Grand Palladium win Hanover Major League
The Grand Palladium Football Club emerged champions of the Hanover Major League on Sunday after defeating many-time champions Sandy Bay 1-0 in the final at the Watson Taylor Park in Lucea.
St Simon Football Club had defeated Esher FC 2-1 in the finals of the Hanover Division One competition.
Grand Palladium will now join parishioners Hopewell United FC in the Western Confederation Football League, which will commence later this year.
"The overall standard of football was good. The level of discipline was good and we are pleased with how the season has turned out," vice-president of the Hanover Football Association, Craig Oates, told WESTERN STAR.
"We have seen a revival in football in this season in terms of persons turning out to support their teams.
"We are hoping that Grand Palladium, having gone a step up, will represent the parish well at the Confed level," he added.
A total of 10 teams participated in the competition, which was held over three months.
The competition was in limbo earlier this year when a spate of crimes plagued Hanover, resulting in some teams expressing fear of turning out for games.
"Crime did not dampen the support that football has in the parish, so we play in an safe atmosphere. The crowd support has been very, very high. Notwithstanding today, Cornwall was playing Rusea's in the Roger Topey Memorial at Rusea's, and the spectator support was still good. You had Sandy Bay, which has a very strong community backing; you had Grand Palladium, which has a strong staff following, so it made for an exciting finals," Oats said.
For next year, Oates said the focus will be on integrating more young boys into the competition.
"We can look to better quality games next year. We are looking to gently easing in more youth players in the system, because a lot of players in the parish are getting older," he said.