2013 Diamond Mineral Water International Indoor Hockey Festival
-Revamp, GCC Tigers and Hickers win titles
Hockey is back with a bang. An impressive turnout of sporting fans witnessed some exciting matches that climaxed a hugely successful 2013 Diamond Mineral Water International Indoor Hockey Festival which ended on Sunday evening, at the National Gymnasium.
When the dust that hung over the arena for the past five days eventually
settled Revamp of Canada, littered with a number of players who’ve played at the highest level, cruised past Trinidad and Tobago’s Queen’s Park 4-0, while GCC Tigers, predominantly made up of players from the national team showed their maturity after withstanding a furious second half rally by the experienced Malvern out of T&T to take the Ladies crown 4-2 and Hickers coasted to a comfortable 7-4 triumph over GCC in the Veterans final, leaving Guyana to enjoy two of the three grand prizes at stake.
In the Men’s final, Most Valuable Player and Canadian International Jonathan Roberts scored two of Revamp’s goals to lead his side to the convincing victory over a young energetic Queen’s Park.
With fellow international Micah Texiera opening Revamp’s account through a well-executed penalty corner in the first half, Queen’s Park remained competitive with a tight defence marshalled by Jerazeno Bell. Roberts, however, scored his first of the match five minutes into the second half, before they took a 3-0 through Jewan Bath, who found the back of the net with a deceptive penalty corner strike three minutes later.
While Queen’s Park was more competitive than the score suggests, men’s goalkeeper of the tournament Pradeep Koonar, thwarted several of their attacks to maintain a clean sheet. Roberts then sealed the deal for Canada with his second goal in the closing minutes to pull off the 4-0 victory for Revamp.
The GCC Tigers, having qualified first for the Digicel women’s final, had to await the outcome of the pool match between Toronto Toros of Canada and Malvern Hockey Club of Trinidad to know their opponents.
Based on the outcomes of earlier matches most in attendance expected the Toros to qualify, but Malvern managed to show their quality and execute a successful game plan to keep them in the running for the title.
As Malvern and GCC squared off in the final, striker Kerensa Fernandes set the pace with a neat deflection off a penalty corner pass to score the first goal for the Tigers and the match three minutes into play.
Ladies competition leading goal-scorer Krezia Layne, managed to produce a rare penalty corner goal for Malvern against tournament top goalkeeper and ladies MVP, Alysa Xavier in the sixth minute. GCC’s Trisha Woodroffe, however, answered one minute later with a similar penalty corner strike for GCC to maintain their one goal lead at the half.
Five minutes into the second half, Captain Sonia Jardine produced a moment of brilliance in eliminating the defence down the right flank, before drawing the goalkeeper and sliding her pass to Fernandes who scored her second of the match. At 3-1 down and time against them, Malvern opted to withdraw their goalkeeper from the court in preference of an extra field player. The tactic changed the complexion of the game as the Tigers defence struggled initially with the additional pressure. The risk however left Malvern vulnerable in defence and with outstanding goalkeeping from Xavier it was GCC who scored next as youngest player of the side, Aliyah Gordon, pounced on a loose ball after a goal-mouth scramble to score her first goal of the match four minutes from full time. Layne managed to pull one goal back for Malvern in the dying minutes, but it was too little too late as the Tigers held on for the 4-2 victory and fourth title of the Festival.
In the Carib veteran’s final, the younger Hickers out-ran an aging GCC with the game all, but decided at 4-1 by half time.
The addition of Jerazeno Bell to the defending champions, Hickers, side put the game beyond GCC’s reach as Bell himself netted two of his team’s first half goals, while Amanda Garnett and James Mentore notched the other two. GCC’s Alan Fernandes was on target with the first goal of the game in just the fourth minute but it was all Hickers for the rest of the half.
The second half belonged to former national captain and Hickers midfielder Devin Munroe whose athletic ability made him a menace for the GCC defence. Munroe was the first to score in the second half of play, before GCC finally came alive through a Damon Woodroffe penalty corner and a Philip Fernandes field goal. Munroe then scored twice more to complete his hat-trick before GCC’s Alan Fernandes scored his second of the match in the very final minute. The 7-4 victory saw the Hickers retain the veteran’s trophy.
Canada’s Jonathan Roberts and Pardeep Koonar, both of Revamp HC, were voted MVP and best goalkeeper of the men’s competition, while Queen’s Park’s Nicholas Wren was highest goal-scorer. GCC’s Alysa Xavier was the recipient of both the MVP and best goalkeeper awards for the women, while Malvern’s Krezia Layne was highest goal-scorer.
In the veteran’s competition, Jerazeno Bell, making his veteran debut was voted MVP with Azad DeAbreu also of the Hickers being selected as Best goalkeeper. GCC’s Philip Fernandes was the highest goal-scorer.
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