Labasa have secured their fourth Inter-District Championship title after defeating defending champions Ba 2-1 in the tournament final at ANZ Stadium this week.
Labasa took an early lead courtesy of new signing Lekima Gonerau when his shot from the left of the penalty area bounced in front of Ba goalkeeper Misiwane Nairube who couldn’t halt the sixth minute strike.
The Roneel Lal coached side maintained their pressure on the “Men in Black” and tightened up their defence closing out Ba’s strikers Saula Waqa, Samuela Nabenia and Malakai Tiwa.
Ba defender Alvin Singh had an opportunity to equalise in the second half but lost his footing, letting the chance slip away.
:abasa’s Ratu Apenisa Anare then extended the lead after converting a pass from Gabrieili Matanisiga just past the hour mark.
Avinesh Suwamy pulled the deficit back to just one goal when he scored from a corner kick with just over five minutes remaining, but back-to-back victories weren’t to be for the side as Labasa held on to claim the trophy.
Lal said his side had to adjust their approach to the game given the wet conditions.
“The plaayers showed a lot of character and I told them to work hard despite the injuries in the team,” he said.
“I tried to motivate the boys every day with different quotes which would bring out the best from them. I told them ‘if you don’t believe in your inner-self, then you are nothing’.”
It was a similar situation for Ba coach Imdad Ali when it came to the conditions and having to manage their approach to the game to work within the conditions.
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