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Intercol 19: Manswell and Phillip Roar as Tigers Defend North Zone title

Kiron Manswell and Kai Phillip roared as St Anthony’s College defended their North Zone title in the Coca Cola National Intercol 2019 with a 2-1 victory over East Mucurapo at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Kiron ‘Albo’ Manswell led from the front with an enterprising display that made his head coach, Roland Daniel, stand up and take notice.

Photo: St Anthony’s College players and staff celebrate with the North Zone Intercol trophy after their 2-1 final win over East Mucurapo Secondary at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 22 November 2019.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/CA-Images/Wired868)

“Whole week [Manswell] showed that he wanted it today,” said Daniel. “He was fantastic today and he delivered.”

The ‘Westmooring Tigers’ were forced to change their uniform moments before kick-off, but the kit shake-up had little effect on the field in the first half.

Former Fatima College attacker Jean-Heim McFee was doing his best impression of Yaya Toure for St Anthony’s with his power and long limbs and proved to be an obstacle in the middle of the park.

While his final passes were not hitting the right mark, he was influential and in the thick of the action as St Anthony’s eased into a first-half lead.

Kaihim Thomas whipped in a left-sided cross that McFee took down well before cutting onto his left foot to have a shot. Mucurapo defender Aaron Roberts hurled at the lanky limbs of McFee to block the effort.

St Anthony’s College East Mucurapo Secondary

2

Kiron Manswell 35, Kai Phillip 83

1

Malachi Celestine 68

At Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain
St Anthony’s College East Mucurapo Secondary

2

Kiron Manswell 35, Kai Phillip 83

1

Malachi Celestine 68

At Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain

The ball eventually found its way to Zion Williams who dinked to the byline and lay the ball on a plate for the unmarked Manswell to place his shot into the corner.

One-nil and sitting pretty at the half.

After the interval, Daniel’s team bolted out the gate and almost snatched the insurance item when Williams outmuscled his markers on a corner to get up and slam a header off the crossbar.

A lucky escape for Mucurapo.

East Mucurapo head coach Dale Saunders threw on pacy forward Malachi Celestine to finally give his captain, Daniel David, a partner to navigate a revival.

Photo: St Anthony’s College attacker Kiron Manswell (centre) tries to find a way past East Mucurapo defender Aaron Roberts (right) and goalkeeper Jamale Blackman during the North Intercol final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 22 November 2019.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/CA-Images/Wired868)

The move proved to be a masterstroke. The silky David poked a through ball for Celestine, who rounded Tigers keeper Josiah Perez and scored the equaliser.

“[David and Celestine] have a great understanding together, even on the training ground,” Saunders admitted. “Whole season they have been doing well together, so just the combination.”

The Mucurapo supporters, whose voices never waned, now had a reason to take their cheers up an octave.

East Mucurapo were coming at the defending champions, searching for the killer blow on the wounded Tigers.

David was pulling the strings and even dished out a ‘sombrero/cap’ or two to accent his command of the proceedings.

Photo: St Anthony’s College striker Kai Phillip (left) slaps the winning goal past East Mucurapo goalkeeper Jamale Blackman during the North Intercol final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 22 November 2019.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/CA-Images/Wired868)

Coach Daniel swapped his holding midfielders Quinn Frederick and Sowande Prieto for Shurland Augustine and Trent Weekes to curb the influence of David and Celestine, but they too were swept over in a wave of Mucurapo enthusiasm.

With the clock ticking down, Celestine went on a dizzying run down the left channel. He played a neat one-two with Zion Mcleod but, with the angle against him, sent his shot inches over Perez’s bar.

Coach Daniel, knowing the momentum had shifted, and needing to fix things quickly, borrowed a trick from his opposing coach and sent on his own star forward, Kai Phillip, to have a similar impact.

“It was a tactical choice [to use Phillip off the bench],” Daniel said after the match, “and I think I [brought him on] at the right time to get the result.”

