Defending champions and tournament favorites, Sharkia of Egypt adopted a minimalist approach as they opened the defence of their title in the men’s competition with a 5-2 win over Kenyan opponents, Strathmore.
The university lads sold out a brand of hockey high on technical acumen but they eventually came unstuck against a more experienced Sharkia team, albeit the final result may be flattering to the Egyptians.
Elsayed Amed Gab began the rout for Sharkia, converting from a penalty corner in the ninth minute. Strathmore’s equalizer came in the shape of a Mutira George field goal. The Egyptian champions were awarded a penalty stroke on the stroke of half time to walk into the recess the more confident side.
Back from recess and the Kenyans were sublime going forward but came undone by a defence line shorn of fortitude. Sharkia’s Ahmed Metwally took advantage of this flaw to grab a brace from two penalty corners. Mutira’s field goal proved little consolation as the Egyptians concluded the rampage with a field goal from Waleed Mahmoud with just two minutes left on the clock.
The other men’s fixture involving an Egyptian side was equally a thriller with Police Union inflicting a second successive defeat on Niger Flickers.
The Nigerians were hoping to overcome their opening day blues a day after losing to Golden Sticks and they threw everything at the Police Officers pushing the game to the hilt at 4-3. But rather than cheering at an equalizer in the final minutes of the game, fans of Flickers were to yell in pain as Police killed off the game with their fifth goal. It ended 5-3 in favour of Police Union.
Ghana’s Extinguishers prolonged their winning streak in the ladies’ contest with yet another resounding win against Sharkia of Egypt. The Fire fighting ladies were at their free scoring best as they put seven past Sharkia who surprisingly exhibited a marked improvement in their play. Linda Sasu was twice on the score sheet in this seven-goal thriller and six out of the seven goals were field goals, the remaining one resulting from a penalty corner.
Reformers dusted themselves off from their opening day stumble to pip Heartland of Nigeria one-nil. Elizabeth Opoku’s lone goal in open play in the thirty-fifth minute was enough to secure all three points for the Prison Officers.
Nigerian clubs Yobe Rollers and Yobe Queens joined the fray on match day two of the Championship with Yobe Queens sharing the spoils with defending champions Orange of Kenya in a gritty duel. Both teams saved the best for the last two minutes of the match. Orange took the lead in the 68th minute through a well orchestrated field goal and looked good to bag all three points until disaster struck in the 69th minute when Ikiriko Bummi confidently tucked away a penalty stroke awarded the Nigerian side to end the game 1-1.
Later in the day, their male counterparts Yobe Rollers stuttered to a 3-1 defeat against an unyielding Trustees side who were still buoyant from their opening day success.
Ghana Hockey has a new website. To see it, please visit www.ghanahockey.org.
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