The junior strings of Metfone C-League champions Phnom Penh Crown dominated the Barclays Capital ISF Youth Football League finals on Saturday, winning both the Boys’ U14 Champions and Premier divisions at Old Stadium.
Taking the pitch against Preah Khan Reach Colts in the Champions final, Crown were comfortable 2-0 winners.
But in sharp contrast, Crown had a battle on their hands against a courageous Blue Flag in the Premier competition before producing a match winner in the dying minutes of the game for a 3-2 verdict.
A dramatic penalty shootout saw Juice Master United edge out ISF Flying Tigers 2-1 in the Champions third-place playoff.
ANDC Bulls filled the Premier division third place after outplaying Komar Takhau 4-0.
Onslow took home the U14 girls’ trophy with a convincing 5-2 win over Northbridge Nomads.
The Coballers beat Super Sonics 5-1 to finish third.
The Coballers came into their own in the girls’ U18 final against ANDC Girls.
Dictating the terms from the start, the Coballers ran out 4-0 winners to lift the title.
Onslow had no trouble beating Juice Master United 6-1 to take third spot.
According to the organisers, the boys’ U10 final will be played at a later date.
High point of the season was that deaf players were integrated into the league, playing against able players.
For Krousar Thmey sides, which are made up of deaf boys and girls, it was the first time they had been given the opportunity to play in organised competition.
The fair play award went to The Hunters team from Krousar Thmey.
“In spite of losing most games, the Hunters returned each week with a fighting spirit and never gave up.
The ISF program adjusted itself to integrate the players into the league this season, and ISF plans to have more deaf teams participating in the 2012-13 season,” ISF country manager Kate Griffin told the Post yesterday.
The day’s riveting interest, however, centred on the second annual ISF Football Tournament for the Deaf, which was played simultaneously with the Barclays ISF League.
As many as eight men’s and three women’s teams representing organisations for the deaf from Phnom Penh, Kampot, Battambang and Kampong Cham took part.
Squads from Krousar Thmey won both the men’s and women’s events.
In the men’s final, Krousar Thmey of Battambang defeated Deaf Development Program of Kampong Cham 1-0.
In the women’s showdown, which was a repeat of last year’s, the Krousar Thmey unit from Phnom Penh easily got the measure of their DDP counterparts.
“We are delighted that ISF has continued to support deaf players to participate in their program. Our team now receives coaching from ISF, and the players are excited for the opportunity to participate in the tournament for a second year,” Justin Smith, of DDP in Phnom Penh, said.
“The tournaments provided a great opportunity for deaf communities to socialise with other participants and spectators. The day was a roaring success, with more than 600 spectators attending.”
Report by H S Manjunath