– GCC Vets make it two in a row
Hockey fans got their first glimpse of international competition on the second night of action in the Diamond Mineral Water (DMW) International Indoor Festival which continued on Thursday evening, at the National Gymnasium.
In action were the YMCA men from Barbados, Fatima of Trinidad and the Trinidad Police Force, who all made their debuts for 2013.
The YMCA, despite having to settle for a draw against defending champions Hikers after blowing a 5-1 half time lead still managed to produce the performance of the night in their pulsating 6-6 tie.
Barbados superstar Rohan ‘Teno’ Thomas was off the mark in the second minute of the match using his blistering pace to overlap up the right side and slam his shot home for YMCA. Thomas then added a second two minutes later and although Hikers striker Robert France pulled his team back within one in the seventh minute, Thomas completed his hat-trick five minutes later to give YMCA a 3-1 lead.
The Hikers produced moments of brilliance, but outstanding goalkeeping from Azad DeAbreu for the YMCA kept them scoreless for the rest of the half. YMCA put the game seemingly beyond the Hikers by half time as Sean Harewood and Ryan Cowie drilled in one apiece before the break.
However, the Hikers in typical manner held their nerve in the second half and did not disappoint their large gathering of fans. Young Aroydy Branford led the charge with a double strike, but this was after failing to convert two penalty strokes in the opening period, while Devin Munroe, Jamarj Assanah and Captain France, with his second of the match, each marked their names on the score sheet. Tony Cole managed to score the lone goal for YMCA in the second half, leaving the final score at 6-6.
In the other men’s match of the evening, GCC put on a clinical display of hockey by demolishing Old Fort 7-1. Led by an inspiring burst of play by striker Leonard George, which included a delicate reverse stick deflection, the Bourda Boys took control from the outset.
Midfield playmaker Kevin Spencer was first to score for GCC in the fifth minute, but Old Fort managed to keep the game scoreless for the ensuing ten minutes until substitute George upon entering the game immediately made his presence felt with two goals in quick succession to give GCC the 3-0 lead.
Mark Sargeant managed to take the half time score to 4-0 with an accurate finish in the final minute of the first half.
Although Old Fort’s inspirational leader, Aderemi ‘Dove’ Simon was able to score a single for Old Fort in the second half, three more goals from Stuart Gonsalves, Spencer and Sargeant closed out the match for GCC at 7-1.
The GCC vets looked unstoppable as they chalked up their second easy victory of the competition with a 6-2 defeat of Trinidad’s Fatima.
The tireless Alan Fernandes proved too much for the Fatima defence as the midfielder tallied a helmet trick for the match and that was accompanied by singles from Philip Fernandes and Damon Woodroffe. Nicholas Wren put in a spirited performance for Fatima, but his two goals fell shy of the requirement, leaving GCC the runaway victors at 6-2.
The Trinidad Police suffered some flight complications and paid a heavy price for having to field a diminished side against the Hikers in the other Carib vets’ division clash. The Hikers ended with a resounding 13-0 victory, with a five goal haul from striker George Melville, a hat-trick from Amanda Garnett, a double from Devin Munroe and singles from Robert Fernandes, James Mentore and Brian Asregado.
The competition was set to continue last evening until Sunday, at the same venue when the three finals will be played beginning at 17:00 hrs.
Admission is free to all games.
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