St. Andrew's International Football Tournament 2012

Hamrun Spartans FC Youth Nursery 1999 Category yesterday became the first Maltese team to lift high the Luxol Challenge Trophy by beating Catania San Pio X 1-0 in the Final of the third St Andrew’s International Christmas Tournament held during the Christmas week, at the Luxol Stadium.

Unlike the previous two edition finals, this one had a very unsporting end as Catania San Pio X opted to abandon the pitch after their coach had disagreed with a referee’s decision midway to the second half. He angrily ordered marching orders to his players to their “spogliatoio”. The referee had no other option to whistle the end to the match, to the disappointment of all present. The Organizing Committee decided to declare Hamrun Spartans as winners and hand them the Trophy. Pembroke Local Council and St Andrew’s whilst deploring this unsporting act, apologize for the sad ending of the Tournament.

Miguel Simiana scored the all important goal of the match in the 19th minute of the first half.

Hamrun Spartans went through to the final by beating Sliema Wanderers by 3-1 in an entertaining semi final match. Agrigento had to bow against their home neighbors Catania San Pio X after losing narrowly 0-1 in the second semi final.

Melita won the 1997 Category Final beating Pieta Hotspur 6-3 in a penalty shoot out after an exciting 2-2 result in normal and extra time.

This Tournament’s 3rd Edition was organized by Pembroke Local Council in collaboration with St Andrews FC between the 26th and the 30th of December 2012.

Twenty-four teams coming from eleven Nurseries and academies, took part in the most intensive and nonstop football so far since the birth of this Tournament. Agrigento, holders of the first two editions also participated with two categories along with Catania San Pio X.

During the 5 day week Football Festive the three Categories produced 148 spectacle goals in 44 matches played, 32 of which scored during the 12 matches from the 2001 Category, who had the opportunity also to play on full size pitch.

The “Joe Attard Fair play Awards” were presented to Pieta Hotspur, St Andrew’s and Valletta, in the 1997, 1999 and 2001 respective categories for their excellent RESPECT to the Game throughout the Tournament.

Melita were presented with the 1997 Winner’s Trophy by Mr. Mario De Battista, administrator of St Andrew’s and Tournament Director.

A representative of Catania San Pio X was presented with the 1999 Category Runners’ Up Trophy in front of a unanimous sporting applause from the Hamrun Spartans fans and players.

Pembroke Local Councilor Mr. Joe Brincat presented Hamrun Spartans with the Winners Cup while Pembroke Local Council Mayor, Mr. Joe Zammit presented them with the 2012 Luxol Challenge Trophy.