Ricky Zililo Sports Reporter
Matabeleland A ………………………………………………..0
Harare A ……………………………………………………..(2) 2HARARE A beat Matabeleland A to lift the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe’s Inter-provincial Trophy in a final played at Kumalo Hockey Stadium yesterday.
The visitors went into the final with the favourite tag after knocking out second seeded Masvingo A in the semi-finals and shot into the lead as early as the second minute through Kudzanayi Tambo.
Ten minutes later Stuart Murinda got to the end of a Tapiwa Mafi flick and scored Harare’s second goal of the match.
The Matabeleland team never threw in the towel as they fought tooth and nail but were unlucky not to score.
The home side looked dangerous when Tapiwa Mushayakarara was in possession of the ball as he dribbled past Harare’s defence but failed to convert in their final third.
The other culprits that missed sitters for Matabeleland were Nadeem Battery, Mushayakarara and Thamsanqa Moyo.
Harare’s captain Murinda heaped praises on his teammates for a disciplined performance.
“We knew that Matabeleland A were going to come at us and what we needed was to be disciplined and catch them on counter attacks. If you look at the chances we had in the second half, we could have hit them more than twice on counter attacks but we took long to flick at goal. I think credit must go to the whole team because even when they (Matabeleland) came at us we managed to remain resolute and did not succumb to pressure,” said Murinda.
On their way to the final, Harare beat the Zimbabwe national Under-19 team 6-1 in their first match, went on to hand an Invitational team a 0-2 defeat before shocking pre-tournament favourites Masvingo A 5-3 after penalty shootouts.
Harare A and Masvingo A had played to a 2-2 draw after regulation time.
On the other hand, Matabeleland A clobbered Invitational 11-0 in their first match and were 7-2 winners over Masvingo B.
Matabeleland Hockey Board secretary Kalpesh Parshotam was happy with how the tournament went and said they are now preparing for next month’s Haz Clubs Cup.
“This was a good competition and we are happy that Harare brought two teams because they only have one club in the National League. Right now we are starting our preparations for a club tournament to be held on 9 September,” said Parshotam.
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