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21.10.2008 Hockey

21st Hockey Africa Cup for Club ChampionsExchequers miss out on $5,000 bonus...For failing to win first game

By

Lucky Adamu Kolo of Nigeria's Delta Force denied Excequers of the chance to become $5,000 richer with a late strike to pull even in their 1-1 classy opening game at the Abuja hockey stadium, last Friday.

Ghana's High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr George Kumi, who inspected the teams in a pre-match ceremony, had promised the team $5,000 cash should they emerge winners in the clash.

And buoyed by the promise, substitute Samuel Kwao snatched the opener with a brilliant strike in the first department of the game.

They managed to hold on to the slender lead until three minutes to the end of the game, when their opponents cancelled the lead. Until the equalizer, the sparse crowd had written the Nigerians off, but Adamu proved the sceptics wrong when he pounced on a lose ball to whack past goalkeeper Danso Aikins.

Last Saturday evening, after a heavy down pour which nearly cancelled the all Ghana encounter, involving Exchequers and Golden Sticks, Exchequers once again failed to hold on to their 2-1 lead by allowing Golden Sticks to level up at 2-2, in a highly uncompromising clash.

It was Golen Sticks who first hit the back of the net through Jacob Sowah, from a penalty corner, but the incessant pressure from Exchequers earned them a penalty stroke, which experienced Alfred Armah converted beautifully, just two minutes after the opener.

After missing several goal scoring opportunities, another one presented itself for Exchequers in the 26th minute, with skipper Ben Tarley increasing the tally.

Sowah made it a personal second when he pulled even in the latter part of the game.

Eralier in the day, Ghana's Reformers bowed to Kenya's Telkom at 0-1, while Egypt's Sharkiah ladies held Ghana's CEPS ladies to a 0-0 drawn game.

Sharkiah male team, however, defeated Police by 3-1 in an all Egypt affair earlier in the day.

Defending ladies champions Heartland of Nigerian thrashed Kenya's Blue Eaglets 6-0 in a one way traffic encounter, in the first game of the day.

Reformers also beat Heartland by 1-0, which was the first defeat recorded by Heartland in the tournament so far, and the second victory for Reformers.

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