Cheered on by national women’s team members Janella Munroe and Chantelle Fernandes Guyana’s talented young duo of Jamarj Assanah and Aroydy Branford, made their debut on Saturday for the Bishop’s Stortford Hockey
Club in a 3-0 loss to points leaders Wapping, in the
East London Men’s Hockey League. The match took place at the venue where the London 2012 Olympics was hosted, on an extremely cold and windy Saturday afternoon.
Wapping enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession with Bishop’s Storford threatening on the counter through the pace of Assanah and Branford. On one such break Branford was denied by Wapping keeper Ben Brind. Dom Oliver opened the scoring for the home side 15 minutes into the game before before Alain Trail added a second with an excellent finish. The pattern of the game continued into the second half with Wapping enjoying the majority of the possession and Bishop’s Stortford looking to hit on the counter.
Although Stortford threatened several times in the second half, man of the match Heye Sheftel would put the result beyond doubt when he slotted home a beautiful drag-flick from a Wapping penalty corner.
Assanah and Branford arrived in London last Monday, February the 8th and had their first training session the following day before playing the match on Saturday. The club is fortunate that their next fixture is not scheduled until February 27 since training had to be canceled this week due to a frozen pitch. They will take on Ford next, who sit just two points above them in the points standings.
The two players are using the opportunity to gain valuable experience ahead of upcoming national team duties. Branford will be part of the National Under 21 outfit scheduled to compete in the Junior Pan American Championships from May 20-28 this year.
Assanah is expected to play a key role for the senior team in 2017 when Guyana attempt to improve on their bronze medal winning performance in the Indoor Pan American Cup and compete in the CAC Games qualifying tournament later in the year. The players would like to thank all those individuals who contributed towards making this opportunity a reality.
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