The Ghana Police Service Handball Club and the Ghana Prisons Service Handball Club left the Prisons Complex handball court with mixed feelings as both Cubs lifted a trophy each in the finals of the Greater Accra Handball Association GAHA Cup.
The much argued about the match which was honoured on Saturday, October 13, saw Policewomen beat the nemesis Prisons 29-18 to lift the women trophy, raising the hopes of their fans of having a double on the day ahead of the men’s game.
Prisons, who were defending champions of the GAHA Cup, were trailing Police by 2 goals as the game went for recess with scores 11-9. Police, who dominated the match, widened the goal margin from the second half, utilizing their 7-meter opportunities that came their way and finally finished it off with their fiercest rivals.
Prisons men then stepped on the court with revenge on their minds after their women lost at their home grounds. They began with a 5-0 lead as the atmosphere charged up, with a victory for the home side glaring. Police had to motivate themselves and fight back to level the scores at 5-5 with 13 minutes played.
It became a ‘give and take’ affair with Prisons taking 1 & 2 gap lead and Police levelling. The tension in the game intensified in the last 10 minutes with chants and agitation from the crowd, and frustration from both benches with scores at 19 all. Prisons goalkeeper Mohammed Saliu, became the hero of the day, as he denied Police on countless occasions. Red cards were flashed to players of both sides, with the referees soaking the pressure from all angles and executing their jobs well without manipulation.
Prisons then cushioned their lead with a minute to go to win the energized and electrifying game 24-22.
Head Coach of Police, Chief Inspector Joseph Addokwei Quaye told the media, their training field hasn’t been of good help to them.
“We have been totally affected by where we train (stadium) which is not of standard. For the women, ‘easy push’ they will go, but for the men, it is very difficult. They have beaten us and I will take it in good faith.”
His opposing Coach, ASP John Amenfi attributed the loss in the women game to injury.
“It wasn’t easy in the female as most of my ladies were nursing injuries. Two of my top players were serving blue card suspension and I expected the game to be tough as we have beaten Police twice this year.”
President of the GAHA, Paul Kofi Yesu Dadzie believes Ghana Handball will get into Africa with such talents if courts are of high standards.
“If you look at the game level, the flair, the agility, it shows that Ghana Handball and Greater Accra Handball is going places. Both teams displayed a lot of maturity and sportsmanship. Ghana handball has gone through a lot of transformation in terms of coaching, playing and others but one thing we lack is infrastructure and that is why we are not getting that far.”
Both teams have qualified to face the league winners in the Champion of Champions which wraps up the GAHA season with the probability of representing Ghana in Nigeria at the Sam Ochecho tournament next year.