It was mixed feeling for host Cantonment (Can’t) Youth Handball club as Legonite Handball Club left it late to grab the men category ultimate trophy and cash prize in a tight final in the U-20 Slowe Handball Championship after Can’t Youth women beat Reniijoe earlier at the Prisons Sports Complex in Accra.
The maiden edition of the Civilian Handball Championship which was in honor of the late Karen Slowe, organised by the Handball Association of Ghana (HAG) in Collaboration with Cantonment Youth Handball Club saw a huge number of fans across the capital city.
Reniijoe Women reached the final after topping Group B with 6 points and going pass Hostac, Group A runners up 12-10 in a tight match. They however, failed against Cantonment Youth, who also topped Group A with just 3 points and dispatched Group B runners up, El-Wak Wings 18-6. Cantonment Youth Women grew wild as the 15 each half game progressed, with the fans growing wilder to beat Reniijoe 15-10.
Cantonment Youth Men, who started their final with the motivation of their female counterpart’s victory, needed composure to battle a Legonite side, who had won all matches to reach the final. Can’t Youth in their build-up to the final lost one group game against El-Wak Wings but managed to beat Hostac 14-13 in the second semifinal; a score line the eventual winners, Legonite also recorded against El-Wak Wings in the first semi-final match.
The men final showed an end to end stuff, as Legonite drew first blood from kick off but trailed 7-9 to Can’t Youth at First quarter. With 2 minutes left to play and the scores standing at 17 apiece, Darkey stepped up to take a 7 metre for Legonite. He missed but got the rebound and won the day for his team.
Head Coach of Legonite, Abdul Rhaman Iddrisu in an interview with TalksenseSports said discipline won it for them.
“Discipline, hard work and the hunger to win is what did it for us. These are young student players we have groomed and they didn’t rest until now. We are determined to win and not surprised at this feat. The dedication they have will take them to places.”
Meanwhile, Assistant Coach for Cantonment Youth, Seth Arthur who partly blamed the referees for their defeat admitted their opponents possessed more strength.
The 3-day event (from Thursday, August 2 to Saturday, August 4) which was attended by dignitaries including President of the Veteran Handball Association, Patrick Norvor, Nana Nankatta of the GOC, Members of HAG as well as the Deputy Director General of National Sports Authority, Saka Acquaye, saw 10 male clubs and 7 female clubs; 2 groups of each category and 35 matches.
In his closing remarks, husband of the late Karen Slowe, Peter Slowe who was the Guest of Honor expressed his appreciation to all stakeholders for making the championship a success. He said with the kind of competition he saw; the future of Ghana handball is great.
In the individual awards, Cynthia Okine of Reniijoe was adjudged the Best Female Goalkeeper while Cantonment Youth, Kate Mensah won the Best Player Award. Legonite’s Joshua Agamah walked away as the Best Goalkeeper with the Best player Award going to Emmanuel Asare of Cantonment Youth.
By: Davis Nii Attuquaye Clottey/voltaonlinegh.com