all four goals by Sharkia in the final were field goals.
Forward Waleed Mahmoud began the rout in the sixth minute, paving the way for a tactically astute display by the champions which gave Trustees minimal playing time. Sharkia’s second came through Hassan Mohammed on the stroke of halftime. Waleed was to ruffle Trustees again two minutes into the second period before Ezaat Gobran made gold a certainty for Sharkia with a fiftieth minute goal.
Trustees only managed to save face by tucking away a penalty corner after fifty-five minutes of play, having wasted several of such penalty corners earlier in the game. Jonnie Botsio was the scorer of that consolation goal.
In the Ladies’ final match, Extinguishers settled for silver as Nigerian club Heartland put up a disciplined challenge to win their fifth African Cup for Club Championship title.
Playing in front of a home crowd Extinguishers started the ladies final clash on a confident note and surged into the lead through the incredible stick work of leading scorer, Rachael Bamfo in the nineteenth minute.
Heartland equalized in the 38th minute from a well converted penalty corner by Justina Onyadum.
Extinguishers were to recover their lead in the fifty-seventh minute when Ramatu Abass scored from a penalty stroke, but not for long. Heartland’s equalizer came two minutes later; a field goal by Chinyere Nnanna.
The next nine minutes produced an uncompromising duel between the sides until Christiana Bulus struck home the match winner from a penalty corner in the sixty-eighth minute.
The chase for the bronze medal was won by Police Union of Egypt who beat the university team from Strathmore by three goals to one. Goal king Adnan Sayeed hit a hat trick for the Egyptians and Strathmore could only redeem one through Allan Iningu from a penalty corner.
GHA Boss Expresses Mixed Feelings about Final Day Blues
Teeming supporters of Ghana’s representatives in the finals of the 22nd African Cup for Club Championship were left forlorn as gold eluded Trustees and Extinguishers on the final day of competition.
Trustees suffered a 4-1 rout by super champions Sharkia while Extinguishers stumbled to a 3-2 defeat against Nigeria’s Heartland.
This notwithstanding, the Chairman of the Ghana Hockey Association refuses to be downcast. Though disappointed at the failure to win the ultimate, Oko Nii-Koi Dzani is happy with the apparent improvement in the Ghanaian game.
“I have mixed feelings about failing to win. I would have loved a gold and a silver. But two silver medals is also good because we didn’t play abysmally,” he said.
On the overall performance of the four Ghanaian clubs at this Championship, the Chairman opined, “the game itself has come a long way. It’s not about the score line again. It’s about who won. There’s been quite an improvement and the stock of players we’ve had over the years have done their best. Maybe it’s time to look for replacements.”
“I was a bit disappointed at Golden Sticks because individually they have a better player than Trustee. But they failed to play as a team and this is a team sport.”
The Ghana Hockey Association was a late minute host for the Championship after original hosts Zambia developed cold feet weeks to the competition. But Mr Dzani is convinced that the organization was apt.
“We still have leadership and commitment. We have men and women who are committed to do the work without guidance. It wasn’t difficult taking on the hosting duties,” he declared.
Taking a peek into the future, the GHA boss disclosed that the Association has a comprehensive program for next season which includes organizing regional competitions among second cycle institutions.
“We think that’s the way to increase participation and exposure among the young ones.”
Mr Dzani believes two additional artificial turfs in the country will be a real boost to the development of hockey.
“We are looking for support from Government in the form of two more pitches, one in Legon and the other in Kumasi to enable us to take the game beyond Accra.”