PAMUSHANA HIGH SCHOOL asserted their dominance as the kings of local schools football when they dismissed Churchill Boys High in the final of the RG Mugabe National Under-20 championships at Kutama College yesterday.
Going into the 12-team tournament as one of the pre-event favourites, the Masvingo schools football powerhouse got their all-important goal from Tawanda Machaya in the second half.
On their way to the final, Pamushana had defeated Herman Germainer High School of Bindura 4-2 on penalties in the semi-finals.
The match had ended goalless in regulation time while Churchill edged Gebhuza High School of Matabelaland North 1-0 in their semi-final match.
The tournament, now in its second edition, was mainly sponsored by CableMail.
Kutama won the inaugural event last year and this year it was Pamushana who saw Machaya heading home a cross by Gibson Mayo from the right side.
With a little bit of adventure, Pamushana could have won by a wider margin as they probed the Churchill box for the better part of the game.
Churchil had their own moments too especially when they were fighting to rescue the match after they found themselves trailing.
After the match, Pamushana coach Benard Matenga praised his charges for winning their fourth national Under-20 championship.
"It was a tough match," said Matenga. "I liked the way the boys played all their matches. They had so much commitment and good attitude.
"I think we won the match in midfield and that is where we dominated our opponents.
"We missed a lot of chances during the match but I knew we just needed to be patient.
"It was a pleasure taking part in this tournament and the games were tough throughout.
"We hope next year we will come and defend our title. Some of the guys are in Form Three and others are in Lower Six which means they will be around next year.
"The games against Churchill are always a crunch time so I knew it was going to be a difficult game for us," added Matenga.
Churchill coach Flavian Sengurai believed Pamushana cheated their way to glory "because they used over-aged players".
"Eight Pamushana players were vetted out because they were old and stronger but they had to pay US$100 for them to be reprieved and allowed to play.
"On the match itself, we lost concentration and conceded that silly goal. We knew their type of play that they will come on counter-attacks so we tried to be defensive but unfortunately we lost," added Sengurai.
Takudzwa Mahoni of Pamushana was voted Player of the Tournament while Churchill's Kudzai Mushawi earned himself the top goalscorer's accolade with two goals to his credit.
Simba Majajachani of Churchill was voted Goalkeeper of the Tournament with Pamushana coach Matenga voted Coach of the Tournament.