SWAKOPMUND, 29 MAY – The Africa Cup Inline Hockey tournament concluded in a defeat for the defending champions, Namibia, over the weekend at the Dome in Swakopmund.
The Namibian team had cruised to the finals, until they went down 7:5 to the Dome Dragons in front of a packed crowd. The tie was intense but the Dome Dragons’ Alex Witz and Shane Kinsella pushed through Namibia’s defence to secure the title for the Dome Dragons.
“It was a tough game and both teams played very well. I am super proud of my boys, they never gave up. And props to the Namibians, they fought very hard,” said the Dome Dragons’ captain, Dave Hammond.
During the finals, both teams came out flying in search of an early goal. Tiago Kutz registered the first goal for the Namibians after just two minutes of play. Thereafter, the Dome Dragons immediately equalised in quick succession. But the momentum moved towards the Namibian team once more as they led 3:1 with goals from Wim van der Plas and Lars Borg.
The dynamics later shifted in favour of the Dome Dragons as they came back stronger with a goal from Kinsella. This however did not deter the Namibians who responded with flair and grit. They picked up their game and restored their two goal cushion.
Towards half time, the Namibian team lost concentration. The Dome Dragons noticed this and quickly took advantage. As a result, Kinsella and Hammond netted twice to level the score line.
After halftime, the Namibian team succumbed to move pressure from the Dome Dragons who came out determined to finish the game off. Later Kutz scored for the Namibian’s but Kinsella and Wirt slid past the Namibian defence and scored the winning goals. Kinsella was awarded with the Most Valuable Player award due to his performance during the tournament.
Meanwhile, the Namibian Junior Men’s team also lost to Germany 5:3 in the bronze medal match.
Sponsored by Bank Windhoek since its inception two years ago, the event is building up its reputation as one of the biggest sporting event in Africa and abroad. It attracted players from as far as Brazil, India, Russia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, South Africa, Denmark, United States of America, Spain, Canada, Italy and hosts, Namibia. – NDN Staffer