Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Central zone championship division winners Miracle Ministries Pentecostal High School will meet reigning Central intercol champions Chaguanas North Secondary in this year's Central intercol final after getting a 3-0 win over Carapichaima East Secondary in Edinburgh, Chaguanas on Tuesday.
Miracle Ministries pipped Carapichaima East to the championship division crown this season, and they showed their superiority over their rivals once more as they strolled away in the second half for the facile win. Miracle Ministries attacker Judah Chinapoo sent a dreadful penalty well wide of the mark in the 25th minute after Rolando Solomon was fouled in the area. However, the Kern Cupid-coached team did not let up as they went into the halftime interval with a 1-0 lead after a close range effort by Keon Codrington was deflected into goalkeeper Jayden Meharris' net.
In the second half, Miracle Ministries came into their own and got the better of Carapichaima East with some incisive passing and movement in the final third. Miracle Ministries' shrewd passing game was aided by smart individual play, and their second item from Jabari Rodriguez was a thing of beauty as the attacker danced past three tackles in the penalty area before beating Meharris with a clinical finish.
Rodriguez's goal highlighted his dribbling ability, but his team's third goal showcased their teamwork as nippy flanker Kyle Holder found the net at the end of a slick move. After lovely play in the middle of the park by Chinapoo, a defence-splitting through ball was met by Holder who applied the sweetest of finishes to kill off the contest in Edinburgh.
At the Brickfield recreation ground, Chaguanas North saw off the threat of the other Carapichaima school – Carapichaima West Secondary – as they got a big 4-0 triumph. Chaguanas North were relegated from the premier division this season, but they maintained their title aspirations in the Central zone as goals by Zaiden James, Negaste Moore, Nekayse Moore and Jeremiah Villafana powered them to the zonal final.
In the zonal final, the defending champions Chaguanas North will meet a Miracle Ministries team who are hoping to lift their first zonal intercol trophy. After the match, Cupid, a former TT international defender, said he was "quietly optimistic" about helping Miracle Ministries to their maiden intercol title.
At the Plymouth recreation ground in Tobago, the combination of a penalty shootout and poor lighting made for an eventful evening of school football. In the first semi-final between Speyside Secondary and Mason Hall Secondary, an 83rd minute goal by Speyside's Riquelme Phillips punished a shocking error by the opposing defence and forced the game to the dreaded shootout after a 2-2 draw in regular time. In kicks from the penalty spot, the boys from Tobago's countryside – Speyside – held their nerves as they emerged 5-3 victors after being perfect from the spot.
Speyside's opponents for the Tobago final are still to be decided, as the second semi-final between Bishop's High School (Tobago) and reigning Tobago champions Signal Hill Secondary was abandoned in the 11th minute due to faulty lighting at the Plymouth venue.
The intercol action moves to the East zone on Wednesday, with a semi-final double-header at the Arima Velodrome. In the first East semi, San Juan North will face this year's East zone championship division winners St Augustine Secondary from 3.30 pm. In the next semi which kicks off at 5.30 pm, Arima North Secondary will tackle Trinity College East, the defending champions in the East zone intercol.