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Intercol 2022: Niles dazzles, Lee and Grant double up as St Benedict’s hit Chaguanas for six

Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division champions St Benedict’s College marched into Saturday’s National Intercol semi-finals after thumping Chaguanas North Secondary 6-0 win at Fatima Grounds on Mucurapo Road today.

The National Intercol quarterfinal was an exercise in patience though, as the “Golden Lions” were defied for long stretches by a determined Chaguanas unit that sat deep and tried to limit space for the opposing attackers.

St Benedict’s College captain Tarik Lee tries to advance with the ball while Naparima College midfielder Kanye Francis looks on during SSFL Premier Division action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 15 October 2022.
(Photo Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

St Benedict’s captain Tarik Lee opened the scoring in just the eighth minute, but the South Zone Intercol champions had to wait until the 52nd minute to celebrate for a second time.

Once substitute Jaden Grant gave St Benedict’s breathing space, the favourites quickly put the contest beyond doubt with a flurry of second half goals.

“We have to be patient and wait for our moments [and] when we get our chances, we have to take them,” St Benedict’s coach Randolph Boyce told his players, during an impassioned halftime talk. “At some point in time, when [Chaguanas North] feel as though they have nothing to lose, what do you think they’ll do? They must go for it!”

KFC Munch Pack

Not that Chaguanas North—who replaced Carapichaima East Secondary due to a successful protest against the eligibility of goalkeeper Nicholai Rivers—were totally without ambition.

In winger Nathan George, they possessed an attacker with electric pace and he fashioned the few moments of quality the Central Zone champions displayed in the final third.

Chaguanas North Secondary flanker Nathan George (foreground) tries to initiate an attack during Premier Division action against Moruga at African Grounds in Enterprise on 8 October 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

In the 23rd minute, George dug out a beautiful cross from the left that Chaguanas striker Hezekiah John fired over bar from close range. George also shot marginally too high with a speculative effort in the 42nd minute.

By the second half, St Benedict’s own star flanker, Jeremiah Niles, had come to the fore though. And the nippy 16 year-old effectively put the game to bed with a moment of brilliance early in the second half.

Niles won a tussle with Chaguanas right back Michael Hemlee near halfline, sprinted the length of the left flank and put a dangerous cross into the six-yard box.

Benedict’s right-side flanker Nicholas Bobcombe got on the end of Niles’ cross and centered for the lanky Grant, who beat Chaguanas goalkeeper Aidan Raymond with a neat glancing header.

Chaguanas coach Anson Raymond lamented that his team invited Benedict’s to a shooting range thereafter, as they failed to close down the opposition attackers around the penalty area.

St Benedict’s College midfielder Jeremiah Niles (right) takes on a Presentation College (San F’do) defender during Big 4 semi-final action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 21 October 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

With George increasingly isolated up top, Chaguanas could not absorb the pressure from the Benedict’s team which never really kicked into top gear.

Niles created their third in the 69th minute with another display of pace and trickery that was too much for Hemlee before another substitute, Ephraim Brown, slammed in Niles’ cross from point blank range.

And the southerners went on to score three goals in a four-minute span in the latter stages, as Grant, Malacai Webb and captain Lee put extra gloss on another dominant performance.

On Saturday, Benedict’s will aim to move closer towards a 2022 SSFL double as they tackle Tobago Intercol winners Signal Hill Secondary in the National semifinals.

St Benedict’s College substitute Jaden Grant got two goals in 25 minutes to help spark a 8-0 rout of Carapichaima East in SSFL Premier Division action at the Ato Boldon Stadium on 17 September 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Signal Hill should be warned that the Golden Lions of St Benedict’s aren’t easily tamed.


Chaguanas North Secondary (4-2-3-1): 1.Aidan Raymond (GK); 17.Michael Hemlee (2.Jahiem Sollayman 79), 4.Lee-Vann David (captain), 5.Alex Thomas, 10.Jakwan Benjamin; 14.Darius Bruce (13.Tyrique Joseph 72), 6.Christian Richards; 15.Nikosi Foncette, 8.Hezekiah John (9.Justin Lewis), 11.Nathan George; 7.Arron Raymond (12.Zaiden James 76).

Unused substitutes: 3.Issiah Howard, 16.Marcus Lee Kim, 18.Amari Johnson.

Coach: Anson Raymond

St Benedict’s College (4-3-3): 1.Ja-ir Buckmire (GK); 4.Keanu Morean (3.Anthony Williams 33), 6.Nesean Alexander (21.Malacai Webb 72), 5.Joshua Demas, 2.Joshua Phillip; 8.Derrel Garcia (9.Jaden Grant halftime), 20.Rayshawn Crichlow (15.Ephraim Brown 28), 12.Josiah Ochoa; 10.Nicholas Bobcombe (18.Tyrique Lucas 72), 7.Tarik Lee (captain), 11.Jeremiah Niles.

Unused substitutes: 22.Thane Devenish (GK), 19.Lyshawn Morris.

Coach: Randolph Boyce

Referee: Gyasi McDonald

Wired868 Man of the Match: Jeremiah Niles (St Benedict’s College)

St Benedict’s College winger Jeremiah Niles (left) tries to escape from Fatima College flanker Chaim Williams during the Big 4 final in Couva on 26 October 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

National Quarterfinal result

(Wed 30 Nov)

Chaguanas North Secondary 0, St Benedict’s College 6 (Tarik Lee 8, 80, Jaden Grant 52, 76, Ephraim Brown 67, Malacai Webb 77) at Ato Boldon Stadium;

National Semifinals

(Sat 3 Dec)

St Benedict’s College vs Signal Hill Secondary, 3pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium;

Fatima College vs Trinity College East, 5pm, Hasely Crawford Stadium.

Fatima College flanker Christian Bailey (right) tries to evade QRC midfielder Teshaun Franklyn during the North Zone Intercol final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 18 November 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

National Final

(Wed 7 Dec)

3pm, TBA