Rangjung Higher Secondary School recently hosted the 'Royal Wedding Cup' Football tournament.
It was a month long affair and teams came from far and wide to compete.
It is said that the high school has the largest area of flat ground this side of the new Yongphula Airport!
I believe it too!
It has a full sized soccer pitch which is something few schools here in Bhutan can boast.
The slight undulations, odd rocks and canine friends only added to the challenge for players and spectators alike!
The prize money of 150,000 ngultrums for the best two teams certainly brought out the competitive spirit in an otherwise pretty compassionate people.
We saw some players arguing with referees, the odd referee arguing with players and sometimes players arguing with each other.
Overall though, the spirit of ‘Fair Play’ was upheld and opposition players often assisted each other up after bruising encounters and were genuinely apologetic if they bumped, kicked or otherwise upset each other.
Unlike Aussie Rules, soccer is a non contact sport and the High School Principal and Captain of his team, Rangjung Bullets, can be seen below doing a fine job of not actually contacting his opponent as they both struggle for possession of the ball.
There was only one serious injury that I am aware of and that was a player from the High School student’s team who broke his leg after a sickening collision with his opposite number in the goalmouth. Luckily, the ambulance was standing by and he was rushed off to hospital in Mongar for an operation on his leg.
I believe he is back at school now and healing well.
This SMD Kanglung player needed to be stretchered off the field but was OK after some treatment.
The team representing my school, the Rangjung Rangers, in blue, won their first round match but alas was defeated in the second round.
Nice try boys but the keeper just managed to tip it over the cross bar.
The High School student’s team was surprisingly and sadly beaten by a much older and far more physical team in their first round match.
The Bullets also exited after their second round encounter with eventual winners SHERCOL, in black and orange. They are the student team from Sherubtse College in Kanglung, about two hours from here.
The action was fast and furious. The bullets tried their best.
Despite the depressing score, the Bullets did not give up. This goal ward drive from Chogyel Sir ended up netting them a face saving goal to finally go down
The SHERCOL keeper was very athletic and highly skilled.
Nice pass, as the Bullets player can only look on.
The final was an all Kanglung affair. SMD Kanglung, in yellow and SHERCOL battled for victory.
Speed and accuracy
Superior ball handling skill.
Half time at the final was the chance to showcase some non-sporting talent for the crowd and visiting dignitaries.
The Dancing troupe from the high school did a great job performing some traditional Bhutanese steps.
The final score of 3 nil to SHERCOL belied the closely fought game we all enjoyed.
A well deserved win. The boys did a victory lap carrying and waving all the corner marker flags.
The Cup in the winner's hands and the BIG cheque!
With the win just sinking in I wonder if they are thinking about next year's Cup defence...