Birkirkara claimed the Youth League Section A championship thanks to a dramatic 2-1 win over Pietà Hotspurs after extra-time in a Championship Decider at the Victor Tedesco Stadium on Monday.
Jan Busuttil put the Hotspurs ahead on the 27th minute but Alessio Azzopardi equalised on the 36th. Nevin Portelli notched the winner four minutes from the end of second half of extra-time.
By the end of the first round, Birkirkara were lying in sixth place on 12 points with just three wins and three draws out of the first nine matches, eight points behind leaders St. Andrews. However the Stripes won seven in the second round to end their commitments on level points with Pietà on 34 points.
Mosta finished third on 32 and Sliema Wanderers fifth on 30 points, followed by Hamrun Spartans on 29, Balzan 27, Valletta 23, St. Andrews 21, Hibernians 20 and Lija Athletic 4.
St. Andrews, in fact, earned just one point in the second round in a goalless draw with Pietà before suffering eight consecutive defeats but just managed to retain their Section A status, placing one point ahead of Hibernians who were therefore condemned to playing in Section B along with Lija.
Meanwhile in Section B, Melita emerged as winners, maintained an unbeaten record, finishing on top on 46 points, two ahead of San Gwann. Melita and San Gwann were therefore promoted to Section A. Swieqi United placed third ahead of Qormi, Zabbar St. Patrick, Zebbug Rangers, Rabat Ajax and Naxxar Lions while Pembroke Athleta and Kirkop United were relegated to Section C.
Mqabba won Section C, remaining unbeaten and finishing ten points clear of Santa Lucia, who were also promoted to Section B. Attard finished third, followed by Floriana, Tarxien Rainbows, Mellieha, Birzebbuga St. Peter’s and Sirens. Fgura United and Msida St. Joseph were relegated to Section D.
In Section D, Luqa St. Andrew’s finished on top with 51 points, eighth ahead of Marsaxlokk. The only points dropped by Luqa in the whole campaign were in a second round defeat to the Southseasiders. Zejtun Corinthians placed third, followed by Marsa, Siggiewi, Xghajra Tornados, Mgarr United and Gzira United while Zurrieq and Gharghur were relegated to Section E.
On the other hand, in Section E, St. George’s and Ghaxaq finished on level points. Ghaxaq won the section after beating the Cospicua side 4-3 on penalties following a goalless draw at the end of extra-time. Sta. Venera Lightnings placed third, followed by Ta’ Xbiex, Kalkara, Marsaskala and Mtarfa.