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Wed, Jun

Adah Barclay of Naparima (centre) tries to shoot past St Benedict's goalkeeper Ja-ir Buckmire during the Tiger Tanks Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premiership semifinal at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Friday. -
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THE first finalist of this season’s Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premiership campaign is now known, as St Benedict’s booked their place in the championship fixture after whipping Presentation San Fernando 5-3 at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Friday evening.

This will be only the second season in Premiership history that neither Naparima or Presentation will be crowned champions of the SSFL top flight (Shiva Boys’ Hindu College won in 2016).

In the battle of the Lions, the ‘La Romaine Lions’ put on a dominant display against their fierce rivals. The unit did not allow Presentation to play their usual pressing football and they made it their duty to be first to every ball.

St Benedict’s Derrell Garcia was the first to break down Presentation’s defensive barrier in the 21st minute. The speedy attacking maestro picked up the ball from midfield and dribbled all the way to the penalty area before clinically slotting the ball past Kanye Lazarus in the Presentation goal.

The match-winner against Naparima, Nicholas Bobcombe, then turned provider on this occasion as he smartly played a well-cushioned pass to Josiah Ochoa, who doubled the St Benedict’s lead from inside the penalty area three minutes later.

Lyshawn Morris made it 3-0 to the boys in green in the 31st minute, courtesy a impressive curled shot into the top right corner, leaving Lazarus with no chance of reaching it.

The early moments of the second half proved to be more of the same as the La Romaine Lions continued to dominate possession and shots on goal.

They were rewarded with a fourth goal in the 59th minute when captain Tarik Lee lead a counter-attack and stormed through Presentation’s back line to clinically place his shot past Lazarus’ left hand from 12 yards out.

Not long after, in the 63rd minute, Bobcombe finally got himself on the scoresheet, thanks to some incredibly smart refereeing. Bobcombe ran down to the byline and initially played a pass into the goal area, leaving him in an offside position.

However, in an attempt to defend, the ball was then deliberately played by Pres defender, Terrance Worrell, back to Bobcombe’s feet. The St Benedict’s number ten then rifled the ball into the back off the net, which triggered assistant referee Noel Moore to raise his flag for offside.

Assumingly, Moore perceived that the ball was played by St Benedict’s Jeremiah Niles who was closely tucked behind Worrell, hence the reason he raised his flag.

But referee Nikolai Nyron commendably consulted Moore, stating that there was no offside in the phase of play, and the goal was rightly given to make it 5-0 to St Benedict’s.

Presentation, the current Intercol and Tiger Tanks Cup champions, struggled to match St Benedict’s. But St Benedict’s coach, Randolph Boyce, opted to make several changes after his team’s fifth goal and Pres began to find their feet.

Vaughan Clement pulled one back for the ‘Pres Lions’ in the 69th minute via a well-placed shot into the bottom corner from outside of the penalty area. That goal was only the fourth goal conceded by St Benedict’s this season.

But their defence was breached again two minutes later when Adah Barclay pounced on a through-ball played over the top of the St Benedict’s back line and finessed his shot into the net to make the score 5-2.

The confidence grew in the Presentation camp as they restored belief in themselves to claw their way back from five goals down. They were now in control after the game and forced St Benedict’s to defend deep in their own half.

In the 83rd minute, Adah Barclay stormed his way into the Presentation penalty area and was hacked down by Anthony Williams, to his coach’s disappointment. Barclay then stepped up himself and converted the resulting penalty kick to bring Presentation to within two goals.

However, their fightback proved futile as St Benedict’s held on to claim a 5-3 victory and book their spot in Wednesday’s Premiership final.

In his post-match interview, Boyce, stated that he was very elated about his team’s performance, despite some complacency in the second half. He then went on to say, “We have things to tighten up on but, overall, things were perfect.”

The winning coach was then asked who he would prefer to face between San Juan North and Fatima College in the final. He responded, “they both are formidable opponents and are both playing great football at this time. It’s hard to pick because anybody who comes will bring a good game for us, which is good for the football in Trinidad and Tobago.”

“We’ve been down (due to the pandemic) for a while and you can see the development that is taking place, so I’d like (to face) any one of them.”

On the flip side, the defeated coach, Shawn Cooper said, “The game is played in halves – they won the first half. The conditions were a bit against us and they had the stronger and quicker guys, so it was about five or ten minutes of madness when they scored their goals.”

Cooper added, “In the second half, as the surface dried a bit, we started putting (passing) the ball around and believed in ourselves and we got three goals back. So we won the second half but we didn’t win the game.”

The current National Under 17 coach then expressed his love for Presentation College, stating that “We are a family; after the game, the boys thanked the fans for the support they have given us over the years, and we will make them proud. Proud to be Pres!”

St Benedict’s now await the winners of Saturday’s semifinal between San Juan North Secondary and Fatima College, two teams who have been impressive this season. That fixture will be hosted at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, kicking off at 3.30 pm.


