Northern Areas Football Association team Park United made up for last year’s disappointment when they claimed the title in the SPAR Nafa Easter Soccer Festival in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
After losing to Sibanye in the 2017 final, United made amends by beating the same opponents in the semifinals.
They then went on to defeat Nafa premier league rivals Bloom Callies 1-0 in the final.
Nafa media liaison officer Vincent Heynes said the clash between United and Sibanye was extremely close.
“Their victory came through a Sibanye own goal after the teams were deadlocked at 1-1 with only a few minutes remaining,” he said.
He added that for the first time in the 45-year history of the event a draw had to be held to decide the teams for the quarterfinals.
“This was all part of the rules where Malabar rivals Shamrocks and Ramblers could not be separated in relation to their points, head-to-head result, goal difference, goals scored and goals against,” he said, with Ramblers going through.
He also mentioned the significant progress made by Stardrift, illustrating the importance of providing opportunities to local clubs.
“They have participated in this event for 25 consecutive years and have never made it to the knockout stages.
“This year they reached the semifinals in their best performance at the event.”
Heynes said by inviting only local teams to the tournament, it had made for an exciting atmosphere.
“The support for the teams was incredible and this is probably the primary reason for the outstanding spectator involvement over the weekend,” he said.
“In terms of support and atmosphere, this year’s event probably ranks as the best in recent times, making it another huge success.”
He added that the organisers would continue to try to improve the weekend’s offering.
“Next year we will look to include a women’s section and we also want to add more life-skills programmes for the juniors and more coaching clinics.”