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Lae snares Telikom NSL title

It was the first in the competition’s 10-year history that did not involve super club Hekari United and featured two Momase teams at Lae’s Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium.

The Dwellers gathered for a group prayer on field before the kick-off and that bolstered a packed stadium, which had a parochial crowd despite the presence of a good number of Madang fans.

As expected, a goal-less first half was dominated by Madang, but the men from the north could not turn the possession and territory they enjoyed into a goal.

Part of that had to do with Lae goal-keeper Ronald Warisan, who was kept on his toes throughout the opening 45 minutes.

Lae coach Peter Gunemba reminded his players of the game plan and the fact that they had kept out an enthusiastic opponent.

Madang coach Francis Moiyap said an intimidating crowd did not help his side’s finishing and several instances of fans throwing objects onto the field affected his players’ resolve.

Lee Wabing scored the first goal for Lae in the 49th minute, when he tapped in a cross into the left corner of the Madang goal before being swamped by teammates, who celebrated by pointing in unison to the heavens.

Madang striker Vanya Malagian replied five minutes later, when he gathered a deflection and put it past Warisan to level the scores.

Dabinyaba managed to beat the Madang defenders against all odds to score in the 72nd minute.

A perfect bending corner kick from Lae captain and striker Raymond Gunemba five minutes later found the head of Obert ‘Plesman’ Bika which deflected off the cross bar for the side’s third goal not long after.

It was a fitting reward for Bika who was plucked from obscurity last year to be part of the newly-created Lae franchise.

Lae then put the icing on their strong second half with a clever Gunemba chip that left Madang keeper Leahan Manase stranded outside the box.

Lae midfielder Ken Tepe was named man-of-the-match and was presented K250, while Nigel Dabinyaba, the highest goal scorer with 11 goals, claimed the K5000 prize for the golden boot award.

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