St. Benedict's College Are The New Intercol Kings

Shaun Fuentes
Date Published: 
Trinidad Guardian

Finally! That was the cry coming from the hearts of the St Benedict's supporters after their team pulled off a splendid come from behind 3-1 victory over southern rivals Princes Town Senior Comprehensive in the Final of the Coca-Cola Intercol Competition at Skinner Park yesterday.

This was largely due to second half double from substitute Andre Toussaint. Following two consecutive defeats in the final in 1995 and 1997, the time had arrived for boys in green and gold to take the trophy to LA Romaine.

The game was played in front of a packed audience of approximately 15,000 it was the Princes Town outfit which drew first blood in the 7th minute when Benedict's custodian Perry Martin failed to hold onto a rather tame shot by LeeBen McGregor. Striker Kenton Thompson gained possession of the loose ball and swung the ball into the unprotected net with his right foot.The P/Town supporters in the stand behind the goal erupted in wild celebrations

Before the goal was scored, Benedict's seemed to have found the early rhythm but after Thompson's strike , they found themselves on the backfoot as P/Town took control of play. Soon after Andre Marshall saw his right footed effort go over and following a nice sublime of passes, Anton Ramnarine, coming in for the suspended Vijay Samaroo, unleashed a low blast from the top of the area, forcing Martin to make a save low Down.

Benedict's looked unsettled for most of the first half play. Their best chance of getting equalizer came in the 22nd minute when Silvio Spann's attempt was almost deflected into the goal by opposing defender and P/Town skipper Dwight De Leon. Then, 15 minutes later Spann teasing left sided free-kick attempt forced Johnson to grab on the second attempt. It was probably the most feasing scoring opportunity the 'Saints" had managed in the opening 45 minutes. The P/Ton defence had been solid under the leadership of Dwight De Leon

Just before the interval, the LA Romaine 'Big Truck lost a wheel when striker Dia Hunte was forced to withdraw from the action after going down in a collision with an opposing defender and ended up having to be taken to the Hospital with an injury to his right hand. He would be replaced by sideline striker Andre Toussaint in the second half. And it was Toussaint who would be conferred with hero status at the end.

Following a good talk during the break by coaches Muhammad Isa and Mervyn Phillip, the LA Romaine "Big Truck" stamped hard on the gas pedal.

Toussaint superbly made his presence felt , sparking a dramatic turn of events.In the 57th minute with Johnson still on the turf after saving an initial shot by Kendell Davis, Toussaint followed up to head into an unprotected goal.

From then Benedict's provided a real flamboyance of football. Two minutes later they took over the lead following a naive bit of defending by P/Town. Goalkeeper Johnson got himself in a terrible mix up with striker Clement , and the ball ended up at the feet of the Benedict's forward and he simply punished the "Green Hornets " slotting home into an open net.

Marcus Alleyne could have leveled up the scores but he somehow headed over from inside the six yard box following a right side cross by Andre Charles.

The last fifteen minutes of the intriguing affair saw P/Town try desperately for the equalizer. However, a barrage of crosses into the Benedict's 18 yard box were properly dealt with by defenders Anthony Haynes, Dwayne Millington and the little figure of Lee Baptiste, who was a force in the backline throughout.

The the hard work of the first half had gone the way of all flesh for Desmond Bailey's "Green Hornets". With there being five minutes of added d on time, Toussaint made sure of the win when he met a pass by Spann and blasted past a helpless Johnson.