With one more matchday to go, the third season of the NGO League has already been decided after a long tasking and exciting season powered by Guinness.
Shooters, class of 2002-2007 can afford to lose both their games on next month’s matchday and still walk away champions. They came into Sunday’s round at Kitante School Grounds with one task, picking up four points as this would mathematically put them out of reach.
A 1-0 win over Barbarians and a 4-0 drubbing of Season One champions Hornbills got them six points, two more than what was needed. Team manager Joseph Kagame hailed his players for never giving up even when the odds were against them during some tough parts of the season.
With four rounds into the season, their captain and arguably best player Arnold Ayoma suffered a knee injury that would keep him on the sidelines for the rest of the season. For Kagame, their season was done but other players namely Godwin Alionzi, Michael Musisi, William Kiggundu, James Tinkamanyire, Benon Katabira, Drake Murozi, Cranimer Muliiko and Asaph Opio stood tall to keep the tram shining bright.
“When Ayoma got injured, we thought there was no way we were winning the league which had been our target but we got together as a team and stuck to our objectives. Every player played their part and here we are as champions after a very competitive season,” said Kagame who also thinks playing possession football has turned them into a tough side to beat. The goals have come from everyone and the commitment was admirable, something many cohorts lacked.
Not forgetting the ladies that have taken their Sundays off to show up and play for Shooters, upholding tournament sponsors, Guinness’ message of inclusivity. Brenda Lutalo, Faridah Nassali and Jemmy Twesigye have looked comfortable tussling with men and have decided some games. Their contribution has earned them flowers.
Alionzi has been Shooters’ standout player of the season with six goals, he has been a joy to watch and a nightmare for defenders. He was at it again, netting the only goal against Barbarians. His silky touch and ability to beat his man makes him one to look out for and it explains why only a handful of defenders have been able to deal with him.
Shooters will officially be handed the trophy next month when the NGO League returns for the grand finale.