By Ayomide Oriade

KanoPillarsCelebrateIt was a befitting end the 2012/13 Glo Premeir league brand as Kano Pillars on Sunday completed the successful defense of their title claiming a prize of 10 million Naira; (the highest winning prize ever in the Nigerian league). This is despite losing to Lobi Stars in Makurdi. Pillars were 2nd fiddle to a spirited Lobi who gallantly fought their way to 2-0 victory over the champions to keep their status as a premier league team but defeats to El-kanemi and Bayelsa United ensured both teams left the Chief Emmanuel Atongo Stadium victorious. Elsewhere, Enyimba got a befitting consolation by clinching the other available CAF Champions league ticket with a 1-0 victory over Sharks of Port-Hacourt in Aba. The victory took the “Peoples’ Elephant” to 62 points, one behind Pillars who won the league with 63 points. Bayelsa United finished 3rd with 61 points while El-Kanemi finished 4th with 60 points. It was a day football lovers in Kwara State would love to forget in a hurry as the last day drama ended with the state’s two representatives in the Premier League being relegated. Despite winning three away matches in the course of the season, Kwara United could not clinch the three points needed for survival at home against Akwa United as they were held to a 1-1 draw. The result ensured the Ilorin side ended the season in 17th position with 51 points from 38 matches while it also cemented Akwa United place in the elite league next season. Also, Abubakar Bukola Saraki boys (ABS) completed the Ilorin nightmare after slumping to a 1-0 defeat against Warri Wolves. The defeat means they finished in 18th with 50 points. Also relegated are Wikki Tourists of Bauchi courtesy of their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Dolphins and Shooting Star of Ibadan after losing 2-0 at Kaduna United. The 2012/13 Nigeria Premier League has come and gone but it would be remembered for the positives which show administrative improvement over the previous season. Kudos should also be given to the organizers for a being able to attract a sponsor which brought the league its highest winning prize ever with an additional 150 million Naira to be shared among all teams that participated. It is hoped the 2013/14 league will surpass this in terms of winning prize as well as organization.

Final match day results are as follows:

Lobi Stars 2-0 Kano Pillars

Enyimba 1-0 Sharks Gombe

United 1-0 Bayelsa United

Dolphins 2-0 Wikki Touris

Worri Wolves 1-0 ABS

Kwara United 1-1 Akwa United

Enugu Rangers 1-0 El-Kanemi Warriors

Nembe City 2-0 Sunshine Stars

Kaduna United 2-0 Shooting Stars

Nassarawa United 1-0 Heartland