McFee played a through ball to the Tigers’ top scorer down the left. And then, with one quick drop of the shoulder, he put Mucurapo defender Daniel Lake on the floor before curling the winner into the far corner.

Photo: East Mucurapo attacker Jelani Ferary (left) challenges a St Anthony’s College opponent for the ball during the North Intercol final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 22 November 2019.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/CA-Images/Wired868)

Last season, McFee (Fatima) and Phillip (Trinity Moka) were with teams much further away from title glory. But on Friday afternoon, they were now minutes away from claiming a championship.

Saunders implored his charges to pour forward to once again earn a come-from-behind goal.

However, St Anthony’s were the ones who almost wrapped up proceedings on the counter.

Thomas powered down the right and squared to Mansell, who came in off the left to crack one off the crossbar.

It took fine margins and even finer defensive work for the Tigers’ defenders to deny Celestine another mazy run.

Photo: East Mucurapo attacker Malachi Celestine (right) tries to hold off St Anthony’s College defender Randy Antoine during the North Intercol final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 22 November 2019.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/CA-Images/Wired868)

Phillip had a last gasp chance to add some gloss to the score-line, but all in all, Saunders credited St Anthony’s for their victory and was glowing with pride about his own team’s performances this season.

“Today St Anthony’s came out on top, credit to St Anthony’s,” said Saunders. “I think this season we had a fantastic season.”

“A bunch of young guys […] we are in a rebuilding process, [but] they came out today and showed that they can match up with the top teams in the school league. At the end of the day, I think it augers well for us going forward.”

With an upcoming quarter-final matchup against Tobago champions Speyside, the eyes of the Tigers are now set on the National Intercol prize, according to Daniel.

“Well it’s always a good feeling as any champion,” said Daniel. “We want to be at the final this year. We are going all out to be at the final.”

Photo: Speyside High midfielder Adriel George celebrates his goal with a kick at the corner flag during SSFL action against Trinity East at Trincity on 28 September 2019.
(Copyright Kerlon Orr/CA-Images/Wired868)

(Teams)

St Anthony’s College (4-3-3): 1.Josiah Perez (GK); 14.Randy Antoine, 16.Jordan Barclay (C), 4.Ian Cowie, 3.Malachai Daniel;13.Quinn Frederick (5.Trent Weekes), 12.Sowande Prieto (6.Shurland Augustine), 8.Jean-Heim McFee; 9.Zion Williams (19.Kai Phillip), 11.Kiron Manswell, 7.Kaihim Thomas

Unused Substitutes:2.Brandel Timothy, 20.Real Gill, 21.Kaiell George, 22.Darnell Pollard

Head Coach: Roland Daniel

East Mucurapo (4-2-3-1): 22.Jamale Blackman (GK); 2.Jamali Alexis, 19.Daniel Lake, 5.Aaron Roberts, 4.Cecil Young; 6.Zamore Delaney, 8.Nathan Guy; 9.Jelani Ferary (23.Malachi Celestine), 10.David Daniel (C), 11.Zion McLeod; 7.Jaheim Patrick (12.Terriq Martin)

Unused Substitutes: 3.Diarra Fraser, 14.Nicholai Holder, 16.Carlon Salvary, 20.Omar Morgan, 24.Mark Griffith

Head Coach: Dale Saunders

Wired868 Man of the Match: Kiron Manswell

Intercol Results

St Anthony’s College 2 (Kiron Manswell 32, Kai Phillip 80), East Mucurapo 1 (Malachi Celestine 65) at Hasely Crawford Stadium

About Amiel Mohammed

Amiel Mohammed
Amiel Mohammed is a sports enthusiast and has worked in communications for Central FC and the Women's Premier League TT. He has also pioneered numerous projects geared towards creating opportunities for the differently abled such as the Differently-Abled Football Camp 2015 and Focus Football Coaching Academy.

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