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Intercol 2017: Sugar and Spice for St Mary’s as Tyrese shocks St Anthony’s in North final

It was sugar and Spice for St Mary’s College this afternoon as they secured their first Coca Cola North Zone Intercol title in 10 years with an 89th minute strike by attacker Tyrese Spicer at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

It was enough to edge favourites St Anthony’s College 1-0 for their second triumph this season in the “Battle of the Saints” derby.

Photo: St Mary’s College captain Gabriel Nanton (centre) lifts the Coca Cola North Zone Intercol trophy after their 1-0 win over St Anthony’s College at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 21 November 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

The boys from Frederick Street will travel to Tobago next to face Signal Hill Secondary in the National Intercol quarterfinal on Monday 27 November. Signal Hill retained their zonal title today with Akil Frank again settling the affair with the solitary item in a 1-0 triumph.

Things did not go the way of the form team in Port of Spain, though, as St Mary’s absorbed pressure for most of the rain-hit and gloomy finale before one deadly swing of Spicer’s left boot—after getting on the end of a lovely through-ball from former St Anthony’s student Matthaeus Granger—settled the affair and sent their players and fans to cloud 99.

For the boys from Westmoorings, it was their second consecutive loss in the North Intercol final, they having fallen to underdogs Trinity College Moka last year. And, in 2015, the “Westmoorings Tigers” lost to Naparima College in the National Intercol Final.

Although not at their fluent best today, the Tigers did threaten on occasion, especially when playmaker Che Benny stepped up to a free kick. However, St Anthony’s lacked that killer bite and the trophy escaped their paws.

“Goals win matches,” said St Anthony’s coach Ronald Daniel, “and if you don’t score your chances, this will be the outcome.”

Photo: St Mary’s College defender Augustine Nkemakolam consoles St Anthony’s College captain Derron John (#27) after their Coca Cola North Zone Intercol final clash at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 21 November 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Daniel, who estimated that his team had 75 percent ball possession, also raised questions about St Mary’s winning item.

“Football is played on both sides [and] the side got an opportunity which looked suspicious to me,” he said. “But all in all, the goal was allowed and this is how the game turned out. They defended and positioned themselves well behind the ball.”

St Mary’s coach Ryan Shim reaped the rewards of his team’s deep defending and felt vindicated by winning the school’s first North Zone Intercol trophy since the “Class of 2007”—which included current National Senior Team midfielders Leston Paul and Sean De Silva.

“This is the first North Intercol win since 2007,” Shim told Wired868. “It’s been 10 years since we had that Championship squad which went on to defeat the Premiership players. We’ve been here several times since that 2007 victory, so I felt that today would be our turn.”

The St Mary’s midfield trio of Justin Keith, skipper Gabriel Nanton and Michel Poon-Angeron provoked few ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ in the 90-minute contest. There wasn’t much display of crisp, precision passing either. Instead, marshalled by Granger, the “Striped Saints” defended deep—to negate the threat of speedy wingers Tyrese Bailey and Haile Beckles—and appeared to be biding their time.

Photo: St Anthony’s College winger Tyrese Bailey (left) tries to elude St Mary’s College defender Matthaeus Granger during Coca Cola North Zone Intercol final action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 21 November 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Shim said it was not altogether a rehearsed strategy.

“[We didn’t plan to absorb all that pressure] but, when you are playing a good St Anthony’s team, it sometimes turns out that way,” said Shim. “As the game got stretched towards the end, we were looking for that long ball over the top.”

There was still a nagging problem for St Mary’s, though, as their cheap fouls allowed Benny to take aim at goal or tee up teammates from set pieces.

“Anytime we made a foul around the box, I was kinda holding my breath as Benny stepped up,” said Shim.

Benny and Naparima midfield ace Judah St Louis set the pace with dead balls in the recently concluded Premier Division season with the St Anthony’s playmaker netting at least five free kicks. And he ensured a nervy afternoon for St Mary’s and their young goalkeeper, Regaleo Holder.

