San Juan North Secondary and Presentation College, San Fernando, will square off in the final of this year’s Coca Cola National InterCol title after victories against Carapichaima East Secondary 2-0 and St Anthony’s College 3-1 respectively on Friday at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Balmain, Couva.
With champs Naparima College out of the way, San Juan North, the beaten finalist back in 2016, were in a no-nonsense mood in the opening match and should have scored early on when the prolific Isaiah Chase benefitted from a goal-area scramble but with the goal at his mercy, he lifted his attempt over the bar.
But there was no stopping the San Juan boys from taking the opener from a major blunder by goalkeeper Aaron Best in the 30th minute. Isaiah Chase’s clearance from the goal area should have fallen into the comfortable hands of the custodian, but he instead dropped it into the path Renaldo Boyce, who pounce quickly to steer the ball into the empty net.
Moments later, San Juan sealed the win from a breakaway by Christon Mitchell. The slender-built striker eluded his marker before slipping the ball beyond the onrushing goalkeeper for a 2-0 advantage before the half-time interval. The scores remained the same after the interval, although there were a few easily missed chances in the second session.
In the second match, Jaiye Sheppard notched a double to spearhead a comfortable 3-1 triumph for Presentation over a wounded St Anthony’s Tigers.
Sheppard had the simple task of just tapping in, after a quick-passing build-up down the left between Ackeel Jacob and Naeem Bisnath, with the latter sensibly picking out Sheppard to fire in past the St Anthony’s goalkeeper Josiah Perez in the 18th minute.
Jacob scored the goal of the match to give his team a two-goal cushion in the 24th. The stocky striker was put through down the left side and under pressure from a St Anthony’s defender, he cut in on his right foot before unleashing a powerful grounder that beat the dive of Perez in the Tigers goal.
Sheppard then sealed the win in the 40th minute for the southerners with a header.
The lone St Anthony’s goal came from a penalty by Kiron Manswell after Jean-Heim Mc Fee was brought down in the area.
SAN JUAN NORTH 2 (Renaldo Boyce 30th, Christon Mitchell 42) v CARAPICHAIMA EAST 0
PRESENTATION (SAN F’DO) 3 (Jaiye Sheppard 18th & 40th, Ackeel Jacob 24th) v ST ANTHONY’S COLLEGE 1 (Kiron Manswell 74th)