GRA upset Exchequers to pick double at Afahye 2018
GRA Men and Ladies welcomed two new trophies with Sapholda emerging victors in the Master’s side at the two-day 2018 Afahye Hockey tournament held at the University of Cape Coast Hockey Pitch, last weekend.
Cape Coast Men’s team hosted GRA Men, Western Raiders and defending champions Exchequers in an all play all pool for the men. Cape Coast Ladies also, in the women’s pool, shared strong rivals with GRA Ladies and Golden Masters in an all play all pool.
The masters’ division saw 6 teams partitioned into two groups. Group A was made up of Multistix, NDK Financiers and Kumasi Masters whilst group B made up Citizens Int., Golden Sticks and Sapholda.
With three matches being played, GRA took home gold after beating Cape Coast Ladies by 2 goals to nil and Golden Masters by 3 goals to nil. Golden Masters placed second beating Cape Coast on penalties by 3 goals to 2.
Sapholda, on a fine start, beat Golden Sticks 4-3 on penalties as Financiers match against Multistix was cancelled after the later failed to present a team. Sapholda went on to beat Citizens by a lone goal on penalties to sit top of group B with 4 points as Financiers lost 3-2 on penalties to Kumasi Men. Sapholda crossed to play second place Kumasi and at the end won by a lone goal to book its place in the finals. NDK lost 3-1, on penalties, to Golden sticks to place third as they also later cemented their spot in the finals.
After 30 minutes in the finals of the master’s division, Sapholda outweighed Golden sticks as they won 3-2 on penalties.
GRA lost 3-2 on penalties to Cape Coast Men whilst Exchequers beat Cape Coast Men by a lone goal in Men’s game 1. GRA Men, returned in the second game, to beat Western Raiders by 2 goals whiles Exchequers beat the same team 6 goals to nil. Cape Coast Men claimed victory, in their last game on home grounds, beating Western Raiders on penalties by 3-2.
In the last match of the Men’s division, poor marking in Exchequers defence saw GRA’s Akwasi Mante scoring the only goal with 10 seconds to end full time. Exchequers players contested heavily against the goal but after consultation, the goal was given to GRA as they took away the bragging rights of Exchequers.
The event was graced with a short ceremony as Ghana Hockey Association (GHA) President, Dr. K.D Asante led his team to present citations to the 4 founding fathers’ (Mr. Lawrence Freeman Addison, Mr. Haruna Issah, Mr. Husni Ewudzie-Sagoe and Mr. Joeseph Ben Eyison) of the Central Region Hockey for their immense contribution to the sport since its conception in the region.
Mr. Isaac Graham, a local organizing committee member (LOC), noted that the tournament had been successfully coordinated looking at the strict timelines and budget implemented to keep the game running. He also commended the teams for their contribution during the tournament, praising them for proper conduct and participation during the tournament.
He later lamented that the LOC was displeased with the number of teams present as the expected number was more than that which was observed. He added that they will, from next year, open up participation to other regions to increase the numbers.
Lastly, he said, “We have been silent on the youth’s participation this year due to a tournament specifically tailored towards youth development this December”.