Gauteng sides dominate Premier Cup

Ajax Cape Towns Dante Brown celebrates his goal in his sides 3-2 loss against Highlands Park, in the quarter-final of this years Bayhill Premier Cup, on Sunday. The Parow-based side went on to beat Bloemfontein Celtic 1-0 in the mid-section final.

It was, however, the Johannesburg outfit that emerged 3-2 winners. They went through to the semis and Ajax were out of the championship stages of the competition.

As a consolation of sorts, Ajax had to do battle in the mid-section semi-finals, where they came up against Virginia Academy. That match was as tough as they come and the sides were evenly-matched in all departments.

The final score was 1-1 and the dreaded penalty shootout had to decide the winner. Ajax ended up winning 4-3 to set up a final date with Bloemfontein Celtic.

They went on to beat the Free State side 1-0 in that final.

Considering the standards they have set themselves over the years, the Ajax side would be forgiven for feeling that they hadn’t done enough.

Having said that, however, there were many positives that came out of their performance in this year’s competition. They were, for instance, able to score 13 goals and conceded only five in seven matches.

This year’s competition, in its 30 year, saw 32 teams from across South Africa, and beyond, battling it out over six days.

The 2016 and 2017 champions Supersport United looked as organised as ever.

It was clear from the outset that the Tshwane side came here to defend their title. They fought their way to the semi-final, before losing to Tshwane rivals, Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0.

That was the end of their run in this year’s tournament, and Sundowns booked their spot in the final, against Highlands Park who beat another Tshwane side, University of Pretoria, in their semi-final.

Meanwhile, Silver Spurs, Greenwood and D&G Orient may have been knocked out of this year’s tournament, but their supporters have a lot to be proud.

For the first time in the history of the club, Silver Spurs made their debut in the Bayhill Cup, and they did not disappoint.

They reached the plate section final but lost 1-0 against the experienced PPG Langa, who have played in the plate section for the past three tournaments (excluding last year).

Manenberg based D&G Orient managed to reach the last 16 while Greenwood Athletic brought together a squad of unshaken and talented youngsters with a heart that donned the green and yellow with pride.

Silver Spurs shocked many of the big names to make their way to the plate section final.

In the championship final, which was a battle of Gauteng sides, Highlands Park were crowned champions after beating Mamelodi Sundowns 4-2 on penalties. The sides were tied at 1-all after regulation time.