Dec 31, 2019 Sports
By Calvin Chapman
The Guyana Hockey Board’s (GHB) Junior Indoor Championships, the Smalta/Icool under-14 indoor, GBTI GCC’s dominance in Paragon Hockey Club’s youth tournaments and the excellent showing of the national select women’s team in the Field Hockey Canada (FHC) tri-nation series in March were some of the highlights of youth development for the sports association in 2019.
Junior Indoor C/Ships
The curtains fell on the 2019 edition of the GHB’s Junior Indoor Hockey championships November last at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) on Homestretch Avenue where the two most dominant junior clubs in Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) and Saints Hockey Club (SHC) carted off the spoils in the under-21 and under-16 divisions.
The girls’ under-21 final was most subscribed and GBTI GCC Spartans overcame a promising Saints side 2-1. GCC dominated the individual accolades with Madison Fernandes (MVP), Sarah Klautky (Most goals -6) and Jessica Mittleholzer (best goalkeeper) claiming prizes, while Julia Gouviea of Old Fort won best goalkeeper.
GCC Pitbulls defeated YMCA Old Fort to take the boys under-21 title. Pitbulls’ Meshach Sargeant was awarded MVP, while Michael Hing was adjudged best goalkeeper. Old Fort’s Omar Hopkinson scored the most goals (4), while Baraka Garnett of Saints was recognised as the most promising player.
In the under-16 division, SHC Shockwave came out victorious, dethroning last year’s champions, St. Joseph High. Naresh Mahadeo (best goalkeeper) and Shakeem Fausette (Most Goals 9) were pivotal in
Saints triumphant campaign. Shaquan Favourite of YMCA Old Fort was the MVP, while Javid Hussain of SHC Silencers was the most promising player in the tournament.
On the distaff side in the under-16, GCC picked up their third title with GBTI Spartans making light work of their opponents to win the crown. As expected, the clinical Abosaide Cadogan of Spartans emerged as the top scorer with 13 goals, while her captain Sarah Klautky emerged as the MVP. Young Clayza Bobb of SHC Sensations deservedly was recognised as the most promising player, while Empress Charles of Bingo GCC Her-ricanes was the best goalkeeper.
FHC Invitational Tri-Nation Series
National female hockey coach, Philip Fernandes, put together a national indoor selection that travelled to Canada on March 20th to compete in a Field Hockey Canada (FHC) Invitational Indoor Hockey Tri-Nation series from March 22nd to 24th. The other teams competing were a Canadian President’s eleven and the national team of Kazakhstan.
With a ranking of 13th in the world, the team from Kazakhstan was be the highest ranked team of the series followed by Canada, ranked 17th and Guyana ranked 31st.
Guyana’s efforts to participate in this event were really motivated by the need to expose new young players to a high level of competition ahead of the next year’s Indoor Pan American Cup (IPAC) which is scheduled for Pottsville Pennsylvania in March, 2020. The last time t
he Guyana women participated in international indoor hockey was back in 2017 when the IPAC was held here in Guyana at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
This selection for Canada saw six new faces on the 14-member squad with five young ladies being under 16-years.
Guyana opened its series in Canada in the morning of March 22nd with a match against the Asian indoor champions Kazakhstan. According to a release from Fernandes, “The Kazaks were far more experienced than the young Guyanese who seemed to struggle a bit with the fast smooth wooden surface on the University of Toronto Athletic Centre. While Kazakhstan put the Guyanese under tremendous pressure in the first half, superb goalkeeping by Alysa Xavier and solid defence work from Guyana’s most experienced players, Marisha Fernandes and Trisha Woodroffe, kept the scores at 0-0.”
The second half would see the tide swing in Guyana’s favour as Woodroffe hammered home two powerful direct penalty corner flicks in the 27th and 29th minutes to give Guyana a 2-0 lead. Kazakhstan gave it their all in the final ten minutes and came close to scoring on a few occasions but Xavier kept them at bay, aside from one penalty corner goal in the final minute. The 2-1 victory for Guyana over the highly ranked Kazak’s was an
unexpected positive start for the Guyanese.
The second match for Guyana the same afternoon proved much tougher as the well-rehearsed and experienced Canadians piled on pressure on the Guyanese, who defended bravely to keep the score to 0-0 at the half before eventually losing 6-0.
Guyana then lost agonisingly close in the semi-final against Canada whites before losing again to Kazakhstan in the Bronze medal match.
Coach Fernandes indicated that, despite the disappointing placement of his team in the end, many objectives were achieved during the series. And, being fully aware of their unfavourable ranking and inexperience, the team had set a target to win or draw at least one match in the series and they overachieved, having won one match and drawing twice in the series.
GBTI GCC dominate in Trinidad
GBTI GCCgirls had a successful stint in Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) in September when they secured double gold in the girls Under-16 and Under -21 divisions of the Paragon Hockey Club indoor championships.
The GCC girls took a bit of time in their first Under-16 match against the Magnolias to get accustomed to the fast surface at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, but managed to emerge with a 5-1 victory. That goal would be the only one conceded in the entire Under-16 competition by All-star goalkeeper, Jessica Mittelholzer, and her fellow Guyanese teammates. The GBTI GCC girls then followed that victory with a 5-0 win over Checkers, 6-0 over Sepos and 5-0 over Bishops.
The under-16 final saw a repeat of the very first Under-16 match contested by the GCC girls as they took on Magnolias who had finished second in the pool. GCC managed to best their earlier effort by outclassing Magnolias 6-0 to lift the under-16 trophy.
The under-16 side was then strengthened by sixteen-year-old Makeda Harding for the Under-21 competition. And, once again, GCC topped the pool round and this time faced Paragon in the Under-21 final. This match was more challenging for the Guyanese girls as Paragon played a more physical game and were able to deny space to the GCC strikers before a hard fought 2-0 triumph by the Guyanese.
The full GBTI GCC team in that competition read: Abosaide Cadogan, Haley Carpenter, Sarah Klautky, Madison Fernandes, Makeda Harding, Kirsten Gomes, Madison Singh and Jessica Mittelholzer with Coach Philip Fernandes and Manager Dominique DeGroot.
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