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Hippo and Huletts Hockey Teams (2012 Season)

Written by Pritchard Matambo   

Hippo and Hullets HockeyThe 2012 hockey season marked a new era in the Lowveld as the two teams, Hippo and Hullets Hockey Clubs produced a stellar performance before engraving pieces of history on the hockey fraternity. Hippo Hockey maintained their dominance on the local scene by scooping all the accolades on the domestic arena and redefining the Zimbabwean hockey brand and further went on to register their artful return on the international scene. This resulted in them ending the season not only as the best in Zimbabwe, but fourth best team in Africa.

New comers, Huletts proved to be a force to reckon with following their remarkable performance which saw them earning the honours to represent Zimbabwe in their debut season. Though they could not go on to repeat the same feat on the international arena, they produced some superb classic moments, much to the praise of the local spectators.

National League

In the National league, the top two teams from the three provincial leagues (Harare, Bulawayo and Masvingo) come together to form a Champions league. Masvingo was represented in the National league by the Lowveld champions Hippo Hockey and debutantes Huletts. By right, the league winner goes on to represent Zimbabwe during the annual Africa Cup for Club Championships. This year Zimbabwe being the hosts were awarded two slots—therefore the top team on the log and the winner of the HAZ Cup would be the 2 representatives.

Hippo Hockey Club went on to clinch the title for the fourth time in a role in great style as they only lost once, drew once and Won 8 times as highlighted on the log below.

The debutantes, Huletts hockey club didn't disappoint either as they finished as second runner ups to Hippo. Huletts were the league's underdogs but became vicious dogs as they surprisingly tear apart most opponents.

National League Final Log Standing 2012

PositionTeamPlayedWinDrawLosePoints
1 Hippo 10 8 1 1 25
2 Huletts 10 6 2 2 20
3 BAC 10 5 1 4 16
4 Enthusiasts 10 4 1 5 13
5 Kings 10 2 1 7 7
6 OGs 10 1 0 9 3

 

HAZ Cup

This year's HAZ cup final saw 4 teams qualifying for the knockouts tournament. The teams drawn for the clash were the traditional powerhouses Hippo, Eradicators, BAC and new comers Huletts. Besides the HAZ Cup trophy, the winner of the showdown was to gain the honour to represent Zimbabwe in the African Cup for Club Champions in December.

Hippo hockey went on to win the tournament and Huletts came second. The Tongaat teams once again dominated.

Mantra Tournament

The Mantra sponsored tournament is an annual event open to all teams from around Zimbabwe that do not regularly play on Astroturf, competing in what is seen as the stepping stone towards the promotion of hockey in formerly disadvantaged communities.

This year, the inaugural tournament featured Mabvuku HC, Eradicators HC, Bindura HC, Mutare HC and the two Lowveld teams Hippo HC and Huletts HC. Hippo Hockey club went on to win comfortably the tournament with Eradicators and Huletts sharing the second Position.

HippoHulettsEradictorsMabvukuMutareBinduraGoal
Difference
Points#
Hippo 5 - 2 2 - 1 5 - 0 5 - 0 5 - 0 +19 15 1
Huletts 2 - 5 0 - 0 3 - 0 6 - 0 4 - 1 +9 10 =2
Eradictors 1 - 2 0 - 0 3 - 0 2 - 0 6 - 1 +9 10 =2
Mabvuku 0 - 5 0 - 3 0 - 3 0 - 5 1 - 2 -17 0 6
Mutare 0 - 5 0 - 6 0 - 2 5 - 0 0 - 1 -9 3 4
Bindura 0 - 5 1 - 4 1 - 6 2 - 1 1 - 0 -11 3 5

 

African Cup of Club Championship

Hippo Hockey - African Cup of Club Championship (December 2012)African Cup of Club Championship (ACCC) is the most prestigious club hockey tournament on the African Continent and only top clubs from Africa Hockey Federation's affiliated nations participate in the tournament. This year, it attracted 12 teams from Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and hosts Zimbabwe. Up for grabs for the winners, was a berth to represent Africa in the World Club Championships in Spain next year.

It was a gruelling encounter which saw Hippo and Huletts battling it with the other African giants. The Zimbabwean flag bearers put a sterling performance much to the admiration from supporter and the visiting teams. This was Hippo's second year at the games and Team Hippo proved beyond doubt that they have matured and are almost ready to conquer the African continent. A 3-4 defeat to Trustees HC saw them miss out on a place in the final against reigning champions Sharkia of Egypt.

Hullets HockeyIt was another tight encounter in the Bronze medal match. Hippo agonisingly lost 4-5 on penalties to Golden Sticks (Ghana) during the 3rd and 4th position play-offs. This came after making a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down to level it 3-3 in the last 12 minutes of the allocated 70 minutes. It was a painful loss given the quality of hockey displayed by Zimbabwean Champions throughout the tournament. Voted the most improved side by tournament officials at the event, Hippo showed that they are the new rising star on the continent. Next year's ACCC will be staged in Ghana and the Sugar Boys are already setting their sights on improving on this year's performance.

The tournament was won by Sharkia of Egypt who beat Trustees of Ghana 4-1 in the Gold medal match on the final day. Sharkia have won the tournament 22 times in the 25 year history of the tournament and it will require a Herculean effort to dethrone them.

Accolades

This season saw old talent mature and new talent rise to the fore. Consistent high level performances by the stalwart veterans Donald Mutupo, Pritchard Matambo, Kanyiwe Tafuma and Brightone Mapope steered the team throughout the season. Donald Mutupo finished the season as top goal scorer on 28 goals.

Electric performances by teenagers Arnold Mpofu and Warwick "Muveti" showed the success of the development programme which has seen a steady supply of fine talent to the senior squad from the junior stables. Arnold captained the Hippo High School team and led them to finishing the year as the 2nd best school team in Zimbabwe. He was also runner up to Donald on 23 goals for the senior team. Young Mpofu along with Tafara Murehwa, Sibo Mangena, Luckson Sikisa, Sherman Mangena, Edward Takavarasha, Patron Chikanya from the Hippo school team, represented Zimbabwe at the Under 21 Junior World Cup in South Africa in October 2012.

The strength of the hockey programme is set to continue with the introduction of the sport to all primary schools on the estate this year. Ngwindi School were the year's best new comers, beating Hippo Primary, Mvurachena and drawing with Murray Mac. at the Hippo Primary School tournament in June. The formation of 5 new senior men's teams - section 4, section 18, section 27, ZSA and Mlemi will add to the local competition and player base.

Last Updated on Monday, 14 January 2013
 
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