Shillong, Feb 24: Laitkor SC put on their best performance of the tournament to win the Shillong Sports Association’s First Division 2023 title at First Ground, Polo, here today as they trounced Nongrim Hills 4-1 in the season-ending match.

Nongrim Hills had been leading the standings almost from the very beginning of the year but losing two games in a row means that they finished second to Laitkor.

Before today, Nongrim just needed a draw to win the title as they had the better goal difference.

After a deadlocked first 45 minutes they were halfway to their goal but Laitkor came out fighting in the second session and scored through Evangel Kharkongor (49′), Sondy F Kharkongor (63′), Risuklang Malngiang (66′) and Ryngkat Yanni Ryngksai (79′). Nongrim Hills’ lone goal was by Justerwell Tham (79′).

By finishing as the top two, both clubs had already guaranteed themselves promotion to next season’s Shillong Premier League. On the other hand, Umphyrnai SC and Mawkhar SC, the two bottom-most clubs, will be relegated to next season’s Second Division.

The champions received Rs 1 lakh as prize money and the runners-up Rs 50,000.

This is the second season in a row that Laitkor have been promoted. They had won the Second Division in 2022 and have now repeated their success in the First Division with the SPL beckoning. This will be their first season in the top division of the local league.

Nongrim Hills, meanwhile, will be making their return to the SPL – they had reached that level in 2019 but were relegated at the end of that season.

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