St Benedict’s College of La Romaine, San Fernando, emerged as champions of the 2009 Secondary Schools Football League Under-16 Competition by obtaining a hard fought victory over their north rivals, St Anthony’s College.
The Secondary Schools Football League Under-15 Champions last year, played unbeaten throughout the 2009 season, in the under-16 ranks, qualifying for last Friday’s final with a 6-4 victory over Carapichaima East Secondary. St Anthony’s College, north champions in this division booked their place with a victory over Arima East Secondary, a week prior to the final.
St Anthony’s enjoyed most of the first half exchanges. However, it was the ‘Benedict’s Boys’ that went into the interval with a 1-0 lead, through fine individual work from national youth player, Shaquille Stewart, in the ninth minute.
Coaches Aleong and Grovesnor would have been pleased to see their charges get a deserved equaliser in the 12th minute of the second half but this was shortlived. St Benedict’s speedy striker, Machael Mark, found himself en route to goal, only to be stopped by the St Anthony’s goalkeeper, who pulled off a fine two handed save, unfortunately, he was a couple of meters outside his box and received a red card for his efforts.
His replacement has no answer for the resulting free kick, as Shackiel Henry spectacularly deposited the ball in the roof of the net. Thanks to some poor finishing and workmanlike defending from their captain, Mathiaus Halls, St. Benedict's was able to hold on to their lead for the remaining nine minutes, to lift their second notional title in two years.
Coach of both Championship winning teams in 2008 and now in 2009, Amin Forgenie, said: “This team has conquered numerous obstacles during the 2009 season and deserves to be champions once again.”
Forgenie, who is also a Physical Education and Sport Teacher at the College, was thankful to God and appreciated the support given by his principal, who witnessed the final, Earle Alcide, members of staff and most importantly the parents.
St Benedict's College football supporters who await a return to the glory days of football at the institution now have a glimmer of hope and brighter days to look forward to as this team seems to have made a habit of winning.