It seems the power of 'destiny' prevailed in Tuesday's Coca-Cola National Intercol Final at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, where Naparima College won 4-3 on penalties to complete an unblemished record in this season's Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL).
At a post-match press conference that followed the match, Naparima coach Angus Eve dedicated the win to his fallen former team-mate Michael McComie who died on Tuesday night, but he admitted he was not confident of taking the title, as he didn't believe lightning could strike twice.
Michael Mc Comie, the former national and St Augustine goalkeeper died on Tuesday evening at the Hope Medical Hospital after doctors performed emergency surgery on a tumour. The 46-year-old was a former national player and coach and attended St Augustine Secondary School.
Meanwhile, San Juan manager Stephen Clarke, on the other hand, said his team fought hard, played a good game, but it just was not to be for them.
Clarke's men led by two goals in the penalty shoot-out, after the game ended goalless at the end of regulation time. And although his five kickers were the same ones who produced a clean sheet in a similar shoot-out against Trinity College East in the East Intercol final last week, the uncertainty of the spot kicks rared its ugly head for the Bourg Mulatresse men, who failed to hold their nerves for the first time this season.
"We had the opportunity to win it at the final kick and it didn't happen. The last penalty shout-out against Trinity East we use the same bunch of guys in the same order. This time around it didn't happen. The guy who missed the fifth kick has been doing it all season. He hasn't missed a spot kick for the entire season, even for the Under-16 team which came up against Presentation College for the National title, and he scored, so it's safe to say that the nerves got the better of them," Clarke said.
"We are disappointed with the result, however, we feel proud for the members of the community and the players of the team. The boys fought really hard, we gave it our best in the end in the penalty shoot-out but such is the nature of penalties. We are not disgraced but we intend to come again next year to do better," Clarke said.
Eve's men too also gave it their all, but it was unfathomable for him to think his men, who came from three goals down in a previous shoot-out with south rivals Presentation College, could have repeated a second time. "I wasn't confident. I didn't think that lightning could strike twice. The first penalty shoot-out we missed the first three, but credit to the Levi Fernandez, he was fantastic, and credit to Tyrike Andrews," Eve explained.
Some of Eve's men were required to take an examination before the match, still, there was little to no impact from it.
The former national coach credited his players for the level of consistency for the season, saying there was a fumble in the performance which led to a few drawn matches early in the season, but otherwise, the players were professional and consistent.
Some of Eve's players will wing out on scholarships but he is, however, promising a strong team for the coming season, with a number of very talented young players.