All those present during the final of the Under 14 Tony Bajada Memorial Challenge Cup could indeed admire the beauty of the game where the favourites do not always end up winners. After beating all teams taking part in the tournament, including the same Paola Hibs (6-0), Pietà lost 2-1 to a transformed Hibs side in the final. This was the fifteenth edition of the Tony Bajada Memorial, as always organised by the Hamrun Nursery and Hamrun Local Council and held at the Victor Tedesco Stadium.
Overall, throughout the different age categories, 35 teams from 11 different football nurseries participated in this year’s edition. It is estimated that more than 300 boys and girls took part in the Memorial, which is considered as a major youth football event for the best nurseries on the island.
Pieta’ dominated the Under 14 tournament beating all participants without conceding a single goal and were clear favourites to lift the cup. In the final, Paola Hibs unexpectedly went 2-0 up by the start of the second half. Pieta managed to pull one back midway through the second half. However, the boys from Paola played the perfect tactical match to clinch the much coveted trophy. The trophy was presented to the Paola Hibs captain by Hamrun Mayor Mr Chris Sammut, in the presence of Mr Alex Pace, a representative from the Youth FA.
Before the final, an exhibition match was played between two Under 18 teams from the UK – Educoach College (Southend) and Redhouse Farm Seville (Newcastle). Educoach won a tight match on penalties.
The Tony Bajada Memorial was sponsored by Liquigas Malta and Farsons plc.
More information about the Tony Bajada Memorial may be obtained on the tournament website www.tonybajadamemorial.com