Holder flapped at a Benny set piece in the 14th minute while he twice saw former National Under-17 attacker Jaydon Prowell miss from close range in the first half off two more free kicks.

Prowell was a regular target for one frustrated St Anthony’s supporter whose commentary was far too colourful to be repeated here. Daniel insisted it was their entire attacking effort that fell short, though.

“I was not impressed with the [fluidity] at all,” said Daniel. “We weren’t getting much combination plays up front.”

Photo: A St Mary’s College student congratulates forward Devon Charles after their 1-0 win over St Anthony’s College in the Coca Cola North Zone Intercol final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 21 November 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Still, Benny might have decided the match for the Tigers midway through the second half. But Holder’s tremendous diving save to his left, which tipped a dangerous, goal-bound free kick on to the post and out, proved key for the “Saints.”

“That [save] kept us in the game,” said Shim, “and we always felt that one goal could do it today.”

The goal which St Mary’s have craved for the last 10 years came just in the nick of time.

A St Anthony’s attack broke down with the ball rolling to Granger’s feet and the St Mary’s utility player sprang the offside trap from deep in his own half with a precise pass to Spicer.

Earlier in the contest, Spicer had seen a couple left-footed shots stopped by former National Under-20 keeper Jabari Brice but this one had a little extra behind it as it arrowed away to Brice’s right.

What followed was, to say the least, pandemonium,  Spicer being flattened by teammates near the corner flag.

Photo: St Mary’s College attacker Tyrese Spicer (right) chases a long ball from teammate Matthaeus Granger en route to scoring the decisive goal against St Anthony’s College in Coca Cola North Zone Intercol final action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 21 November 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“Tyrese did his job. He’s a special player, there is no doubt about it,” said Shim. “And on his back, we have managed to win a title.

“Everything seemed to come right at the right time for us.”

They will try to continue their fairytale run next Monday when they face a Signal Hill team that is anxious to end 2017 with a bang after being relegated from the Premier Division.

(Teams)

St Mary’s College (4-2-3-1): 30.Regaleo Holder (GK); 21.Justin Gibbon, 4.Schileon Phillip, 8.Matthaeus Granger, 12.Kevon Alonzo; 6.Justin Keith, 11.Gabriel Nanton (captain); 7.Terran Winner, 10.Michel Poon-Angeron (22.Augustine Nkemakolam 86),16.Tyrese Spicer (27.Devon Charles 90+2); 19.Trey La Motte.

Unused Substitutes: 1.Jordan Bidaisee (GK), 9.Justin Mohammed, 14.Elijah Bain Hares, 18.Kyle Carrington, 26.Jed Rigsby.

Coach: Ryan Shim

St Anthony’s College (4-2-3-1): 1.Jabari Brice (GK); 6.Khiesa Granger (18.Shakir Clapham 84), 5.Jesse Williams, 4.Nkosi Salandy, 27.Derron John (captain); 8.Jodel Brown, 7.Krishon Alexander (23.Sowande Prieto 79); 10.Tyrese Bailey, 9.Che Benny, 11.Haile Beckles; 19.Jaydon Prowell.

Unused Substitutes: 25.Elijah Shade (GK),13.Quinn Frederick, 16.Jordan Barclay, 17.Omari Wiltshire, 21.Jameiq Pierre.

Coach: Ronald Daniel

Referee: Nickolai Nyron

Wired868 Man-of-the-Match: Matthaeus Granger (St Mary’s College)

Photo: St Mary’s College utility player Matthaeus Granger (right) prepares to pass the ball while Shiva Boys Hindu College attacker Tyrell “Sexyman” Baptiste tries to close him down during SSFL action at the Morne Diablo Recreation Ground in Penal on 30 October 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Coca Cola Intercol results

(Tuesday 21 November)

[North Zone final]

St Mary’s College 1 (Tyrese Spicer 89), St Anthony’s College 0 at Hasely Crawford Stadium;

[Tobago Zone final]

Signal Hill 1 (Akil Frank), Speyside High 0 at Black Rock;

