a royal hiding
Maritzburg United were yesterday crowned Uthukela Mayoral Cup champions after walloping Thanda Royal Zulu 3-1 in the final played at a high tempo at Settler's Park Stadium in Ladysmith.
The "Team of Choice" reached the final after crushing Uthukela 4-0 in the first semifinal of the four-team tournament, while Royal Zulu beat arch-rivals AmaZulu 3-2 on penalties after both teams played to a 1-all draw in the second semifinal of the day.
By being crowned champions, United sent a clear message to other PSL clubs that they are not in the top league to make numbers, but to compete.
The newly promoted United played like a well-oiled machine and deserved to win. They were very dangerous when in possession of the ball, especially their new signings Junior Khanye, Bageta Dikilu and journeyman Lucky Maselesele.
Royal Zulu were the first to score when Thando Ngobeni beat the offside trap and pushed the ball under the body of the advancing Mandla Tsengwa.
Anthony Inga equalised two minutes later before Maselesele put his side ahead with an easy tap-in from a rebound .
Inga completed his brace 12 minutes into the second half to make it 3-1.
Roger Palmgren's boys tried every trick in the book in search of an equaliser, but failed to breach Gordon Igesund's defence marshalled by former Bloemfontein Celtic defender, Gary Goldstone, who has fitted in perfectly at United.
The other player who dazzled fans was skilful dribbler Khanye.
The talented former Platinum Stars, Black Leopards and Kaizer Chiefs midfielder was a thorn in the side of the Royal Zulu defence and if he carries the same form into the new season, he is going to be a major problem top opposition teams.
United assistant coach Clinton Larsen said he was happy with his side's performance, and the way things were falling into place for them.
"It's always nice and a confidence booster to beat a PSL team. Though we still have a long way to go, I am happy with the way the team performed."