Police male and Prisons female teams showed consistency and determination to win the 2018 Handball Gala at the University Of Legon Handball Court on Saturday, March 17, 2018.
The two-day event organized by the Greater Accra Handball Association to usher in the 2018 season saw 7 female and 11 male teams compete for bragging rights and trophy. Class, Strength, Skills, and smartness were exhibited at the nation’s University court with fans and passers-by stealing time to feed their eyes.
Prisons female began their journey with a slim win margin against their rivals and defending champions, Police, 10-9 in the straight quarterfinals. They went on to defeat Hostac by 15-8 in the semifinal and wrapped it up with a 22-11 victory over Renijoe, who were making their first final in the Gala.
Renijoe who showed signs of stress, of which Prisons capitalized on, had to struggle to beat newbies Elwak wings 9-8 before defeating Cantonment Youth by another slim margin 8-7. Cantonment Youth who earlier had a walkover against Legonites lost the game due to lack of warm up, as compared to Renijoe. Army, unfortunately, left the scene after losing 6-10 to Hostac.
In the male category, Holders Hostac lost in a dramatic semifinal match against Army, a misfortune on their part as they failed to make use of the several chances created in regulation time. Hostac, after beating El wak Wings in the preliminaries, lost to finalist Army 3-4 on penalties after 15 all scoreline.
Police and Prisons this time met in the semis with Police becoming 15-13 victors and advancing to the finals, in what will be described as ‘the clash of the Titans’. Both teams were tactically good on the day, but the better side won. Prisons had played 1 more match to get to the semis as compared to their nemesis. After beating Kasland 25-7, they narrowly won against an improved Legonite side, who were on standby 15-13. Police beat Lekma 28-14 before their class with Prisons.
Army saw their finals possible after a 15-13 win over Renijoe and an 18-15 victory against Cantonment Youth in the quarterfinals. Cantonment Youth had in the prelims posted a 15-14 defeat to Asomdwe.
The final of the male match was a tensed one which produced magnificent goals. Police started calm, trying to steady the tactics of Army, but the latter whose plan were working became disorganized after Police took a 2 goal lead.
The game ended 20-18 in favour of Police, in a delightful encounter. Dr Jatong Baba, Lecturer at the University of Education, Winneba and President of the Central Region Handball Association graced the Gala and presented the trophies to the winners.
The 2018 league season is expected to start on Wednesday, March 21, with Prisons hosting Cantonment Youth at the Prisons Complex. It continues on Thursday, with Army playing against Hostac at the Burma Camp and Renijoe playing Fire at the Kaneshie complex. Friday matches have Airforce up against Police at Burma Camp and Lekma home against Navy. Week one matches will wrap up at James Town on Saturday, where Asomdwe host Legonite, with El Wak wings standing by.