By Calvin Chapman
The clubs from the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) had a fruitless campaign in last year’s Diamond Mineral Water (DMW) International Indoor Hockey Festival after Guyana swept the competition by winning the Over35, Men’s Open and Women’s Open but the Trinidadians returned this year with vengeance and took top honours in all three divisions when the event concluded last night.
When the feature Diamond Water men’s final was contested last evening between Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) and defending champions Pepsi Hikers at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) on Homestretch Avenue that hosted all the games, George United had already copped the ExxonMobil Open Women title and QPCC had clinched the Lucozade Over-35 championship.
QPCC and Pepsi featured for the third consecutive year in the Men’s Final and although the partisan Guyanese fans wanted at least one trophy in the bag, QPCC won the match 4-3 on penalties after the game had finished 3-3 after full time. Up to half-time the game was locked at 0-0 with Hikers having the bulk of chances but their target man Robert France wasn’t quite on song, missing a few good opportunities.
At the start of the second half, QPCC banged in three goals in one minute to sink the spirits of the Hikers fans but the defending champions rallied back to level the game by the end of the third quarter.
In the penalty shootout, Robert France was the only player to miss which summed up the disappointing performance from the usually reliable forward.
The ExxonMobil Women’s Division Final was a cliffhanger with T&T’s George United edging 2018 champions GBTI GCC Tigers 5-4. Brittney Hingh along with her skipper Brianna Govia who also won MVP of the division, both smashed a brace of field goals (FG) for the winners with Savannah DeFrietas adding the decisive fifth in the 29th minute of the 40-minute encounter. George United comprised of players from various T&T clubs and was the lone foreign team in the Women’s Division.
QPCC prevailed in the Lucozade Over-35 Division after an enterprising 11-8 win in the final against Bounty GCC Vintage. Bryan Lee-Chow and Darren Cowie both of QPCC picked up the best goalkeeper and MVP trophies respectively, while Kevin Spence of GCC Vintage finished with a tally of 14 to pick up the highest goal scorer trophy.
The champions in the Men’s and Women’s Open pocketed US$1000 while the runners up pocketed US$500. The winners of the Veterans’ Over-35 Division cashed in on US$500.
Upon conclusion of the tournament, head of the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB); Philip Fernandes, congratulated the T&T clubs for the excellent showing and thanked them for their participation. He praised the works of the technical committee including the judges, umpires and volunteers for their hard work in making the 15th edition of the tournament a visible success.
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