Shillong, Oct 30: Laban capped off a stellar season with the First Division title here today after beating Nongrim Hills 1-0 in the final at the SSA Stadium.
Khrawkupar Tamu scored for Laban in the 80th minute off a free-kick. The First, Second and Third Division finals this year have all been 1-0 affairs.
Both teams had already qualified for next year’s Shillong Premier League by finishing as the top two teams during the league stage of the First Division. Laban had defeated Nongrim 2-1 in their sole meeting on 21st September.
Laban led the way in the first half on the dusty pitch, but overall there was little action in the opening 45 minutes. The highlight came in the 21st minute when a Kerionald Pyngrope long-range attempt was put out for a corner after a great save by Nongrim goalkeeper Mebanrilang Suchiang. The 45th minute then saw Winstarroy Kharpran volley wide from close range.
It was the second half that had much more to write home about and this time it was Nongrim Hills who dominated, with long balls towards Kharpran providing moments of interest for Nongrim, but there were no goals to be had.
In the end a foul not far from the box gave Laban their opening, with Tamu curling his kick neatly into the back of the net.
The winners’ trophy and cheque of Rs 50,000 were presented to Laban by Sports & Youth Affairs Director Matsiewdor War Nongbri. Nongrim received Rs 25,000 in prize money. Mawhati MLA Dasakhiatbha Lamare was also present on the occasion.
There’s little in the way of time for Laban’s players to rest and celebrate as they are heading to Assam early tomorrow to take part in a tournament in Bongaigaon.
The SPL final will be held on Friday at 3:15PM.