The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
FLYING Stars walked away victors as they claimed the 62nd edition of the Townshend and Butcher Trophy after beating Mat High City 2-1 in an entertaining final played at Barbourfields Outside Grounds last Sunday.
The entertaining final saw the Bulawayo Christian League-affiliated Flying Stars hold on to a first half two-goal lead and withstand Mat High City’s resurgence in the second to ensure they claim the knock-out tourney. Flying Stars coach, Lloyd Ndlovu said they came prepared to lift the cup and were happy to lift the coveted trophy.
“As we said before the final we are here to represent the Christian League and show what it is all about. I’m glad we managed to lift the trophy but Mat High City gave us a good match and a scare in the second half but I am glad the boys managed to hold on and clinch the match,” he said.
Flying Stars walked away with a full kit set and floating trophy for their efforts while Mat High City received a full kit. Guest of honour at the final, Zifa Southern Region chairman, Andrew Tapela said they will continue to promote development of football at grassroots level with areas zones being one of their focus sectors. He paid tribute to Townshend and Butcher proprietor, Peter Leondios for continuing to sponsor the tourney even in tough times.
“As Zifa our thrust is to focus on development and as our president indicated we will be giving equipment to teams under Area Zones but they need to be registered with us. We believe there is potential to pluck players from these leagues into top flight and even national teams. Leondios has played a great role in supporting development, with the Townshend and Butcher Trophy being the longest running at 62 years while some have come and gone. I believe he deserves a place in the Southern Region Hall of Fame,” added Tapela.
The 16-team tournament this year was expanded to incorporate teams that play in leagues affiliated with the Zifa Bulawayo Province Area Zones that include Bafa, Wolanani, Bulawayo Christian League and Ntabazinduna Football Association.
Rebels go into Week 16 matches leading at the top by a five-point margin as they amassed 38 points from 15 games while Unity Village are second on 33, although they have played a game fewer than the log leaders. At the bottom of the 12-team log is Twenty Three Stars who have only managed to garner a single point from 11 games while Lobel’s who have six points from 15 games are second from bottom followed by Victory FC who have so far bagged 12 points while NGA FC has 16 points.
This week’s games will see Rebels taking on Victory FC as they seek to cement their lead while Unity Village square off against Safeguard and Anolle Casting battle Lobel’s with Mat High City fixtured against United. NGA Chronicle is up against Joker while Twenty Three Stars take on Mpilo United. All games will be played this morning at Barbourfields Outside Grounds.