By AIDEN DARIES
The final day of the Rhodes University Internal Res League kicked off on Saturday, 17 September, with three of the sixteen competing teams vying to get their hands on the title.
No set favourites were heading into the league season, as Covid-19 had cancelled the league last season.
Heading into the final game of the 2022 season, Ingulube FC sat top of the league standings with 29 points. Enoch Sontonga FC (29 points) and Chris Hani FC (28 points) were second and third. Ingulube’s goal difference was significantly superior to Enoch’s, and a draw would be enough for Ingulube to get their hands on the coveted trophy.
Chris Hani FC managed to secure all three points against Joe Slovo FC after a convincing 2-0 win which meant that the team from Miriam Makeba Hall climbed to the top of the table before the title-deciding game between Enoch Sontonga FC and Ingulube FC.
Enoch played well in the opening exchanges and were on the front foot. Ingulube FC gradually grew into the game and began dictating play for the majority of the first half. There were no clear-cut chances for both teams in the opening forty-five, as they went into the break goalless.
Ingulube FC started the second half as they finished the first. Enoch’s only chance of the game fell to Lutho Mbukuqu, whose shot travelled just wide from a difficult angle.
Ingulube FC penetrated the defence of the opposition constantly but did not convert their chances until the final 10 minutes when a ball was played over the top as super-sub Jabulani Mthimkhulu latched onto it and dinked Enoch Sontonga’s goalkeeper, Obakeng Malebye, to put the men in red a goal ahead. Enoch Sontonga’s players protested to the linesman as they believed the goal was a clear offside.
After going 1-0 behind and with 10 minutes to play, the heads of many of the Enoch men dropped. The game seemed evenly poised from then on as Ingulube FC managed to hold onto their lead and clinch the Internal Res League title for the 2022 season.