Defending champions Palace Super Falcons retained their Sasol League National Championships title in fine style whey they defeated Cape Town Roses by five goals to two (5-2) in the final played at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi near Durban on Sunday, 1 July 2012.
Falcons also pocketed fifty thousand rand (R50 000) for lifting the trophy which they keep as they have now won the tournament three times in a row. This is the first time prize-money was handed out in the championships, which have been running for four years.
Banyana Banyana star Portia Modise of Falcons, who was instrumental in the victory, was selected as the Diski Queen of the Match after scoring three a hat-trick.
“The fact that Palace Super Falcons played and lost the 2009 final to Detroit Ladies on penalties, and then won the title in 2010, 2011 and now 2012, is purely statistical,” said Modise.
“We have a very experienced squad that includes current and former Banyana Banyana players, but the level of play at the Sasol League National Championships is forever on the increase and the challenge gets tougher each year. Sasol and SAFA need to be commended for the platforms that they have created for the upliftment of women’s football over the past four years,” said Modise.
“The R50 000 prize money for the winning team is another example of progress. It’s the first time that the tournament has had prize money which is another positive step for women’s football.”
Former national team player Martha Makoma and Shirley Ruene joined Modise’s triple strike on the score-sheet, but while Palace Super Falcons were the superior side throughout the match with another former Banyana Banyana player, Chantel Esau superb on the right side of attack, Cape Town Roses presented a tougher challenge than the scoreline suggests.
“This is the greatest day in women’s football. We did not expect this cheque, as we have been playing in this tournament and not getting anything. We would like to thank SAFA and Sasol for this fine gesture which we believe will inspire all the teams to work harder in next year’s tournament, and will also go a long in assisting the team,” said Bob Maredi, Team Manager of Palace Super Falcons.
With Banyana Banyana midfielders Leandra Smeda and Nocawe Skiti, both from Cape Town Roses, working hard to launch attacks on the Gauteng-based side’s goal area, the team from Gugulethu can be pleased at having reached their first Sasol League National Championship final, taking home R35 000.
Hosts Durban Ladies collected R25 000 for ending third in the tournament after they outplayed Bloemfontein Celtics 5-2. The Free State side took home R20 000.
The other five provincial champions who did not qualify for the last four each receive fifteen-thousand-rand (R15 000) – these are City Lads, RC Mills, Al’s Puk Tawana, Kanatla Ladies and Msiphuya FC.
“I must say I have been impressed by the standard of play at this tournament and it shows that women’s football is on the rise every year. At the beginning of the week it was a bit disappointing to see high scores, which indicated to one that some teams came unprepared but improved as the tournament progressed,” said Banyana Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza.
“We have seen some players we believe will add value to the national team but we will only be able to rope them into the national team set-up after the Olympics Games which start in London later this month. From what I saw this week, I believe the national team has a lot of back-up even though some are still raw but just need to be introduced slowly to our system.”
“For us at SAFA we are very proud to be hosting such an event because it is the place where we are able to showcase the talent we have in women’s football. The standard is also lifted by the presence of some Banyana Banyana players in their clubs because this is where they come from before they play for their country.
“Such tournaments have given rise to the competitive edge of the ladies as they want to be seen by the Banyana Banyana coaches who have spent the week here,” said Sam Masitenyane, Chairperson of the SAFA Competitions Committee.
With 11 goals in the tournament, Durban Ladies’ striker Slindile Ngubane won the Sasol Golden Boot (top scorer) award, while Bloemfontein Celtic’ national team striker Sanah “Diego” Mollo was voted by her peers as the Sasol Diski Queen of Queens (Players’ Player of the Tournament).
Modise also collected the Sasol Player of the Tournament Award. Palace Super Falcons goalkeeper Bridgette Molale was named as the Sasol Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
Individual Awards: Referee of the Tournament: Lufuno Nemagovhane (Limpopo) Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Bridget Molale (Palace Super Falcons) Most Promising Young Queen of the Tournament: Abongiwe Dlali (Cape Town Roses) Top Goal scorer of the Tournament: Slindile Ngubane – 11 Goals (Durban Ladies) Coach of the Tournament: Joe Mabaso (Palace Super Falcons) Diski Queen of the Tournament: (Player of the Tournament) Portia Modise (Palace Super Falcons) Diski Queen of Queens: (Players’ Player of the Tournament) Sanah Mollo (Bloemfontein Celtic) Groupings for the SASOL National Championship 2012: 25 – 30 June 2012, Ethekwini: Group A: Durban Ladies (KwaZulu-Natal) Bloemfontein Celtics (Free State) Msiphuya Ladies RC Mills (Northern Cape) Al’s Puk Tawana (North West) Group B: Palace Super Falcons (Gauteng) Cape Town Roses (Western Cape) Kanatla Ladies (Limpopo) City Lads (Eastern Cape) Day One (Monday, 25 June): 13h00: Bloemfontein Celtic 10-2 RC Mills (Group A) 16h00: Durban Ladies 9-1 Al’s Puk Tawana (Group A) Day Two (Tuesday, 26 June): 13h00: Al’s PUK Tawana 10-1 RC Mills (Group A) 13h00: Palace Super Falcons 5-0 City Lads 15h00: Cape Town Roses 3-0 Kanatla Ladies 15h00: Bloemfontein Celtics 9-1 Msiphuya (Group A) Day Three (Wednesday, 27 June): 13h00: Kanatla Ladies 2-1 City Lads 13h00: Palace Super Falcon 2-1 Cape Town Roses 15h00: Msiphuya Ladies 13-0 RC Mills (Group A) 15h00: Durban Ladies 6-0 Bloemfontein Celtics (Group A) Day Four (Thursday, 28 June): 09h00: RC Mills 0-10 Durban Ladies (Group A) 09h00: Msiphunya Ladies 3-3 Al’s Puk Tawana (Group A) 13h00: Cape Town Roses 3-1 City Lads 13h00: Kanatla Ladies 2-2 Palace Super Falcon 15h00: Al’s Puk Tawana 1-8 Bloemfontein Celtic (Group A) 15h00: Msiphunya Ladies 1-2 Durban Ladies (Group A) Semi-Finals: Day Five (Friday, 29 June): 13h00: Durban Ladies 1-2 Cape Town Roses 15h00: Palace Super Falcons 3-1 Bloemfontein Celtics Finals: Day Six (Saturday, 30 June): 11h30: Durban Ladies 5-0 Bloemfontein Celtic 15h00: Cape Town Roses 2-5 Palace Super Falcons