mitchell (23.Daniel Best 74), 8.Keanu John, 6.Jordan Britto, 11.Isaiah Chase; 10.Jerry Morris (7.Tyrique Sutherland 68), 9.Renaldo Boyce (captain).

Unused Substitutes: 22.Kareem Rodriguez (GK), 5.Darion Thomas, 14.Kendo Matthias, 20.Dedell Jones, 21.Pharez  Sutherland.

Coach: Jerry Moe

Presentation College San Fernando (4-4-1-1): 1.Isaiah Williams (GK); 2.Nigel Caraby, 3.Luke Charles, 5.Justin Cornwall (red card), 6.Zion Allen; 13.Dantaye Gilbert, 15.Aleem Barclay (captain); 11.Adica Ash (16.Jardel Sinclair 85), 10.Ackeel Jacob (red card), 20.Naeem Bisnath (17.Nkosi Charles 79); 9.Jaiye Sheppard.

Unused Substitutes: 22.Kanye Lazarus (GK), 7.Acelino Medford, 12.Markus Mason, 14.Kassidy Davidson, 19.Shakeem Cooper.

Coach: Shawn Cooper

Referee: Crystal Sobers

Wired868 Man of the Match: Jaiye Sheppard