The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ebonyi represented by Government Secondary School, Afikpo, defeated Anambra in the final with 55 runs in 14.4 overs to 54 runs in 15 ovals.
Imo finished third in the championship which featured five schools from the four states of the zone, including Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo and Anambra.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, commended the organisers for a successful championship and noted that the ministry would assist in subsequent editions.
Dalung, represented by Mrs Jane Owoh, the South-East Zonal Coordinator of the ministry, said that the championship had provided an avenue for the young cricketers to showcase their talents
“I commend the sponsor of this championship, Chika Okoro, for his passion and commitment towards its success. I urge other philanthropists to emulate him.
“We have consistently acknowledged his contributions to the growth of cricket and other sports in the zone which has created an avenue for the discovery and harnessing of young talents,” he said.
Dalung urged the private sector to assist the government in developing sports in the zone and the country at large, as the enabling environment would continue to be provided for the sector to thrive.
“Sports provide veritable avenues for creating employment for the youth and solve unemployment problems and make them shun crimes,” he said.
Earlier, the sponsor of the championship, Okoro, congratulated the players, coaches, umpires and other stakeholders for ensuring a successful competition.
“I urge the players to re-dedicate themselves to the cause of the game and listen to their coaches to strengthen areas of strongholds and correct noticeable deficiencies.
“This will ensure that you realise your ambitions of representing the country in various categories in plying your trade abroad,” he sadvised.
He noted that the next edition of the championship would be played on a league format where participating teams would visit one another in a round robin basis.
“It is only when this format is completed that the successful teams will play a two-day final based on 50-50 overs matches.
“My target is to ensure that male cricket teams from the zone emerge victorious at the National Youth Games like their female counterparts,” he said.
Mr Tony Ajaelu, the Imo former Commissioner for Youth and Sports, hailed the level of tactical display by the players and commended the coaches for impacting such on the players.
Ajaelu, who led former champions, Imo to the championship, noted that efforts would be intensified to make the state reclaim the title it forfeited to Ebonyi.
Jephtar Ugwu, Coach of the victorious Ebonyi team, thanked God for the victory and noted that the players would not be complacent but re-double their efforts to achieve greatness.
NNN reports that the championship is named after Omezue Eziokoro Okoro, father of the sponsor.