Intercol 23: “Royalian” upset! QRC stun Fatima to meet St Anthony’s in North final

EPL Infrafred Sauna

The 2023 Coca Cola National Intercol competition had its first major upset yesterday evening, as Queen’s Royal College sent defending champions and Premier Division winners, Fatima College, crashing out of the competition with a 2-1 triumph at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

QRC will now meet St Anthony’s College in the North Zone Intercol final on Thursday 23 November at the same venue.

QRC flanker Micah Nelson (left) terrorises Fatima College defender Matthew Barrington during North Zone Intercol action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 16 November 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

St Anthony’s saw off East Mucurapo 3-0 in the first game of a Hasely Crawford double header. The “Westmoorings Tigers” were relentless, although they had to wait until late in the first half to break Mucurapo’s resistance.

An Andell Fraser rocket in the 43rd minute and a Joshua Miller penalty, just seconds later, paved the way for a comfortable result for the Tigers with substitute Mordecai Ford grabbing a late insurance item for good measure.

Fatima might have expected a similarly straightforward result, after trouncing the “Royalians” 7-1 on Mucurapo Road last month. But coach Kenwyne Jones’ troops timed their revenge to perfection.

It did not always appear that an upset was on the cards though. Free-scoring midfielder Aidan De Gannes put Fatima ahead with a deflected shot in the 36th minute, after a Kade Collier pass.

Fatima College defender Matthew Barrington (centre) and QRC midfielder Teshaun Franklyn (right) eye a loose ball while Fatima goalkeeper Tristan Edwards (partially hidden) tries to intervene during North Zone Intercol action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 16 November 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

And God alone knows how the defending champs did not extend their advantage before the break. Referee Nikolai Nyron had something to do with that, though.

First, in the 38th minute, Nyron—on the advice of his assistant referee—mysteriously overruled a predatory finish by Fatima forward Michael Chaves.

Irrepressible flanker Joshua Mason dribbled past two QRC opponents before sending a speculative, angled effort towards the opposing goal. Inexplicably, QRC goalkeeper Jaheim Affan failed to hold on and Chaves pounced to finish under Affan’s body.

But he was thwarted by the assistant referee’s flag.

Replays showed that Chaves was certainly not offside while there was no contact with the QRC custodian before his astute finish. So why was his item disallowed?

To add insult to injury, Nyron waved play on as Chaves was tripped in the opposing box, just four minutes later, by QRC defender Zakari King. Replays again confirmed that the match officials got it wrong.

Fatima were leading at the time and the decisions did not immediately appear costly. But that changed in the 52 minute, when QRC attacker Stephon James showed more desire for the ball than opposing defender Yohance Atherton before pulling his side level with another deflected effort.

QRC forward Musaddiq Mohammed (top) hurdles a challenge by Fatima College defender Jaden Williams during North Zone Intercol action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 16 November 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

And, in the 80th minute, the Royalians struck again as their own talented winger, Micah Nelson, troubled the opposing defence with another mazy run and the ball broke for substitute Musaddiq Mohammed, who expertly steered the rebound into the far corner.

Fatima had no response. And the reigning champions were out.

The 2023 Intercol competition will crown a new king then. Jones’ Royalians might have their own ideas about who that should be.

QRC supporters cheer on their team during their North Zone Intercol contest with Fatima College at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 16 November 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

2023 Intercol results

(Thursday 16 November)

St Anthony’s College 3 (Andell Fraser 43, Joshua Miller 44 pen, Mordecai Ford 79), East Mucurapo Sec 0 at Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Fatima College 1 (Aidan De Gannes 36), QRC 2 (Stephon James 52, Musaddiq Mohammed 80) Hasely Crawford Stadium.

QRC forward Musaddiq Mohammed celebrates the decisive goal against Fatima College with his teammates during the North Zone Intercol semifinals at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 16 November 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

(Friday 17 November)

St Benedict’s College v Pleasantville Secondary, South Semis, 3.30pm, Mahaica Oval;

Presentation (San F’do) v Naparima College, South Semis, 5.30pm, Mahaica Oval.

Miracle Ministries attacker Keon Codrington (centre) celebrates the opening goal in their 3-0 Central Zone semifinal win over Carapichaima East Secondary at Edinburgh 500 on 14 November 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

Zonal Intercol finals

(Monday 20 November)

Chaguanas North Sec v Miracle Ministries PHS, Central finals, 3.30pm, TBA;

(Tuesday 21 November)

San Juan North v Arima North Sec, East finals, 3.30pm, Larry Gomes Stadium;

San Juan North Secondary players celebrate a goal during their 5-0 romp against St Augustine Secondary in the East Zone Intercol semifinal at the Arima Velodrome on 15 November 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

(Wednesday 22 November)

Speyside High v Bishop’s High/ Signal Hill, Tobago finals, 5.15pm, Dwight Yorke Stadium;

(Thursday 23 November)

QRC v St Anthony’s College, North finals, 3.30pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

QRC playmaker Tau Lamsee (right) evades a tackle from Fatima College captain Jaden Williams during North Zone Intercol action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 16 November 2023.
Photo: Daniel Prentice/ Wired868

(Friday 24 November)

St Benedict’s/ Pleasantville Sec v Naparima/ Presentation (San F’do), 3.30pm, Mahaica Oval.

More from Wired868
Intercol 23: SSFL reverses South Zone decision; Mahaica will host final!

The South Zone Intercol will be held in south Trinidad after all! Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) president Merere Gonzales Read more

Ten-man T&T hang on for 80 minutes, before 3-0 fall to USA in CNL 1/4 final

Trinidad and Tobago conceded three late goals in Austin, Texas last night as they lost 3-0 to the United States Read more

Intercol 23: Arima KO Trinity in East semis, San Juan spank St Augustine

Arima North Secondary continued their dazzling return to the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) spotlight last night, as they defeated Read more

“My target is to win all three SSFL titles!” One-on-one with Fatima’s Aidan De Gannes

“Football has always been a part of my life,” said Fatima College attacking midfielder Aidan De Gannes. De Gannes grew Read more

“I keep trying to motivate people!” One-on-one with Arima’s Jemaul Ashing

“[…] To be honest, what really motivates me is that my uncle, Aalon Ashing, passed away on my birthday and Read more

Intercol suggestions: More teams, random draw and “mid-season Intercol breaks”

The following is written in my capacity as Arima North Secondary football representative and team manager and serves as a Read more

About Editor

Check Also

“Stop stigmatising Arima!” Sheppard, Ramjit speak on explosive Intercol clash

Arima North Secondary technical director and Premier Division team head coach Wayne Sheppard has blamed …

One comment

  1. Good morning Editor,

    Interestingly, I was told by two referees that the Assistant Referee’s signal against Fatima’s goal was not offside but an offense by Chaves, Fatima’s forward vs QRC’s GK, Affan when the latter ‘initially regained possession’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.