Dec 01, 2008 Sports
– Brown, Fernandes, Young voted MVPsBy Rawle Welch
It happened for the first time in the history of the tournament; all three defending champions successfully retained their respective titles at this year’s Diamond Mineral Water International Indoor Hockey Festival which ended last evening, at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
Hikers defeated the Kwandwane Brown-led Norte Dame 3-2 in a scorching affair; GCC Ladies duplicated last year’s performance by beating first timers GOA of Canada 2-1 in another exciting match, while Fatima of Trinidad and Tobago edged GCC 7-6 in yet another bruising encounter.
In earlier matches, Hikers made it to the finals with a 7-3 win over GCC in the first Men’s semi-finals, while Notre Dame ousted Malvern to make it to the championship game.
The highly anticipated Men’s final which pitted Trinidadian start player Brown against Guyana’s own Jerazeno Bell provided fans with a full exhibition of individual wizardry matched with excellent teamwork as the two teams entertained the fair-sized audience that converged at the arena.
Kenneth Whiteman gave the visitors the lead when he beat goalkeeper Azad DeAbreu to his left with a well placed shot.
One minute later, Devin Munroe got the equalizer after whipping a powerful shot past the opposition’s goalkeeper on the stroke of half time.
Selwyn King, who later received a trophy for scoring the most goals in the Men’s Division, regained the ascendancy for Norte Dame five minutes after the break when he latched onto a clinical pass from Brown and fired past DeAbreu.
The game was flowing with some scorching runs by Bell and Alex Gouveia which was matched by some similar counterattacks by Brown and King, but the difference came with Hikers possessing the deeper bench.
Gouveia then leveled the scores once again, dribbling two defenders, before squeezing a shot from a narrow angle past an astonished goalkeeper.
Munroe then sealed the win, collecting a pass from Bell, who had eased pass a bunch of tackles, before making a delivery across the goalmouth only to find an unmarked Munroe, who hit a powerful strike past the keeper. They them held firm in defence until the final whistle sounded.
The Ladies game was played at a similar pace with the Canadians trying to exert their superiority on the young GCC outfit.
However, Dominique DeGroot got onto the end of a squared ball conveyed by Sonia Jardine and squirted it past the Canadian goalkeeper.
The half came with no addition by either side to the score.
Tara Fernandes then got the equalizer for the visitors, before the speedy Shebeki Baptiste gave GCC the lead stretching full length to tap in a pass from the left side.
They too employed tight defence to maintain their slim lead, before the whistle came, handing them victory.
Fatima and GCC was a ding dong affair, but the experienced Trinidadians never trailed and got home by a whisker.
They were led to victory by a five-goal tally from Colin Young, while Alan Young and David Nieves made single strikes. For GCC, Phillip and David Fernandes netted a brace each, while there was one apiece for Alan Fernandes and Damon Woodroffe.
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