BULAWAYO Athletic Club (BAC) women’s hockey team was the most successful of Zimbabwe’s three representatives at the Hockey Africa Cup of Club Champions which ended at Kumalo Hockey Stadium on Sunday.
BAC lost in the final having had a fairly good run in the preliminary stages of the competition which saw them beat Twende 10-0 which was their biggest win of the tournament, draw against Heartlands 3-3, beat Shams 8-0 and lose to Orange 0-3.
In their semi-final encounter against Gra of Ghana, BAC won 2-1 with Orange who did not lose a match winning with the same margin against their compatriots Strathmore.
BAC had a number of anxious moments when they played Shams and had to win 8-0 for them to qualify for the final against Orange.
In the men’s category Hippo Valley, the country’s league champions, had to settle for fourth place after they were beaten 1-6 by Trustees of Ghana.
Eradicators on the other end had to settle for sixth position after their game against Police Machines ended with a 2-3 loss.
Hockey Association of Zimbabwe president Mark Manolios commended BAC for making it to the final of the tournament.
“We are very pleased that the girls (BAC) made it to the final and that our other team Hippo Valley got the chance to play for third place. We had one of our young umpires Bryn Lowe handle a final,” he said.
Lowe at 18 years old handled the final between Egyptian sides Sharkia and Egypt Police which ended with the former winning 1-0.
Manolios said at short notice the local organising committee had managed to host the tournament.
He said they were hoping that some day they would take over the running of the stadium which is currently under the Public Works ministry.
“We would like to take it over with the hope that we would get more sponsorship and a lot more tournaments in the future. We would also like to start academies as well and host many more competitions. After meeting with the minister (Sports, Arts and Culture, Andrew Langa) we are hopeful that we will get turf for Magamba Stadium and more tournaments will be played in the country,” he said.
Kumalo hosted seven African countries with 16 teams participating in the tournament.