The Bet9jaSociaLiga Men’s league was not the only one to record ground breaking success in 2018 as Knights Ladies kept the same fire burning in the female competition.
Knights rode on the back of their massive experience, despite stuttering throughout, to overcome yet another debutants, SCN Ladies, to claim their second crown.
In a tightly contested final at the Christmas Festival, the 2016 winners were given a run for their money by their less illustrious opponents, the Foundation Ladies, SCN, before prevailing courtesy of an Anita blinding long range effort and smart goalkeeping from Esther.
The Knights had one goal heading into the 2018 season- to reclaim the title they scandalously lost to rivals, Saints Ladies, in season two.
In a one sided final on December 16, 2017, at the Rehabilitation Center, Isheri, Magodo, an out of sort Knights side were put to the sword 4-0 by a superb Saints Ladies.
Therefore, season three was a revenge mission of some sort and it was not a surprise that they got of the campaign impressively, taking to the cleaners newbies and eventual runners up, SCN, to the cleaners.
That game ended 5-1 in favour of Knights in Isheri, Magodo, a perfect way to respond from that heavy defeat to Saints in the final. But then, what happened thereafter was surely not part of the script.
Following that brilliant outing against SCN in their season opener, confidence was at an all time high in the Knights’ camp as book makers tipped the former winners to build on their good start.
However, in a remarkable turn of events, Knights would go on to pick just one point from a possible nine in their next three matches (against Saints Ladies, and Bravos Ladies, who they played twice back-to-back).
It was indeed a shocking fall from grace to grass from the 2016 winners, who once again lost to Saints Ladies, this time they were able to keep the scoreline low, 1-0, before dropping four more points against Bravos Ladies.
In their first encounter against Bravos, Knights survived by the skin of their teeth as the home side put up a stern battle on match day four.
Bravos dominated from start to finish, and despite the fact an Okay Oluwatofehinti goal put them 1-0 up, Bravos missed a penalty before a Titi own goal deservedly earned them a share of the spoils.
There would be more low for Knights, as they faced Bravos once again and this time, there was no escaping defeat. A 2-1 win for Bravos saw Knights on brink of elimination.
In a remarkable turn of events, Knights would go on to pick just one point from a possible nine in their next three matches, a shocking fall from grace to grass from the 2016 winners, who once again lost to Saints Ladies, before dropping four more points against Bravos Ladies.
With just four points and in danger of crashing out, Knights’ season would be saved by a boardroom decision after Saints’ 1-0 victory was overturned for fielding an ineligible player with Knights awarded a 3-0 win and three points.
That decision took Knights’ points tally to seven on the log, sealing their place as group winners and a spot in the final, where they met SCN.
In the final, Knights continued their slumber and needed a heroic display from their pair of safe hands, goalkeeper, Esther, to go past an improved and better SCN team.
It was a different Foundation Ladies from the ones Knights humiliated in their opening game of the season, with the experienced Knights grateful to Esther, who made at least three outstanding saves to deny SCN glory.
In consonance with their performances since the opener, Knights once again played second fiddle, as SCN swarmed over them like bees.
But for all their dominance, the Foundation Ladies could not find a way past the impregnable Esther in goal for Knights, and as champions always do, they found a way where there seemingly wasn’t to claim their second title in three seasons with Anita netting the winning goal via a 25yard stunner.
Their triumph may not have been as smooth as Dannaz’s in the Men’s Liga, but like their male counterparts, Knights celebrated at the end, having achieved their goal- to reclaim their lost title.
3- Knights Ladies are the first Women’s team in Bet9jaSociaLiga history to play in three consecutive finals.
2- By lifting the 2018 title, Knights Ladies became the most successful Women’s Team in Bet9jaSociaLiga with two titles in three seasons.