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Chaguanas North Secondary’s Lee-Vann David, left, traps the ball under pressure from St Anthony’s College’s Jean-Marc Thomas, during a Coca-Cola InterCol quarter-final clash, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Tuesday, November 28th 2023. PHOTO BY: Ishmael Salandy

One-way traffic. The first half of yesterday’s Coca-Cola InterCol quarter-final was as one-sided as they come.

North champions St Anthony’s College advanced to the national semi-finals—along with Tobago’s Speyside Secondary—following a facile 5-1 romp over Chaguanas North Secondary, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

Relegated from the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Boys Premier Division this season, Chaguanas North still managed to be crowned Zonal champions of an evidently weak Central division. And they proved no match for the “Westmoorings Tigers.”

Having won the North Zone final, via decisive kicks from the penalty mark against Queen’s Royal College, St Anthony’s smelt blood squaring off against Chaguanas North and were up by four goals at the halfway stage, having missed many more chances as well.

The rout began with Chaguanas goalkeeper Necose Moore spilling a cross, at the feet of Theo Cravador, who forced it in. St Anthony’s captain Aalon Wilson-Wright served the ball across the goal and Cravador stroked a well-placed shot to the corner for his second to double their advantage. And it became 3-0 when Mychiah Haywood’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Moore, only for Jean-Marc Thomas to force the deflected save in from close up. And from the penalty spot, Andell Fraser put in a fourth.

Chaguanas North mounted a short-lived rally 10 minutes into the second half, when defender Lee-Vann David squeezed the ball in from close up, following a well-taken set-play, which saw Negatse Moore put in a low cross from wide.

But St Anthony’s soon added another item, rather fortuitously, as Thomas’ header onto Cravador’s corner-kick twice hit the woodwork and did not appear to have crossed the goal-line.

Regardless, the goal was given, and then it was a return to businesses as usual, meaning St Anthony’s continued to miss quite a few more chances, despite overall improvement from Chaguanas North.

From 25 shots, St Anthony’s netted five times, a 20 per cent conversion rate, which was lower than that of Chaguanas North, who had 25 per cent conversion rate, with one goal from four shots. “I’m not concerned,” stated St Anthony’s coach Roland “Hustler” Daniel, who was contented his team had played with confidence. “What is happening is that we are creating the chances, so that is important,” he deduced.

Chaguanas North coach Anson Raymond did not offer much excuses, but explained that the plan to limit St Anthony’s in the first half did not work out. He hopes to do better next season. “To be honest this is the first time these boys reached to this level,” noted Raymond, adding, “There was a lot of jitters coming into this game.”


St Anthony's hit Chag North a handful in Intercol quarters.
By Roneil Walcott (T&T Newsday).

Coca-Cola North Zone Intercol champions St Anthony’s College advanced to the semi-final of the 2023 National Intercol competition with a comprehensive 5-1 drubbing of Chaguanas North Secondary in their quarter-final matchup at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo on Tuesday.

The Westmoorings Tigers were in cruise control for duration of the contest, with the trio of midfielder Theo Crovador, Jean-Marc Thomas and captain Aalon Wilson-Wright running rings around their opponents. Crovador and Thomas scored braces, with Wilson-Wright skilfully and seamlessly pulling the strings for St Anthony’s in the middle of the park as they sauntered their way to a national semi-final showdown with Tobago champions Speyside Secondary on Friday.

From as early as the seventh minute, the relegated Chaguanas team were overmatched, with goalkeeper Necose Moore feeling the brunt of the pressure between the sticks. Bustling St Anthony’s midfielder Amari Dunbar fired the first shot in anger with a booming right-footer from distance, while Crovador was stopped from point-blank range on two occasions inside the first 11 minutes. Moore seemed to be in an inspired mode for Chaguanas, but his resistance did not last for long.

The tricky Crovador eventually broke the deadlock with a scrappy close-range effort following a dreadful spill by Moore in the 15th minute, and the floodgates opened thereafter as St Anthony’s ran up a 4-0 scoreline by halftime.

Crovador grabbed his brace with a sweet first-time effort after a beautiful display of skill down the left by Wilson-Wright in the 22nd minute, while both Thomas and Fraser also got on the scoresheet before the break.

The Chaguanas team did show some fight in the contest, and it often came from lanky lone striker Negaste Moore, Necose's elder brother. Negaste operated like a one-man army for Chaguanas for most of the encounter, and he twice forced St Anthony’s goalie Josiah Morris into fine saves with crisp long-range efforts.

Morris, who came of the substitutes' bench to dramatically make two saves in St Anthony’s penalty shootout victory over Queen's Royal College in the North Intercol final, showed Negaste he was up to the task.

Negaste's off-the-ball running and sharp movement was admirable given his team's predicament, and it was his instinctive play which created Chaguanas' lone goal in the game.

Early in the second half, Negaste won a free kick outside the area after a lovely solo run from deep. His team then conjured a neat set-piece goal in the 55th minute, as the diminutive Zaiden James tapped in at the far post after Justin Lewis initiated a short free kick which caught the St Anthony’s defence sleeping.

Chaguanas' joy was short-lived though, as Thomas glanced a header off the bar and over the goal line — according to the assistant referee — after meeting a right-side corner in the 58th minute.

St Anthony’s took their feet off the pedal after notching their fifth item, with a flurry of substitutions being made by coach Ronald Daniel. Still, both Crovador and Thomas had their chances to grab their hat-trick goals and walk away with the match ball.

In the 78th minute, time seemed to stand still for Crovador, as he took his time to drag a right-footed effort well wide of Necose's goal after being found at the end of a rapid counter-attack. In stoppage-time, Thomas also managed to fluff his lines when scoring seemed simpler, as he curled a right-footed shot well over the bat after cutting inside Chaguanas defender Lee-Vann David.

In the end, St Anthony’s were not able to replicate their 10-1 drubbing of the Chaguanas team from their premier division meeting on September 27, but they would hope they still have goals left in their tank for the semi-final meeting at the Mucurapo venue.

A victorious showing versus the Tobago champions will see St Anthony’s advancing to the national intercol final where they will meet either Arima North Secondary or Presentation College (San Fernando).

Arima North, the East champions, and Presentation, South champions, will meet in the first semi-final from 4.15 pm at the Mahaica Sporting Complex in Point Fortin on Thursday.

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