Following a thrilling final versus Paola Hibs, Hamrun Spartans won the Under 14 category tournament and thus re-claim the prestigious Tony Bajada Memorial Challenge Cup. This was the thirteenth edition of the Tony Bajada Memorial, as always held at the Victor Tedesco Stadium, and the third time the Hamrun Nursery won the Under 14 Challenge Cup.
In the final, Hamrun twice came back from behind to lead 3-2 up to a few minutes from the end. However, Paola Hibs levelled matters towards the end of the match to force a penalty shoot-out. Hamrun converted five out of six penalties whilst Paola Hibs converted four. Hamrun captain Sean Mizzi was presented with the trophy by Hamrun Mayor Mr Vince Bonello, to the joy of team-mates, parents and supporters. Youth FA representative Mr Joe Mallia attended the final.
US Triestina participated in this year’s edition of the Under 14 category, however they did not make it through to the semi-final stage. Another Italian team – Junior Calcio Lavello – participated in the Under 10 category whereas Gozitan side Kercem participated in the Under 6 category.
Mgarr United won the Overall Fair Play Award whereas Paola Hibs won the Under 14 Top Scoring Team Award. No winners were declared in the other three categories (Under 12, Under 10 and Under 6) in accordance with Youth FA guidelines. Mementos and products from the tournament sponsors Gatorade were instead presented to all participants.
The Hamrun Nursery is taking advantage of its international contacts to give an opportunity to its young talents to play against foreign opposition. In fact, as part of the same commemorations in remembrance of its founder Tony Bajada, the Hamrun Under 17 side played against British side Burnham Ramblers and drew 1-1. Italian side ASD Helios will round up the Memorial by playing friendly matches against the Hamrun Under 14s in May.
For more information about the Tony Bajada Memorial, please visit the website www.tonybajadamemorial.com