Season Five of the Guinness sponsored SMACK League ended on high note on Sunday night at Legends Grounds in Lugogo.
The day was not short of action and razzmatazz as Zulus, the SMACK League Class of 2009 was crowned the champions of the season amid a fireworks display.
The road to victory however was not an easy one for the champions especially since the title was down to the wire as the Block Owners also stood a chance to claim top spot. Zulus won the championship after a nail-biting match against the Outkasts who made them work for the title after an early lead with the latter scoring a goal within the first 15 minutes of the game.
However, even though the pressure from Pitch One that had the Block Owners and the Devils going head to head didn’t make the situation better, the champions went ahead to win the match beating The Outkasts 5-2 to seal their position on top of the table with 43 points and inevitably be crowned the season’s champs.
Gyaviira Nkurunungi fired the Outkasts into the lead which also gave Block Owners some hope.
But the Zulus restored parity through Emmanuel Ssekandi.
Ronald Mujuzi, Raymond Tumuhimbiza, John Kimuli and Bonny Mugabo netted the other goals for the Zulus.
Meanwhile, Block Owners edged the Devils 2-1 with goals from the immensely gifted Steven Dungu and Abasi Kaluya winning the day for the Class of 2002. Unfortunately, their victory could only keep them in second place as they walked away with silver medals.
Speaking at the event, Hillary Ainomugisha, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SMACK League appreciated the players, the different teams, the league sponsors, partners as well as the respective team sponsors.
“It has been a wonderful journey since Match Day One, I thank all the teams, players, sponsors and partners of the SMACK League as well as the individual team sponsors, we keep going stronger and its because of all your combined effort,” Ainomugisha said.
His remarks where re-echoed by Guinness Brand Manager, Elizabeth Mutamuliza who reiterated the brand’s commitment to the league emphasising that as a brand, it is committed to supporting spaces that its consumers not only flourish in but also have fun in.
“I think we can all agree that the SMACK League is no longer just about the Old Boys of Smack League coming here every other Sunday and playing football. This has become a social event where everyone is welcome, and I cannot tell you how happy we are as Guinness to be a part of this. Our commitment to advancing and encouraging the passion for sports in this country is unwavering and as long as the SMACK League is here, we will continue to support them,” she said.
As soon as the games ended, the celebrations kicked in with performances from Kenneth Mugabi who serenaded revellers with some of his biggest hits. “Naki” was the crowd favourite as it got people singling along with many asking the soulful singer to perform the song twice.
Mugabi’s performance was followed by hype from television personality Etania who warmed the crowd up for Azawi’s exhilarating performance that got many on their feet.
Azawi kicked off her performance with “Lo Fit” that got the crowds fired up. She followed it with “Bamutute Da” off her latest album, African Music. However, it was “Majje”, her feature with Fik Fameica that made the crowd go wild making for an epic end to a successful season.
The night also saw many individuals awarded for exceptional performances during the eight-months-long season.
Some of the awards included: The Best Female Fan Award that was won by Olive Nalule, Best Adult Fan that went to Dr Albert Richard Otete, Best Online Fan that was scooped by Niwamanya Justine, Coach of the Season which was scooped by Joseph Ilukor of the Block Owners, Goalkeeper of the Season that was taken by Moses Kwagala, Top Scorer Award going to Michael Kitaka while the Most Valuable player award was scooped by Steven Dungu.
The SMACK League is a creation of the Old Boys of St Mary’s College Kisubi and is used as an avenue to meet, network, socialise and exercise.