Hockey: National team on the rampage

Author: George Ernest Asare
Players of the national hockey team on cloud nine after their victory over Reformers Men

THE national male hockey team displayed impressive scoring form and strong defending as they scored a total of 25 goals (with only three conceded) in five friendly encounters against hockey clubs in the Greater Accra Region in a special exercise which ended last Saturday afternoon at the Theodosia Okoh National Hockey Stadium.

The friendly matches formed part of the team’s preparation ahead of their upcoming African qualifying tournament in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The August 12 to 18 competition, which comprises hosts South Africa, Egypt, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria, is to select Africa’s sole representative at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The national team went on the rampage in their first match last Tuesday, defeating Royal Men of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) 5-1 and following it up with a 5-0 drubbing of Reformers the following day.

They were merciless against Police Men with a 8-0 hammering last Thursday through a hat-trick by Benjamin Kwofie, a brace by Michael Akuamoah and a goal each by Elikem Akaba, Richard Adjei and Ernest Opoku.

Exchequers of Bank of Ghana, however, gave the national team a run for their money when they played out a 2-2 draw on  Friday July 19.

Exchequers opened the scoring in the first quarter through Nicholas Nyarko through a penalty corner before Luke Damalie cancelled the lead through another penalty corner. The national team went ahead 2-1 from a field goal scored by Christopher Dogbe, but Prince Nartey ensured that Exchequers avoided defeat as he scored the equalising goal in the fourth quarter.

In their fifth trial last Saturday, the national team returned to winning ways with a 5-0 victory against Legonites through goals by Ernest Opoku (a brace from penalty corners) and three field goals by Elikem Akaba, Christopher Dogbe and Samuel Afari.

National team coach, Ebenezer Frimpong, told the Graphic Sports that other friendly matches had been lined up this week ahead of their departure for South Africa next week.