Hikers men close in on Farfan & Mendes League title
The past weekend busy hockey schedule at the Providence National Stadium saw Pizza Hut ladies draw their final match of the Woodpecker Products Women’s First Division Hockey League against Hikers to finish as undefeated
After dominant performances throughout both rounds of the League, spectators were treated to the most competitive match of the League that ended in a 1-1 stalemate on Sunday.
From the opening whistle, it appeared as though this would be just another stroll in the park for GCC as League MVP Sonia Jardine rattled the upright with a powerful shot in the opening minutes.
However, the Hikers defence stood firm until the 13th minute when GCC executed a smooth penalty corner routine to see Jardine blast her shot in for the opening goal of the match.
Although GCC enjoyed most of the possession and kept the game mostly in the Hikers half of the field, they struggled to add to their total.
Hikers goalkeeper Latoya Fordyce made several good saves and the goalpost denied GCC their second midway in the second half.
Just as the game seemed destined to end with a 1-0 result for GCC, the Hikers pulled off the surprise play of the match with Nicole Eastman capitalising on a GCC error in midfield, her long pass slipped past the GCC defence catching the goalkeeper out of position for striker Charlyn Elliot to sweep the ball into the empty goal.
The equaliser scored in the 54th minute was enough to see the match to a drawn result, leaving GCC the overall victors of the League.
The Pizza Hut GCC had beaten the Spartans by 10-0 the previous afternoon, while the Hikers brushed aside the Old Fort Shooting Stars 6-0.
In the resulting clash for third spot, the Spartans managed to reverse their fortunes against Old Fort with a 3-1 victory.
Tournament leading scorer Sonia Jardine of Pizza Hut GCC was nominated the tournament Most Valuable Player.
Farfan & Mendes Men’s First Division League
Pool leaders, the Pepsi Hikers faced Bounty GCC in the feature men’s match on Sunday afternoon at the Providence National Stadium with the two teams being separated by a 2-1 first round victory to the Hikers.
The Hikers were the first team to make inroads as they smashed a penalty corner strike past GCC goalkeeper Medroy Scotland just 3 minutes into the match.
GCC, however, seemed to have the more constructive play in the opening quarters and produced a pair of goals through Dwayne Scott via a penalty corner and a diving effort by Kareem McKenzie to take a 2-1 lead at the half.
The Hikers managed to neutralise the strong GCC midfield build-ups in the second half and made their own breakthrough in the 44th minute with an Andrew Stewart penalty corner strike.
Striker Shane Samuels then capitalised on a mistimed trap of an aerial pass by the GCC defence to give his team the 3-2 lead three minutes later.
With the game still in the Hikers favour, GCC striker Philip Fernandes earned his team a final opportunity with a penalty corner seconds before full time.
The powerful Dwayne Scott penalty corner flick was deflected by advancing Hikers defender Andrew Stewart and looped over the head of goalkeeper Jason Hoyte, before falling gently into the back of the net to tie the match at 3-3.
GCC had dispatched Old Fort the previous afternoon by 4-2, while Old Fort upstaged Saints HC on Sunday afternoon.
With the Pepsi Hikers surely on their way to League victory, their fixture against Saints HC remains the lone game outstanding which will be scheduled once the weather improves.
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