Latest update March 23rd, 2023 12:59 AM
Oct 03, 2012 Sports
The Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) women’s hockey team produced several major upsets on their way to silver medals in the Malvern 70th Anniversary 7-a-side hockey festival in Trinidad over the past weekend.
GCC featuring several players in the current Guyana national squad arrived on the island Friday evening and managed to stitch in a late night training session to re-familiarize themselves with the artificial pitch at Tacarigua on which hockey is played in Trinidad. Coach of the side, Philip Fernandes, who is also the Guyana national coach, indicated that he was confident of a good showing as the ladies have been training for the past few months with the national team, but was a bit apprehensive of their response to the unfamiliar surface.
Fernandes’ primary concern was whether the team could adjust adequately to the surface by the time the tournament began the very next morning, Saturday, September 29.
The first 10 minutes of their opening match saw a nervous bunch of GCC ladies making several unforced errors and needing to rely on outstanding play by sweeper Ulrica Sutherland and goalkeeper Alysa Xavier to keep the game scoreless.
The GCC ladies, however, grew in confidence with every passing minute and managed to overturn the momentum of the game to pull off a 2-0 victory. With hardly enough time to savour their opening victory, the GCC ladies ran into top seed Notre Dame and suffered their only defeat of the pool round by 1-4. They would, however, secure a second chance at Notre Dame in the finals the following evening.
After brushing aside Ventures and Malvern by 2-1 and 6-0 respectively, the GCC ladies suffered their second defeat to Paragon by 3-1 to complete the day’s matches. Their final pool match early on Sunday morning, however, a 3-2 victory over Magnolias, secured the GCC ladies a semi-final spot against Paragon.
In their semi-final clash which was their second encounter with Paragon for the tournament saw a much improved GCC side see the game through to a 0-0 finish. Goalkeeper Alysa Xavier was the star of the ensuing penalty shootout which saw her save all three Paragon penalties, while her sister Gabriella Xavier made good on hers to give them the 1-0 win.
After a 1-4 defeat against finalists Notre Dame in the pool round, the experience of the two days showed a different GCC side who kept the game even for the entire first half. Notre Dame would eventual penetrate the GCC defence with a penalty corner strike from Trinidad International, Blair Wynn, to secure the gold through a 1-0 victory.
GCC also entered two teams in the male competition, but the need to expose more players to the competition would work against their chances of success. While the men’s teams managed to keep their matches close, a lack of depth on the bench saw them fading at the end to the stronger Trinidadian sides. The GCC men placed 6th and 9th in the 10-team competition.
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