Tommy Semmy scored a hat-trick as MRDC Hekari United Football Club, won the inaugural National Premier League championship title with a 4-0 win over FC Papaka at the PNG Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
Hekari now record their first premiership title win in the newly formed Semi-Professional Football Competition.
The Grand Final came alive with entertainment provided by Solomon Islands singers lead by Rosie Delmah and PNG’s Wame Blood setting the mood for the afternoon’s thriller. Hekari, who now have a record of no losses in the NPL, took the lead through a Tommy Semmy goal in the 20th minute, as he struck a pinpoint short into the net after a David Muta assist.
FC Papaka showed resilience with several shots fired to the opponent’s goal mouth but to no avail as veteran goal keeper Lesley Kalai was equal to the task.
However, the men in red hit back a mere 7 minutes later after Semmy was brought down in the penalty area in which he scored his second from the resulting penalty.
The challenge was harder for Papaka who needed to overcome the margin to stay in the running but then another penalty taken by Auto Kusuan saw Kolu Kepo capitalised on a defensive error to send his team with a 3-point lead into half-time.
The one time OFC Champions took charge after the break, extending their lead through a long-range shot from Semmy in the 15th minute.
Despite of the large margin, FC Papaka kept the pressure up on their opponents to dominate periods of the second half coming so close to scoring twice.
Hekari eventually won the match by 4 goals to nil.
For FC Papaka, while it may seem like an impossible barrier to overcome at this stage, one thing is for certain: this young emerging team has what it takes to pull it off next season.