By: CHRIS TOTOBELA
The SAPS hosted a Sport against crime tournament for both soccer and netball over the weekend of 21-24 February. Teams from Makhanda (Grahamstown), Seven Fountains, Alicedale, Riebeck East and Peddie took each other on. People came in numbers to support their respective teams and were entertained through out the day with some great skills.Netball matches took place at the Indoor sports centre while football took place at JD Dlepu stadium.
Teams knocked each other out throughout the day, with the end of the day coming down to the last four. In the first semi-final, Alicedale defeated Seven Fountains by two goals to nil while Sakhulutsha from Makhanda defeated Peddie in the other semi-final by a late single goal. This set up a much anticipated clash between two good football teams.
Friendly City from Alicedale took on Sakhulutsha from Makhanda. The game started with both teams weighing each other’s strengths and it did not take long for the action to heat up. The home side drew first blood when the referee pointed to the spot after a Friendly City defender handled the ball inside the box. Bongani Hashe converted the spot kick and gave his team the lead. City tried to fight their way back into the game but lost focus. Sakhulutsha immediately capitilised on that and caught them off guard with a good move that was finished off by Siyabonga Mnyakama.
In the second half, City threw everything to their opponents but Sakhulutsha’s defence stood firm. With less than ten minutes left in the clock, the home side started show boating to the delight of the home fans who packed JD Dlepu. The final whistle sounded and the Makhanda representatives were crowned champions. Vuyolwethu Soxujwa was voted as the player of the tournament and he was so excited with the achievement.
In the netball section Makhanda (Grahamstown) took silver while Joza were crowned as champions with Zandile Nanto walking away with the player of the tournament award. Nanto could not hide her excitement. “I feel very happy and I think this is a beginning of much better things to come,” she said. “It was not easy but my team tried hard. I think the discipline that I always show on the court helped me a lot in getting this award.”
Glenda Duffy of the SAPS thanked all the participants and encouraged them to take part in sport. “We hope that this event will help take our youth away from the streets and help to be on the side of the law not against the law. We also hope to expand it next year and involve other sport codes,” said Duffy.
Mr Tsotsa spoke onbehalf of Makana LFA and thanked everyone involved for a wonderful day. Likhaya Ngandi of Makana Municipality urged the youth to refrain from vandalising things that are of great importance to our community and help take care of the few resources we have. The winners walked away with trophies, medals and new kit.