Delta Masters maintain dominance of Nigerian hockey
The Delta State’s dominance in Nigerian hockey which transcended from the era of Felix Gheghor to that of the progressive era of the popular combination of Sunday Ogodogu and Samson Abrakassa, continued at the weekend in the Series 3 of the Nigeria Hockey Masters.
Delta Hockey Masters re-enacted their excellence with the sticks as they emerged the Men’s champion of the Nigeria Hockey Masters competition held at the Artificial Pitch of the Elegbata Sports Complex, Apongbon, Lagos Island.
The Delta State Masters led by the famous Nigeria Hockey Masters captain and legendary hockey player, Felix Gheghor, were exceptional in all the games they played, exhibiting the skills and zest that made them a force to reckon with in the glory days of Nigerian hockey.
The Delta Masters which paraded great Nigeria hockey legends like Peter Itawansa, Sunday Ogodogu, Samson Abrakassa, Aliyu Shauibu and Lucky Adamson among others, were purposeful in all the games they played as they brushed aside challenges from the Omi Brown-led Port Harcourt Masters, the Folarin Jaiyeola-led South West Masters and South South Masters motivated by ex-international and the National Coordinator of the Nigerian Hockey Masters, Barrister Walter Imoedemhe.
The Ports Harcourt Masters also had top hockey masters as Samuel Jackson, Abiodun Bakare, Tami Biambo, Kelvin Otonye, Mpaka Jack, Barango Daye and Tom-Ifiye Okpobiri.
The South South Masters made up predominantly by hockey legends from Edo state included Sunday Oyinwere, Chukwuma Mouka, Tony Ogbuoma, Tayo Adesanya, Kayode Opeodu, and Christian Onasanya.
The South West Masters had former Union Bank Hockey team captain, Okwudili Menye, the longest serving Nigeria national team goalkeeper and former Nigeria Hockey Federation Vice President Folarin Jaiyeola, reigning Chairman of the Lagos State Hockey Association Mobolaji Musa, long term secretary of Union Bank Hockey club Emmanuel Isibor and Police Machine coach Sunday Kaze.
Other South West Masters that distinguished themselves in the NHM Series 3 at the Elegbata Sports Complex, include: Shola Cole, Cyril Osigwe, Niyi Oredein, Chidi Egonu, Brown Yinusa and Babajide.
The South West Masters were supported by two non-playing hockey greats; Jamiu Aminu and Ayo Ladeinde, who gave the team all the needed boost to forge ahead.
The most interesting game in the Men’s category was the match between South West Masters and the South South Masters. It was a very impressive game that had the trappings of vintage Nigeria hockey top flight games when the masters were at the prime of their career.
In the women’s category, visiting Plateau Women’s Masters won the title after beating South West Women Ladies in a two legged fixtures. The Plateau Ladies were too tough to crack by the South West Ladies led by ex-international Ileladewa Aloba, who re-enacted her excellent stick work, but the defensive brickwall set by the Plateau Ladies was just too solid to crack.
This was followed by a fanfare victory ceremonies where the champion Delta Hockey Masters were presented with gold medals and a gold trophy for their efforts in the men’s category. The second and third placed teams were presented with silver and bronze medals respectively.
In the women’s class the two teams Plateau Ladies and South West Ladies were presented with gold and silver medals respectively.
The Nigeria Hockey Masters Series 3 competition was preceded by NHM General Congress which held at the Manason Hotel, Adebola Street, off Adeniran Ogunsanya.
The Congress was addressed by the NHM General Coordinator, Barrister Imoudemhe.
The hosting of the National Under-14 Hockey Championship was ratified by the Congress to be hosted the Port Harcourt Masters.
December 15, 2019 was scheduled as the kick off date tentatively, with a total 15 male and 15 female teams set to participate.
It was also proposed and agreed that, there will be a Masters Challenge among members alongside the Under-14 Championship.
The General Coordinator, Imoudemhe confirmed that all plans have been concluded with the Nigeria Hockey Federation.
In his speech, the Nigeria Hockey Masters General Coordinator, congratulated all NHM members on the successful hosting of NHM 3rd Series, Lagos, which he described as an opportunity to witness the gathering of hockey veterans.
He noted: “At the beginning of 2019, we agreed to host 3 Series. We did not only meet it, we surpassed it, thereby creating an active and vibrant hockey environment in Nigeria. We have resolved several issues, among them the hosting of 1st NHM National U-14 Hockey Championship. We look forward to our commitment and pray for its success. I thank sincerely the Executive Committee of NHM, particularly those that sent apologies – Dr Mahbudi and Dr Awalu, weldone. Also, the LOC of NHM 3, the President and members of Nigeria Hockey Federation particularly, Mr. Folarin Fajembola, for total representation of the Board at the NHM Series 3 in Lagos, our partners in NHM 3 – Mr. Mobolaji Musa, who is the Chairman of Lagos Hockey Association and Members. I appreciate Mrs. Okoro Sokoh of Estymol Groups of Companies, Solar Company, and our friends – Mr. Tunde Popoola, Engr. Simon Nkon, Mr. Emman Oviawe, particularly Mr. Dapo Sotuminu for the support in the area of media/ publicity. Let me recognise especially the goodwill messages from Senator Abdullahi Ningi, Engr. Simon Nkom, Dr Awalu and Dr. Mahbudi. We appreciate the exemplary unique places each of you occupy in the building of hockey bridges across Nigeria.”