All set for Volleyball double finals this weekend
Volleyball will take the center of attention this weekend when the country’s sports governing body stage the finals of the domestic cup competition in both the male and female categories.
All roads lead to the Manneh Sillah Memorial Court in Banjul with the games kicking off at 7pm local time. Gambia Armed Forces will host National Drug Enforcement Agency in the late kickoff in the men’s competition after the tie between the Gambian Soldiers and Interior in the women’s competition has already been decided.
The Cup final will be the climax of the domestic competition as it brings down the curtain on an intense several months of action. The top two teams in the knockout championship in each category play in the national finals.
This year, seven male and four female teams participated in the national league and knockout championships respectively. Jeshwang have already been crowned as the league champions in the men’s category while Gambia Armed Forces took the honours in the women’s competition.
Armed Forces girls beat Gamtel/Gamcel while Interior saw the better of the Gambia Fire and Rescue Services in the female semifinals respectively. A win on Saturday will cap off a memorable double for the Gambian Soldiers but they will be coming up against an Interior side that has won the last six consecutive cup competitions.
The winners in each category will go home with a trophy and a cash prize of D5000 while the runners up will pocket home a consolation price of D3000. The occasion will also mark the presentation of trophies and medals to the league winners.
The chief guest of honour for the final will be Hon. Alieu Kebba Jammeh, the Minister of Youth and Sports and the Lord Mayor of Banjul, Abdoulie Bah.
Recast of men’s semifinal
Interior secured their place in the deciding game following a three sets to one defeat of NDMA while GAF avenged their league loss with a three sets to two defeat of Jeshwang.
By the time of the semifinal meeting towards, it is exactly one month ago when Jeshwang piped GAF to the domestic league title in February to become the first side in the history of the competition to win three straight titles. In in this most recent game, GAF dominated the opening set from start to finish before eventually winning by 25 points to 17 to give their coach Sgt. Sheikh Omar Bargie some breathing space on the touchline.
Following a dominant display in the first set, it took some terrific volleys in the second from Modou Saidy and Ebrima Njie to narrowly edge out the inform Jeshwang 25 points to 22. But Jeshwang began the third set at an abrupt pace, which GAF remarkably tried to manage with a considered possession defending. It worked to perfection, with the champions starting to trouble the soldier’s rearguard, which weren’t creating any meaningful chances either and Jeshwang feel their greater industry through Ousainou Jatta and Bubacarr Jarra to take the set.
It became an interesting battle soon after the interval when Jatta and Jarra added an untouchable attacking incisor but what will disappoint Sgt Bargie most is that his team were battered in the fourth set with a huge 25 points to 17 win as Jeshwang leveled two sets apiece. GAF ultimately rediscovered their strength and Jeshwang were giving no room to shine to eventually take that fifth and deciding set by 17 points to 15.