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Handball: We lost to a more experienced side – Isiaka Atanda

*I am satisfied with my girl’s performance

Kwara State’s handball coach to the ongoing National Youth Games, Isiaka Atanda, said his team lost to a more experienced FCT Queens but despite that he is satisfied with the result of the match though officiating added more woes to his team’s loss.

Kwara handball team at the NYG
Kwara handball team at the National Youth Games

According to the coach whose speciality seems to be winning in cadet female handball championships, “these girls started playing the game in January and with their ability to play in their first championships they got to the final, I think for that I can’t complain.

FCT Queens of Abuja had to defy all odds to emerge the champions of the 3rd National Youth Games. The Abuja Queens were trailing behind tournament favorites Kwara Queens by 9-13 goals in the first half of proceedings.

The Abuja girls were as usual strong on defence but their offensive play was uncoordinated losing most balls in attacking fouls and turnovers repeatedly in the first half. These errors were nipped as they returned for the second half.

The coach Isiaka Atanda-led lasses who had capitalised on the FCT Queens mistakes to earn valuable goals through series of fast breaks in the first half lost to over confidence on the return from the pep talk session with their coaches.

The Kwara Queens had their star player, Nuhu Wuraola, in an injury scare as she sustained a deep cut in the mouth. Though, she continued playing but the injury diminished her effectiveness in the game. Balikis Ibrahim and Yusuf Muinat sustained the pressure on the FCT Queens. They combined to forcing the Abuja team into committing two minutes suspensions which they did not utilise in forcing a massive lead.

Though, Kwara team played good on offence but they were poor on defence, losing the goals as fast as they scored.

With the pep talk of former Nigerian playmaker, coach Hannatu Dada her team switched to lightning fast breaks, jump shots from the trio of Favour Abdullahi, Lydia Daniel and Nancy Johnson.

The FCT Queens were all over their opponents. Coupled with some officiating errors, the Abuja girls equalised the match by the 47th minute mark before finally taking full control of the game and won the match at 25-22 goals.

Star player Blessing Ayodele was awarded  the Most Valuable Player of the tournament with her extra ordinary display of handball skills and dexterity, though her team lost out in the preliminary rounds, she proved herself to be a spectacular handball player.

The highest goals scorer award was giving to Idowu Abdulrasak who was the fore runner of the Kwara team; she is a fast paced player running all the fast breaks of Kwara handball team.

Presenting the medals after the finals are the Secretary General of The Nigeria Hockey Federation, Madam Rita Mordi, Alhaji Dauda Yusuf, past president Handball Federation of Nigeria and Honorable Umar Hammanjoda, North East representatives of the handball Federation of Nigeria.

Bayelsa State won the third placed match.

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