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Nadi rules Fiji Sanatan BOG tourney

Zanzeer Singh
Tuesday, December 05, 2017

NADI staged a late rally to overcome minnows Wairabetia 2-1 in the final of the Fiji Sanatan Battle of the Giants tournament at the Xavier College Ground in Ba yesterday.

After a scoreless first half, Wairabetia went ahead after striker Parvesh Goundar pounced on a through pass and drove the ball past Nadi goalkeeper Pramesh Prasad.

Down by a goal Nadi did not panic. Former Ba, Lautoka and Suva rep Krishna Sami levelled the score in the 52nd minute.

Shivneel Pillay sealed the win for Nadi in the last five minutes when his corner kick took a deflection off Wairabetia goalkeeper Umesh Ram's gloves sailing to the back of the net.

Nadi coach/player Ravikesh Narayan said they finally tasted success after two decades.

He said they had a good campaign.

"The team trained for three weeks," Narayan said.

"We have a mixture of youth and experience in the team. The boys were very dedicated for the tournament.

"Nadi has not won a Sanatan tournament title in a long time. We went into this tournament with a lot of confidence.

"We had a lot of support. Krishna played a pivotal role together with our goalkeeper Pramesh."

In the semi-finals, Nadi downed Suva 4-0 while Wairabetia defeated Lautoka 2-0. Nadi received $1000, a trophy and gold medals while Wairabetia settled for $500 prizemoney and a trophy.

Narayan said their next target would be the Inter District Championship title in June 2018.

"We hope to retain these players for the IDC," he said.

"Nadi has not won the IDC title in the last 20 years so we will try and break that jinx."

Wairabetia coach Ritesh Kumar said they missed two key players through suspensions in the final.

Kumar said it was a great achievement for a settlement team like Wairebetia to reach the final.

Shree Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji sports wing acting president Dhirendra Nand said a data base of all registered players would be set up next year which would help the teams when applying for player transfers.

He said this would also rule out protests regarding player registrations.

2017 Sanatan Awards:

Football: Footballer of the year-Vineet Chand (Navua), Tem of the year-Navua, Administrator of the year-Suresh Niwaj (Votualevu), Emerging player of the Rajnit Prasad (Nadi), Fairest team of the year-Uluisila, Volunteers of the year: Avishek Rahil Singh, Kaushal Kausik Sharma. Netball: Netballer of the year-Sonali Rao (Ba), Team of the year-Ba, Administrator of the year-Jyotish Praveen Singh (Lautoka), Emerging player of the year-Sanyukta Shriti, Fairest team of the year-Nabua.

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