Photo: Signal Hill Secondary captain Akil Frank (left) wheels off to celebrate after beating East Mucurapo Secondary goalkeeper Joshua Davis during SSFL Premier Division action at Moka on 14 September 2016.
Signal Hill won 2-1.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Upcoming Coca Cola Intercol fixtures

(Wednesday 22 November)

San Juan North v Valencia Secondary, East Zone finals, 3.30pm, Larry Gomes Stadium;

(Thursday 23 November)

Naparima College v Shiva Boys HC, South Zone finals, 3.30pm, Mannie Ramjohn Stadium;

(Monday 27 November)

Signal Hill Secondary v St Mary’s College, National quarterfinals, TBA;

Photo: Shiva Boys Hindu College defender Matthew Beal (left) prepares to beat Presentation College (San F’do) goalkeeper Jabari Gray during Intercol South Zone semifinals action on 17 November 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

(Thursday 30 November)

San Juan/Valencia v Signal Hill/St Mary’s College, 3.30pm, National semifinals, Ato Boldon Stadium;

Naparima/Shiva Boys v Carapichaima East, 5.30pm, National semifinals, Ato Boldon Stadium;

South v Central, National Girls Semifinals, TBA;

East v North/Tobago, National Girls Semifinals, TBA;

(Monday 4 December)

National Girls Intercol finals, 3pm, Ato Boldon Stadium;

National Boys Intercol Finals, 5pm, Ato Boldon Stadium.

Photo: San Juan North Secondary attacker Brandon Semper (centre) fires past St Mary’s College captain Matthaeus Granger (left) during SSFL action in San Juan on Wednesday 13 September 2017.
Semper scored twice but San Juan North had to settle for a 3-3 draw.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

About Roneil Walcott

Roneil Walcott
Roneil Walcott is an avid sports fan and freelance reporter with a BA in Mass Communication from COSTAATT. Roneil is a former Harvard and St Mary's College cricketer who once had lofty aspirations of bringing joy to sport fans with the West Indies team. Now, his mission is to keep them on the edge of their seats with sharp commentary from off the playing field.

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14 comments

  1. Hannibal Najjar

    As an old boy myself, these competitions and successes bring back my days that seem just a fingertip away, yet, those last of my games were in 1970 at age, 16-going-on-17, and my third College Championship season. Now, in 2017, 47 years later, I still, smell the cut-grass grounds and enjoy the flutters. CIC – College of the Immaculate Conception still lives. And as I am establishing a not-for-profit organization, serving the elderly and the youth, I have borrowed the the CIC to read, Colleagues In Concert. I still have my jersey from that seasom.

  2. Congratulations to St. Mary’s and hoping to see more championships in the future,

  3. Congrats St. Mary’s! A much needed title. The goal was super…but did anyone take note of the pass. Totally ripped apart the defense. Great vision. Great execution. I know all center midfielders will appreciate what I sipmply refer to as The Pass. Reminds me of Zico’s pass in 86 World Cup against France that won them a penalty late in the game. Big Win Saints!

  4. I thought the game itself was very solid for a school game. Both teams tried to play quickly and on the floor. St Anthony’s better at it but CIC were very organized and dealt with their key players. I liked the look of the St Anthony’s number 11. Benny was restricted but did well when he had it and the left back was attack minded and got forward well which is encouraging to see. For CIC I thought Nanton was really good. Aggressive brave and good ability on the ball with some neat passing and through balls. The number 10 attacking mid was easy on the eye and doing all the simple but right things. Spicer grew into the game and had a real impact. Some lung bursting runs from the left and then through the center when he scored a beauty to win it.

    The fans, especially the CIC students were amazing. Great atmosphere.

  5. this st Anthony’s coachman serious? A Raza taz in yuh MC

    “Football is played on both sides [and] the side got an opportunity which looked suspicious to me,” he said. “But all in all, the goal was allowed and this is how the game turned out. They defended and positioned themselves well behind the ball.”

  6. From the time that institution on Frederick Street beat my beloved alma mater Fatima College, I was sure that the trophy was there to be had.

    Congratulations to you and your fellow Saints, Lasana!