E Cup at home
Maru changed their tactics and tried to take the game to their opponents.
With 10 men, Amavarara still had the better of the exchanges and forced Maru to defend.
Just 18 minutes from time, Maru put together some neat and quick passes, crowned by a defence-splitting through pass.
This found Mzoxolo Rafane, who caught out Amavarara's defence with his pace, to score the opening goal.
The stadium erupted as the home fans could not hide their excitement. They ran on to the field, overwhelming the security guards.
Amavarara responded with a series of attacks which were desperately defended by the home side, and came close to finding the equaliser on numerous occasions.
The home side held on until the final whistle to the delight of scores of home fans who had packed JD Dlepu for a great game of football.
Amavarara will go home with their heads held high, having given a good account of themselves.
Maru deserved the cup, especially after looking at their high work rate in trying to stop the well-oiled Amavarara machine.
Amavarara coach, Mzunani Mgwigwi, said he was happy at the way his side had played.
“We dominated the game, but I really feel for my boys who played so well but still ended on the losing side. That is exactly how football is.
“We might have lost, but football was the biggest winner today,” Mgwigwi said.
Maru coach, Bongani Lombo, said it had been a tough and tactical game for his side.
“We absorbed a lot of pressure and we were also forced to make substitutions due to injuries,” Lombo said.
“We did not really play in the first half, so I had to give them a serious talk at halftime and remind them that the chance to play for such an amount of money does not come every day.
“Hats off to our opponents: they really played good football.
“I would also like to thank the people of Grahamstown who set aside all the differences we have and supported us today.”
Maru captain, Andile Bobotyane was very excited − “on cloud nine”.
Bobotyane admitted that it had been a game of two halves.
“Our opponents dominated the first half. We had to come up with a different plan in the second half and we caught them with a counter attack,” Bobotyane said.
“I would like to thank all the people of this town who supported us today and hope they will also do the same thing when we play league games.”