Presentation College San Fernando dethroned St Benedict’s College to lift the 2023 Coca-Cola Intercol South Zone title courtesy a 1-0 victory at Mahaica Oval in Point Fortin on Friday.
A 21st minute header from forward Adah Barclay was all it took to separate the south giants. Last year’s winners tried valiantly but could not find the equaliser over 97 minutes of play.
Before the goal, both teams hunted the opener but most of their shots went wide of the target. Presentation’s Duhrell Young came close, 17 minutes in, but his shot whizzed overbar to the relief of La Romaine Lions’ custodian Samuel Glasgow.
Four minutes later, Pres got their break as a cross from the right flank met Barclay’s head, who skilfully guided the ball into the St Benedict’s net. The goal breathed life into the Pres team as they ramped up their attack.
Barclay and winger Kaielle Elliott kept Benedict’s bust as they linked up well on the left side. Goalscorer Barclay had a good chance in the 24th after receiving a well-timed pass for Elliott, but the former hit straight into Glasgow’s hands. Pres’ confidence showed and they began to win the majority of loose balls.
In the remaining minutes of the first period, St Benedict’s Josiah Ochoa played in striker Jaden Grant, but he shot overbar. Pres closed the opening period with aggressive challenges on their opponents.
Into the second period, St Benedicts showed more fight, despite Pres still on the attack to increase the advantage. Grant played a neat through ball to a charging Malachi Webb on goal, but Pres custodian Kanye Lazarus raced out to make a brave save and stop a potentially certain goal.
St Benedict’s kept trying but were always kept out by an in-form Lazarus. As Pres surged for another, Webb kept their one-goal deficit as he made a desperate goal-line clearance in the 71st minute.
Ten minutes later, Grant latched on to a cross with a high foot to score past Lazarus, but was ejected seconds after for dangerous play on the goalkeeper. The Lions’ fans fumed.
After seven minutes of extra time, the referee blew off the game, to which Pres fans stormed the field in celebration, as St Benedict’s players dropped to the field in agony.
And in the earlier girls’ South Zone Intercol finals, Pleasantville Secondary whipped St Joseph’s Convent San Fernando 11-1 to lift the trophy. Nikita Gosine, Amanda Nanan, Tayeann Wylie and Natalia Gosine all scored twice for Pleasantville while Jada Shepherd, Giovanna Sherwood and Mikala Guerrero notched one each.
Scoring Convent’s lone item was Alexis-Raye Lalchan.
SOURCE: T&T Newsday