Ghana's Golden Sticks overcame a brief scary moment to beat surprised package, Yobe Desert, 4-2 to win their second bronze medal in two years in a third place match at the African Hockey Clubs Championship last Saturday in Abuja, Nigeria.
Benjamin Baiden (Anansi) scored twice, one a connection from his favourite position from the penalty corner while man-of-the-match, Joseph Appiah, and Isaac Ofori added one each to overpower a side they had thrashed 5-1 at the primary stage of the two weeks competition in the Nigerian capital.
After taking total control of the game with two first half goals, Golden Sticks, bronze medalists at the last competition in Cairo, Egypt, slumped downhill as Yobe, known for their fighting spirit, bounced back with two beautiful goals from the sticks of Aliyu Jauro and playmaker Husseini Bala in the 44th amd 52nd minutes goals respectively.
Backed by the other three Ghanaian participating teams, CEPS Ladies, Reformers and Exchequers, with deafening noise and unending cheer songs, Golden Sticks rekindled the fire with two powerful finishes by 'Anansi' and Ofori to deem the light in the Nigerian team.
Earlier in an all Ghanaian ladies third placed match, stocky Monica Grant, clinched CEPS' first silver wear in their maiden appearance at the competition when they beat Reformers of the Ghana Prison Service by a lone goal.
Using her speed and strength to her advantage against her comparatively older and weary Reformers ladies, Monica, a former athlete, raced with the ball for about 25 yards before blasting it into the net in the early minutes of the first half.
Reformers, who had shown great form despite travelling over 35 hours from Accra to Abuja, wasted more than five short corners as Gloria Barning known for her power drives was just undecided in the 'D.'
CEPS who were motivated by a pre-match winning bonus of $150 each held unto the thin lead till the end.
Exciting Exchequers team of the Bank of Ghana, who played one of the best games but yet failed to win a medal, salvaged their image with 2-1 win over Delta Force of Nigeria to place fifth.
Story by Daniel kenu