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Hockey News of Monday, 26 December 2005

Source: Ghana Hockey Association [ghanahockey@hotmail.com]

Areeba Hockey League

Commer Bank End the Unbeaten Run of Marine Sticks:

Golden Sticks of Ghana Commercial Bank continued to enjoy a good run of form when they inflicted a 2-1 defeat on runaway Areeba League leaders Marine Sticks of Ghana Army in their 9th week top fixture. The win, which ends the unbeaten record of the Mariners, is the second major result in two weeks for the Bankers and signifies the reversal of their dwindling fortunes in the competitive Areeba League.
The first seven minutes of the match were full of excitement. Golden Sticks pushed-off and headed straight for the goal of the Mariners with national stars Joe Appiah and Daniel Lamptey combining beautifully. The defence of Marine Sticks smothered the attack and went on one of their typical counter attacks. National star Eddie Oblie collected the ball in midfield and tore through the defence of the Bankers, played the one-two with Patrick Taylor whose goal-bound shot was illegally blocked by a defender of Golden Sticks for what should have been ruled as a penalty stroke in favour of the Mariners. Umpire E. Ahadjie who was right on the spot, rather whistled for a penalty corner to the disappointment of the Mariners and their followers. The set piece was wasted and the Bankers went on a splendid counter attack that caught the defence of the Mariners scrambling for cover. Appiah however failed to connect from a Michael Nartey pass to leave the Mariners off the hook. Both teams settled and matched their midfield dominance for a greater part of the first half.
In the 32nd minute, Oblie was involved in a midfield skirmish with the Bankers and managed to ?steal? the ball from the Bankers. He went on a typical run toward the Bankers? goal with the defensemen in hot pursuit. He outpaced them and brilliantly chipped the ball over the on-rushing goalie to register the first goal of the match. The status quo was maintained till recess.
The second half started on an equally fast note with the Bankers stepping up their play to redeem the goal. They however had to wait till the 61st minute when national star Elekem Akaba superbly deflected a free hit from the top of the circle into the Marine net to draw level. With just nine minutes from the end of the match, it looked likely that the draw would be the end result. In the 67th minute, the Bankers mounted a characteristic onslaught which resulted in a penalty corner. Junior international Jacob ?Papanii? Sowah drove-in a massive shot that rocked the backboard of the Mariners for the Bankers? second goal. The goal left the Mariners in awe and disbelief and a big celebration by the Bankers. The Bankers held on to the scoreline to bring their point build-up to seventeen and reducing the point deference between them and the Mariners to five.

In the other match of the day, CEPS surprised Trustees and themselves with a 6-0 walloping in a game they dominated from the beginning to the final whistle. The good showing of CEPS was likely to have been influenced by the injection of new ideas from their coach and National coaching team member, Osei Boakye-Yiadom who returned from a High Performance coaching course and the World Hockey Men?s Champions Trophy Competition held in India. Exchequers laboured to beat Reformers 4-3 to keep pace with the leaders. Reformers looked like causing a major upset by holding the Central Bankers but a momentary loss of concentration saw Sammy Kwaw saving the embarrassment of the team.

 No.	Team	P	W	D	L	G/F	G/A	Points	GD
1 Marine 9 7 1 1 26 10 22 +16
2 Gldn Sticks 8 5 2 1 16 6 17 +10
3 Exchequers 9 5 2 2 16 8 17 +8
4 CEPS 9 3 3 3 17 11 12 +6
5 Trustees 9 3 2 4 22 17 11 +5
6 Reformers 8 2 0 6 11 19 6 -8
7 Police 8 0 0 8 1 38 0 -37

Multistix Dominate NDK Financiers to Clinch the Areeba Senior League Championship

Uncrowned Areeba Senior League Champions, Multistix left none of the other 3 clubs competing vying for the Areeba Senior League Championship that they need to combine forces to stop them. Multi beat NDK Financiers 3-1 in a hotly contested penultimate match of the season. Financiers came into the match with only one mission, that is to avenge the narrow 2-1 defeat suffered the previous week and reverse the bragging rights held by Multistix. Multi wasted very little time to announce their intention when good old Eddie Odametey found the net in the 9th minute for the first goal of the match. Financiers took the fight to Multi but had to wait till the 30th minute for Attipoe who was making a return after recuperating from a minor surgery to fetch the equalizer. The match remained balanced for a greater part of the second half until eleven minutes from the end when Multi were awarded one of their numerous penalty corners. Eric ?Dada? Mainoo drove home a sizzler that caught keeper Lucas Quaye wrong footed for the second goal. Financiers committed more men to attack in an attempt to redeem the goal but ended up being punished by the Multi forwardline who rounded-up the defence line with some eye-pleasing touches that saw Dada put the game beyond the reach of Financiers in the 69th minute. Multi thus opened up an incredible 16 point lead with just one match to bring the curtain down on the Areeba Senior League. In the other S-League match of the day, Citizens continued their 20th anniversary celebration with an emphatic 3-0 win over hapless Veterans with ?Super? Yaw Ofori leading the onslaught with 2 goals while Charles Odametey got the third.
 No.	Team	P	W	D	L	G/F	G/A	Points	GD
1 Multistix 14 11 1 2 56 23 34 +33
2 NDK Fin 14 6 1 7 27 30 18 -3
3 Citizens 14 5 1 8 23 30 16 -7
4 Veterans 14 3 3 8 25 48 12 -23

Fire Service Maintain Lead in Areeba Women?s League:

Extinguishers of the Ghana National Fire Service scored a narrow 2-1 win over un-fancied Police to keep their lead and hope of retaining the league championship. With the win, Extinguishers open an unassailable lead of 12 points over closest rivals Reformers of Prison Service who could only draw with struggling CEPS.
 No.	Team	P	W	D	L	G/F	G/A	Points	GD 
1 Extinguishers 8 7 1 0 19 3 22 +16
2 Reformers 8 4 2 2 10 4 14 +6
3 CEPS 8 1 2 5 4 10 5 -6
4 Police 8 1 1 6 3 19 4 -16