Alexcia Ali's name will ring long and loud in the Pleasantville community in the coming days, after her hat-trick guided Pleasantville Secondary School to its first Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Coca-Cola National Intercol title, beating Signal Hill Secondary 3-0 in the final at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, yesterday.
After a demoralising experience in the final last year in which the school was beaten 8-0 by Bishops, the southerners looked like a renewed team and threatened from the first whistle. Signal Hill's battling effort was hampered only by their inability to convert the chances that came its way.
After a goalless first half, Ali, who was a thorn for the defenders earlier, produced lighting quick speed to pounce on to a left-side cross by Chrissy Mitchell in the 46th minute, and with both defenders and goalkeeper Aaliyah Alvarez was beaten, Ali then fired the ball into an empty net for the lead.
Later, Ali made it 2-0 from a long ball that defender Jelese Alexander struggled to clear and Ali skilfully lobbed the ball over the advancing goalie for the second goal.
The visitors did not give up though but attacks from captain Ashante Campbell, Twinkle Thomas and Gamelia Waldron were thwarted by a sturdy Pleasantville defence.
But their efforts were killed when Ali was released down the right side and her powerful low shot squeezed in although Alvarez got her hands to it.
At the blast of the final whistle, Pleasantville's fans and supporters erupted into wild celebrations to acknowledge the efforts of the girls who had been only on their second final in the Intercol.
However, it was Pleasantville's third title of the season, first being crowned the South Zone champion after playing unbeaten in the six-team competition then coincidentally topped Signal Hill in the Big Five final, 2-0 with Ali and Mitchell scoring that affair.