The U16 girls team Ellerslie Mustangs and the Under 16 Boys team Tupapa Maraerenga has been crowned champions of the first ever inaugural Kia Orana Youth Football Festival. Organized by the Cook Islands football association, this is the first time in the history of Cook Islands football that a youth competition like such was held. Conditions were perfect for football on Saturday 22nd April 2017 as the finals got underway at the CIFA Complex.
The afternoon saw an exciting final 3rd and 4th placing final match played between Aitutaki and Beachlands Fury. The teams were locked at 1-1 at the end of the first half, before Beachlands Fury added 5 goals at the end of the game resulting from a penalty shootout. The game ended with a score of 5-4. The team from New Zealand the Beachlands Fury finished 3rd in the competition.
The Puaikura Under 16 Boys team benefited from a walkover against Mangaia who ran their game plan to perfection, winning that game 5-0.
In the first final match for the Under 16 girl’s division the Ellerslie Mustangs made the most of the perfect weather conditions and had a dominant run taking out first placing in the finals with a 3-0 win over Puaikura.
The final match of the afternoon for the Under 16 Boys division saw favourites the takitumu pirates which feature main players from Titikaveka, Matavera and Ngatangiia go up against Tupapa Maraerenga. This was most definitely the big upset in the competition. Their strong team line-up led the game in the 2nd half and held on to hand the hard fighting Takitumu a disappointing loss.
Congratulations to the Under 16 Girls team Ellerslie Mustangs and the Under 16 boys team Tupapa Maraerenga for winning the youth football festival. This was a fantastic achievement and thoroughly well deserved. A big Meitaki Maata to all the sponsors who made this event possible namely Air Rarotonga, Cook Islands Tourism and Perfumes of Rarotonga. The idea is to make this a regular affair and host this youth football festival every year.
Full results from Final Matches – Saturday 22nd April 2017:
Finals for 3rd and 4th Placing
Under 16 Girls Aitutaki 4 – Beachlands Fury 5
Under 16 Boys Puaikura 5 – Mangaia 0
Finals for 1st and 2nd Placing
Under 16 Boys Ellerslie Mustangs 3 – Puaikura 0
Under 16 Boys Takitumu Pirates 0 – Tupapa Maraerenga 1