Inter-Regional Hockey 5s: Volta region shocks Central region
If there is any tournament with surprises, rivalry, tension and humour then such is the Basic school’s hockey 5’s. The understanding might have been a problem from the start, there was the misunderstanding as to which sticks and balls to use and also doubts over the level of certain players, but that did not take away the competitiveness of the semifinal clashes yesterday 15th August 2018 at the KSTS hockey pitch, Koforidua.
The competition witnessed another pulsating match day as Volta region defied all odds to book a place in the boys final with a well-rehearsed team display against tournament favourites Central region. Central region started the better side but failed to utilize the numerous chances they had. A fast break by Volta region outwitted the Central team and 8 minutes into the game, Volta region were 1-0 up. The scoreline looked not much a deal on paper looking at the level of play by the Central boys but the Volta lads showed resilience as they held on to the lead till the final blast.
“We are so glad for this win and where we are now the grand final. We knew we could do it as soon as we got the goal and that worked for us. The central boys played very well but as always, the better side won”, said Volta region Coach Wisdom Ofori.
If the hearts and emotions of the Central boys had been tainted with grief then Ashanti region should be wallowing in pain and sorrow as they lost grip and bowed to Western region in a keenly contested game. A 6th minute lead in the first half looked to have been enough to send Ashanti region through to the final but the doom of the day came knocking at their doorstep and they eventually opened as Western equalized 2 minutes to end proceedings.
The western lads went on to win the game on penalties and book a date with Volta region on Thursday 16th August 2018.
“We did not lose hope when we were down because we knew our potentials and continued pressing till we equalised. The gave us a tough time but we overcame that as a result of teamwork and understanding”, said Castro Akoto, coach of Western region.
In the ladies category, central region played down complacency as they beat Brong Ahafo 6-2 in the first semifinal. Central, who had been strong throughout the competition, controlled the game from the start until the final blast. Brong Ahafo exhibited great defending in the opening minutes to keep the scoreline barren. The attacking force of the Central girls, however, came into being with four unanswered goals in 6 minutes. Brong Ahafo managed to pull two back but the hopes of a comeback were dashed as Central region added two goals to wrap up.
Greater Accra overcame their group-stage scare to beat Ashanti region in another gruesome semifinal battle. Ashanti region went up in the 3rd minute but the lead was cancelled 5 minutes later. With two players serving a green card ban, Greater Accra made use of the advantage in numbers to level. Another leveler in the second half after Ashanti had gone up again meant the game was destined for penalties.
Greater Accra prevailed as they emerged winners and booked a place in the final.