Malawi hockey league bully-off on high note

Hockey fanatics on Saturday got a rare treat of display as eight teams tussled it out in a classical hit and beat contest at Blantyre Sports Club that earmarked the beginning of 2012 Monolux Paints 11 aside Hockey League.

With K300, 000 dangling as prize money for top three, the teams (both men and women) put up what would be typified as unfathomable flaunt of character, willpower, vigour and valour, if recorded goals are anything to go by.

Six teams have registered in women category. The teams include Braves, Genetrix, Falcons, Scorpions, Sports Complex (Simba) and Nyala McCoy. In men grouping, there are five teams competing, which are Genetrix, Nyala, Scorpions, Braves and Falcons.

Bullyoff

The league satrted on high spirits with a flair of attraction as teams tried to outclass each other in both categories-men and women-with only few goals scored on the opening day.

Kundai Mbawala (Jersey 8 Braves HC)

In women’s category the games between Simba and Genetrix as well as Nyala and Braves ended in 1 all draw respectively, clearly indicating how tough and competitive the going would be.

The game between Scorpions and Falcons, which was to act as the opening for the league failed to take place, instead, the teams shared a point apiece.

While in men’s contest, only Falcons managed to pocket the maximum three points to top the table after outclassing Genetrix in a 2-0 archetypal game that was fully packed with overwrought spirits. George Waya scored both goals. Scorpions and Nyala were forced to a 1-1 affair.

Format

According to Hockey Association of Malawi (HAM) vice secretary, Wanthaza Mughogho, first round of the league is expected to end next month before teams go for a one-week recess.

“We expect to conclude the first round by August 25, then we will have one week break before we resume for the final round. The 11 aside league will run for almost three months,” said Mughogho.

Mughogho said the teams in both categories are competing under Round Robin format and that prizes will only be awarded to the top three in each category.

“In Men’s section the first position is expected to pocket K90, 000, second position K60, 000 and the third K30, 000. While in women’s category the first position will get K60, 000, second position K30, 000 and the third position will pocket K20, 000.

“Sadly there is no prize for top goal scorers but we are hoping some sponsors will come in to support that category. Otherwise we are grateful for the support Monolux Paints has shown in sponsoring the sport,” Mughogho added.

Monolux Paints is sponsoring hockey to the tune of K600, 000. The money is shared between two hockey leagues, the 11 aside and six aside with each league getting K300, 000.

The six aside league and eight aside (tournament) are usually played before the main showpiece, 11 aside league. The six and eight aside games are always regarded as starters to assess the fitness of players.

Hockey remains one of the undeveloped sports in the country hugely given little or no consideration from government as well as other corporate institutions that have ability to support the sport.

Wilson Thankie hitting the ball with his hockey sticks

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