St Benedict’s edge Hillview to set up SSFL U-20 final with Fatima

Fatima College forward Michael Chaves. - DANIEL PRENTICE
Fatima College forward Michael Chaves. - DANIEL PRENTICE

LAST season’s Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) premier division winners St Benedict’s College advanced to the final of the 2023 boys’ senior under-20 division final with an exciting 4-2 win over Hillview College in their semi-final at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Malabar on Friday.

Benedict’s will renew their rivalry with 2023 premier division champions Fatima College in Tuesday’s final, as the latter school hammered Marabella South Secondary 10-0 in Mucurapo on Thursday in the other semi. Benedict’s had a much tougher assignment against the Hillview team though, and they were pushed to the limit against the 2023 East zone under-20 champions. Hillview earned a promotion to next year’s East Zone championship division last month, and they showed Benedict’s they are not pushovers by any means.

Benedict’s, who utilised a handful of players who featured throughout their 2023 premier division and national Intercol campaigns, jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the tenth minute through a free kick by Kylon Cayenne. Hillview responded swiftly enough through a 29th-minute effort by Christian Aaron. The Benedict’s team surged ahead before the break though as former Chaguanas North Secondary flanker Nathan George made it 2-1 in the 35th minute.

Hillview battled on and managed another equalising goal by Nathaniel Spencer in the 68th minute, but goals by Jaden Grant and Jahel Lewis swung the game Benedict’s way as they came away with the precious win.

Fatima, who also used several players from their premier division season in their semi-final, were relentless against Marabella.

Fatima star forward and national youth player Michael Chaves grabbed a double, alongside the pair of Justin Alcantara and Luke Correia. Aidan De Gannes, Shaheim O’Brian, Zeke Prescod and Levi Smith scored a goal apiece for the dominant Fatima outfit as they slapped ten goals past the Marabella team.

In the 2022 SSFL season, Fatima and Benedict’s met in the “Big 4” premier division and national Intercol finals, with the teams splitting the title honours after two absolutely absorbing matchups. This year, the two teams opened the SSFL season with another instant classic as Benedict’s won the NGC Super Cup with a 4-3 victory on September 9, with TT youth attacker Derrel Garcia notching a hat-trick.

On Tuesday, the two teams will lock horns for bragging rights in the senior division finale as they look to end their respective seasons on a high.


"St Benedict’s edge Hillview to set up SSFL U-20 final with Fatima"

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