After all said and done, a gruelling two weeks that provided an exhibition of the finest handball artistry and feverish competition ended on Friday with Adorable Angels and Safety Shooters emerging men’s and women’s champions of the Prudent Energy Handball Premier League 2020.
Adorable Angels capped an incredible debut topflight campaign by wrapping up the title on the final day, an incredible feat that follows their equally remarkable triumph in the National Division One League in Kaduna last year.
Angels needed a win on the final day to seal an unlikely title win and they achieved it in nail-biting fashion against former champions Plateau Peacocks who they edged by a hair’s breath to win 29-28 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
Scenes of jubilation greeted the final whistle as the ecstatic players and their equally overjoyed coaches celebrated wildly as the realisation of their achievement sunk in.
The Ilorin based club finished with 26pts, one ahead of Edo Dynamos and two above defending champions Safety Babes in third.
Safety Shooters had already wrapped up the men’s title with a game to spare and so could be forgiven for being off the boil as they lost their final game 24-27 against Rima Strikers 27-24.
Shooters ended the campaign with 30 points one more than deposed champions Kano Pillars who settled for second place after defeating Confluence Stars 36-21.
Lagos side Seasiders Boys defeated Plateau Vipers 36-28 to finish in third place, level with Pillars but with an inferior goals difference.
Delta Force were relegated following a 24-28 loss to De Defenders. They join Borno Spiders who lost 26-34 to Niger United 34-26 in dropping to the National Division One League.
Adorable Angels’ Abdurazak Idowu and Atabo Abubakar of Safety Shooters were named Tournament MVPs in the women’s and men’s categories respectively, with Idowu also receiving the highest goal scorer award in the women’s category alongside Anas Muhammed of Rima Strikers for the men.
Final Day Results
D:Defenders 28-24 Delta Force
Borno Spiders 26-34 Niger United
Confluence Stars 21-36 Kano Pillars
Lagos Seasiders 36-28 Plateau Vipers
Safety Shooters 24-27 Rima Strikers
Plateau Peacocks 28-29 Adorable Angels
ALL STARS TEAM (MEN)
Goalkeeper: Obinna Okwor (Confluence Stars)
Left Wing: Andrew Ojo (Kano Pillars)
Left Back: Kingsley Okubike (Kano Pillars)
Centre: Atabo Abubakar (Safety Shooters)
Right Back: Faruk Yusuf (Lagos Seasiders)
Right Wing: Osamwonyi Olaye (Kano Pillars)
Pivot: Stephen Sessugh (Kano Pillars)
ALL STARS TEAM (WOMEN)
Goalkeeper: Toyin Yusuf (Plateau Peacocks)
Left Wing: Ugochi Nnadi (Imo Grasshoppers)
Left Back: Nuhu Wuraola (Adorable Angels)
Centre: Faith Inegbedion (Edo Dynamos)
Right Back: Muinat Yusuf (Adorable Angels)
Right Wing: Rebecca John (Adorable Angels)
Pivot: Idowu Abdulrazaq (Adorable Angels)