Caledonia AIA and the Morvant/Laventille community had reasons to celebrate on Friday night when the Jamaal Shabazz coached side snatched a second position finish in the 2010-2011 Digicel Pro League Championship.
Caledonia seated third prior to Friday's final clash against neighbouring rivals San Juan Jabloteh needed more than a victory to finish second ahead of bmobile Joe Public.
Caledonia did its part by enjoying a hard-fought 3-2 win over Jabloteh and had to thank a last minute converted penalty by DIRECTV North East Stars' Anthony Wolfe at the Larry Gomes Stadium to hold Joe Public to a 1-1 draw.
Caledonia finished with 36 points points behind League Champions Defence Force (41 points) who whipped St. Ann's Rangers 3-0 in the first clash at the Malabar venue.
2009 League Champions Joe Public which failed to defend its title this season finished third with 35 points, followed by W Connection in fourth with 31 points.
Joe Public held a 1-0 advantage for most part of the match after Marcus Joseph's 3rd minute item, however in the 93rd minute were on the wrong end of a shout for penalty which was converted by Wolfe.
Caledonia finishing its best position in the club's 31-year history joins Defence Force in the Caribbean Football Union Club Championship as the top two finishers in the Digicel Pro League.
Both clubs will contest the CFU Club Championship with a chance at representing Trinidad and Tobago in next season's CONCACAF Champions' League.
Last season Joe Public and Jabloteh reached the Group stage of the Champions' League but failed to advance further.
Defence Force is a former CFU Club Championship and CONCACAF Champions' League winner while Caledonia will be on its debut run.
Earning this season's second position finish wasn't as easy as snatching ice-cream from a kid for the Morvant/Laventille club at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium.
Jabloteh had the dream start when in the 2nd minute Kennedy Hinskon fired the Terry Fenwick coached side ahead 1-0 with a powerful first time volley beating goalkeeper Kevin Graham from the right.
Hinkson started the play when he dispossessed Ryan Stewart in the middle before finding Jason Marcano who in turn played the long switch-ball to find the speedy winger on the right.
However that advantage was shortlived when three minutes later after a quick exchange of passes by Caledonia, Keyon Edwards blasted a shot on goal beating the glove of Cleon John for a 1-1 score putting Caledonia back into the game.
Caledonia then jumped ahead 2-1 in the 24th minute when Hayden Vincent was left free against goalkeeper John and he made no mistake after the Jabloteh defence fell asleep.
But in the 43rd minute the scores were leveled 2-2 when Ataulla Guerra weaved his way through the middle before threading a pass to set Johan Peltier towards goal, and the U18 forward rounded goalkeeper Graham before tapping into an open net.
Five minutes earlier Peltier wasted overbar after having a good look at goal from inside the area.
On the stroke of the hour mark Caledonia's Ryan Stewart provided a decent cross from the left only to see Vincent head it wide of John's upright.
And in the 71st minute John measured a brilliant strike from distance by Stewart with a one-handed save.
But three minutes from time Caledonia stole a 3-2 victory when Akim Armstrong was allowed time and space on the left to blast a low shot which took a slight deflection beating John at his far post after Jabloteh showed another lapse in defence which cost them the match.
Round Two Match Day Nine
2010-2011 Digicel Pro League Championship
Defence Force 3—0 St. Ann's Rangers
Richard Roy 52'(pen), 76', Javon Neptune 72'
Ma Pau SC 0—2 W Connection
; Hughtun Hector 29', Matthew Bartholomew 72'
North East Stars 1—1 Joe Public
Anthony Wolfe 90+3 (pen) ; Marcus Joseph 3'
Caledonia AIA 3—2 San Juan Jabloteh
Keyon Edwards 5', Hayden Vincent 24', Akim Armstrong 87' ; Kennedy Hinkson 2', Johan Peltier 43'
Caledonia AIA—Kevin Graham, Stephan David (capt.) (Yellow), Nuru Abdallah Muhammad (Yellow), Ryan Stewart, Kareem Joseph, Walter Moore, Akim Armstrong (Jean-Luc Rochford 94th), Keyon Edwards (Travis Mulraine 92nd), Daneil Cyrus, Densill Theobald (Yellow), Hayden Vincent (Conrad Smith 70th).
San Juan Jabloteh—Cleon John (capt.), Jason Marcano, Joel Leslie Russell (Yellow), Christan Thomas, Anton Hutchinson, Jamal Jack, Mikhil Awai, Johan Peltier (Karlon Murray 76th), Ataullah Guerra (Yellow), Cyrano Glen (Hector Sam 62nd) (Yellow), Kennedy Hinkson (Elijah Manners 65th).
Connection pips Ma Pau for 4th place finish.
Hughtun Hector scored one and assisted in another as W Connection enjoyed a 2-0 win over Ma Pau SC for a fourth position finish this season in the 2010-2011 Digicel Pro League Championship.
It was a battle to finish fourth between Connection and Ma Pau at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in their final League match and in the end the Stuart Charles Fevrier coached side secured it with 31 points from 18 games.
Hector had Connection ahead 1-0 in the 29th minute when he delicately chipped a shot over an advancing goalkeeper Alejandro Figueroa after being played past the defence by Hashim Arcia.
In the 32nd minute Connection were at it again and from a patient play Kemuel Rivers blasted a shot across the face of goal.
Andrei Pacheco failed to find the back of the net three minutes into the second period after Christian Viveros made a block on Coneal Thomas before playing Pacheco on the corner of the six yard area however the Connection midfielder spilled high with only goalkeeper Figueroa to beat.
But substitute Bartholomew made no mistake in the 72nd minute—three minutes after replacing Arcia—when he placed a low shot past the gloves of Figueroa from inside the area.
Bartholomew was picked out by Hector inside the area after a switch of play from Clyde Leon which left Ma Pau defenseless.
Figueroa then denied Bartholomew with a sliding blockout in the 75th minute as Connection applied further pressure on the Woodbrook side.
Connection followed-up with two wasted opportunities in the dying stages with defender Coneal Thomas making a block on Pacheco and Hector spilled over in another effort.
Ma Pau SC—Alejandro Figueroa, Lyndon Andrews (capt.) (Dwane James), Coneal Thomas (Yellow), Lester Peltier (Trevin Caesar 58th), Rennie Britto, Leslie Fitzpatrick, Kerry Noray, Mekeil Williams (Shandel Samuel 75th), Shane Calderon, Seon Power, Aquil Selby.
W Connection—Murilo Da Costa, Elijah Joseph (Vernus Abbott 24th), Clyde Leon, Romauld Aguillera, Nickcolson Thomas, Hashim Arcia (Matthew Bartholomew 69th), Kemuel Rivers, Hughtun Hector, Andrei Pacheco, Akeem Benjamin, Christian Viveros (Yellow) (Gerrard Williams 77th).
Coach—Stuart Charles Fevrier.