By Ishmael Martey | Legon campus
Rivals Commonwealth Hall and Sarbah Hall emerged as front runners, as the curtains were drawn on the first round of the University of Ghana Inter-hall Soccer League.
After several weeks of duels, the Vikings sit on top of Group A with 16 points, two clear of their nearest rivals the Distance team. But even though the Vikings sit on top of the group, they have not had it as easy as many predicted it to be at the beginning of the league.
Clearly, the dominance of the traditional Halls have been put to test this season with the likes of GRASSAG and the debutants, Distance all challenging for the top spot throughout the entirety of the first round. But with the likes of Jubilee hall and Jean Nelson Aka Hall all languishing at the bottom of the league, one could say the dominance of the Traditional halls can still be felt.
Group B has lived up to its billing as the 'Group of Death', even though the Vandals sit comfortably on top of the group with 19 points, four away from their closest challengers, Akuafo Hall. Defending champions Legon Hall have struggled to impose themselves in the group, and are currently sitting two places below a spot for qualification for the Top four.
They would clearly have to pick themselves up and put up a fight if they are to stand any chance of qualification to the Top Four next semester, especially with James Topp Nelson Yankah Hall also in the thick of affairs.
For the surprise package of the first round, there would certainly be quite a number to choose from, with GRASSAG normally a mid-table team and the debutants Distance, all pushing for a top two finish at the end of the first round.
James Topp Nelson Yankah Hall has also pulled some upsets of their own, pushing their way into the top three in Group B and upsetting the balance within a group where the 'traditional halls' were heavily fancied to dominate. Their form has forced the defending champions Legon Hall to drop down the log.
The contest for who emerges as the replacement for Frederick Amankuna, last season’s MVP and Top scorer will also continue. Edmund Nana Kyei was touted as the obvious heir to the throne of the Goal King but with the fine scoring form of Dominic Yakah, the current top scorer with 10 goals, moving into the break and Kevin Tagoe, the race for the crown would surely go down the wire.
What all this does is to only set the tone for an intriguing and action-packed second round of football brewed from the University of Ghana.