The rains came pouring persistently but it did not deter the determination of Ho Stars Handball Club from hosting and winning both the male and female of the Asogli Yam Festival gala on Saturday and Sunday, September 2 and 3, 2023.
Held at the Ho Sports Stadium, host Ho Stars Handball Club were on a frenzy, beating all opponents to lift the trophy for both male and female, plus cash prizes.
The male team saw off Breakers Handball Club from Dambai by 33-22 in the second game of day one, after Handball Gurus from Hohoe had lost 16-37 to Ephors Handball club from Nkwanta. Ephors had a bad start, as Handball Gurus took a giant lead in the first 10 minutes of the first half.
Ho Stars male team went on to defeat Ephors in the game played two-day, due to the rains that set in on Day 1. Ephors led 3-1 before the downpour on Saturday and game had to be shifted to Sunday. There was more rain but the game went on. Ho Stars had a tough one with Ephors but managed a 13-11 win after they trailed 5-8 at the end of the first half.
The final game for Ho Stars came on the silver plater against Handball Gurus with a 21-9 final score, grabbing 6 points in total. Apart from the trophy, Ho Stars male team walked home with a cash prize of GH₵1,000.00.
Captain of Ho Stars Handball Club male team, Martinson Kwakye tells TalksenseSports it was hard training and easy battle for them.
“It was amazing and we are happy for the win. We won because of the commitment from both players and coaches. Also, our training was spot on, they say hard training, easy battle, so that was what paved way for us to win the gala. We are grateful to all our sponsors for coming on board. To some the notice was late, but they came to our aid. You know the gala was affiliated to the Asogli Yam festival, so some of our players who are not in town, came home to enjoy the game.”
Ephors were runners up, and were also presented with a cash prize of GH₵500.00, having also gone past Breakers Handball by 25-21 and amassing a total of 4 points. Breakers emerged 2nd runner up with 2 points and also had GH₵200.00 cash prize, as they defeated Handball Gurus by 15-13 in the other match completing the single round robin format.
Captain of the Ho Stars Handball female team, Mirriam Kornu was elated, after they also lifted the trophy and snatched the cash prize of GH₵500.00 after their tight battle for greatness.
Ho Stars female team had a tough first game against Ephors, which ended in a draw, 5-5, after a 2-2 first half results. Ho Stars’ triumph came via a goal margin against Breakers Handball, 20-4, after Ephors had beaten Breakers 19-5.
“We are over excited to have won this, because it has not been an easy journey, but to God be the glory, we have actually won this trophy. Even before the game we were expecting to win but when we started our first game, it was really tough. Because the ladies, I think they have heard of us, so they came really prepared. The ladies were many but because of work, some are out of town. So, whenever it is time for games like this, we have to call on them, and they come around.”
Ephors, also finishing 2nd with 3 points, same as Ho Stars and less goals (24) were presented with a cash prize of GH₵300.00 Breakers finished 3rd with no point.
The Gala which is expected to be an annual event, having seen South Tongu Talents (female) and Ephors Handball Club (male) win the first edition was in collaboration with the Volta Regional Handball Association (VRHA) and the Asogli Yam festival organizers.
Chairman of the VRHA is Togbe Palmas Howusu and he tells TalksenseSports, adult measures helped them out of the rainy situation.
“It was intended to be a well-organized gala but the rains came and it disturbed us a lot so, we have take adult measures to be able to finish. At the end of the day, it was quite successful. The Association is trying to extend its tentacles to cover the whole Region and we have to cover Oti as well, so that we spread the message of handball and catch them young.”
Individual Awards saw Best male keeper going to Kennedy Denu of Ho Stars Handball Club, who made some fantastic saves to keep his team going. He was presented with a medal. His counterpart female goalkeeper, Gloria Takyi also won the Best female goalie accolade.
Highest male scorer went to Clinton Dordoe of Breakers handball Club. For the female, Ho Stars’ Joyce Mahama smiled to the podium to receive her medal.
Best male player for the Gala went to Francis Frimpong Appiah of Ho Stars Handball club, while the Best female player went to Mirriam Alijo of Ephors Handball.
It promises to be bigger and better next year, as this year’s was an improvement of the first edition. Kristar Water Company, WYA Group, Roeliza Water Company, Patmoor Fashion Home, Manacura Bar, and Hailwise Solutions Enclave sponsored this year’s Gala and are expected to show commitment next year.
This Gala, among many activities is keeping the game alive in the region, as the Association plans to restart the regional league.
By: Davis Nii Attuquaye Clottey