ABOVE SOURCE: T&T Newsday

St Benedict's whip Pres Sando to advance to Premiership final.
T&T Newsday Reports.


THE first finalist of this season’s Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premiership campaign is now known, as St Benedict’s booked their place in the championship fixture after whipping Presentation San Fernando 5-3 at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Friday evening.

This will be only the second season in Premiership history that neither Naparima or Presentation will be crowned champions of the SSFL top flight (Shiva Boys’ Hindu College won in 2016).

In the battle of the Lions, the ‘La Romaine Lions’ put on a dominant display against their fierce rivals. The unit did not allow Presentation to play their usual pressing football and they made it their duty to be first to every ball.

St Benedict’s Derrell Garcia was the first to break down Presentation’s defensive barrier in the 21st minute. The speedy attacking maestro picked up the ball from midfield and dribbled all the way to the penalty area before clinically slotting the ball past Kanye Lazarus in the Presentation goal.

The match-winner against Naparima, Nicholas Bobcombe, then turned provider on this occasion as he smartly played a well-cushioned pass to Josiah Ochoa, who doubled the St Benedict’s lead from inside the penalty area three minutes later.

Lyshawn Morris made it 3-0 to the boys in green in the 31st minute, courtesy a impressive curled shot into the top right corner, leaving Lazarus with no chance of reaching it.

The early moments of the second half proved to be more of the same as the La Romaine Lions continued to dominate possession and shots on goal.

They were rewarded with a fourth goal in the 59th minute when captain Tarik Lee lead a counter-attack and stormed through Presentation’s back line to clinically place his shot past Lazarus’ left hand from 12 yards out.

Not long after, in the 63rd minute, Bobcombe finally got himself on the scoresheet, thanks to some incredibly smart refereeing. Bobcombe ran down to the byline and initially played a pass into the goal area, leaving him in an offside position.

However, in an attempt to defend, the ball was then deliberately played by Pres defender, Terrance Worrell, back to Bobcombe’s feet. The St Benedict’s number ten then rifled the ball into the back off the net, which triggered assistant referee Noel Moore to raise his flag for offside.

Assumingly, Moore perceived that the ball was played by St Benedict’s Jeremiah Niles who was closely tucked behind Worrell, hence the reason he raised his flag.

But referee Nikolai Nyron commendably consulted Moore, stating that there was no offside in the phase of play, and the goal was rightly given to make it 5-0 to St Benedict’s.

Presentation, the current Intercol and Tiger Tanks Cup champions, struggled to match St Benedict’s. But St Benedict’s coach, Randolph Boyce, opted to make several changes after his team’s fifth goal and Pres began to find their feet.

Vaughan Clement pulled one back for the ‘Pres Lions’ in the 69th minute via a well-placed shot into the bottom corner from outside of the penalty area. That goal was only the fourth goal conceded by St Benedict’s this season.

But their defence was breached again two minutes later when Adah Barclay pounced on a through-ball played over the top of the St Benedict’s back line and finessed his shot into the net to make the score 5-2.

The confidence grew in the Presentation camp as they restored belief in themselves to claw their way back from five goals down. They were now in control after the game and forced St Benedict’s to defend deep in their own half.

In the 83rd minute, Adah Barclay stormed his way into the Presentation penalty area and was hacked down by Anthony Williams, to his coach’s disappointment. Barclay then stepped up himself and converted the resulting penalty kick to bring Presentation to within two goals.

However, their fightback proved futile as St Benedict’s held on to claim a 5-3 victory and book their spot in Wednesday’s Premiership final.

In his post-match interview, Boyce, stated that he was very elated about his team’s performance, despite some complacency in the second half. He then went on to say, “We have things to tighten up on but, overall, things were perfect.”

The winning coach was then asked who he would prefer to face between San Juan North and Fatima College in the final. He responded, “they both are formidable opponents and are both playing great football at this time. It’s hard to pick because anybody who comes will bring a good game for us, which is good for the football in Trinidad and Tobago.”

“We’ve been down (due to the pandemic) for a while and you can see the development that is taking place, so I’d like (to face) any one of them.”

On the flip side, the defeated coach, Shawn Cooper said, “The game is played in halves – they won the first half. The conditions were a bit against us and they had the stronger and quicker guys, so it was about five or ten minutes of madness when they scored their goals.”

Cooper added, “In the second half, as the surface dried a bit, we started putting (passing) the ball around and believed in ourselves and we got three goals back. So we won the second half but we didn’t win the game.”

The current National Under 17 coach then expressed his love for Presentation College, stating that “We are a family; after the game, the boys thanked the fans for the support they have given us over the years, and we will make them proud. Proud to be Pres!”

St Benedict’s now await the winners of Saturday’s semifinal between San Juan North Secondary and Fatima College, two teams who have been impressive this season. That fixture will be hosted at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, kicking off at 3.30 pm.

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