Agencies excel at Agriculture Ministry’s sport finals

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By Avenash Ramzan

The sun was out in all its brilliance and so too were the staff of the different agencies affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture, which hosted its annual Inter-Agency Sport Finals 2016 at the National Park Tarmac last Friday.

Staff members put aside their tools of trade for one final time in 2016 and exhibited their sporting prowess and athleticism, much to the delight of a very vocal crowd, who were loud in support of their respective agencies.

Action got underway with the March Pass observed by Director of Sport Christopher Jones, and though only two agencies- the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) and the Fisheries Department- were represented, they were well coordinated in their display.

Jones, in declaring the event open, said the day of sport is apt at this moment, as it falls neatly into the government’s plan to foster social cohesion in Guyana. He added that the current administration will continue to invest in the development of sport, highlighting the significant role it can play in nation building.

The torch was lit to signal the start of the day's proceedings
The torch was lit to signal the start of the day’s proceedings

Immediately after the Director’s brief address, the fun began with the lone semi-final of the cricket competition between GRDB and the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI).

Batting first in the 10-over contest, GRDB benefitted from 41 extras on their way to 106-7. They were in danger of a lower score had it not been for a quick-fire 20 not out from Walcott, 18 from opener Travis Fung and 13 from G. Ramnauth.

Kawall Mangal picked up 3-7; Bisham Singh (2-10) and Beecham (2-15) for NAREI, who could only muster 68 in reply, as they lost by 38 runs. Ryan Sukhna was the lone batsman into double-figures with 12 as extras contributed 16.

Bowling for GRDB, Nirman Bahadur was the pick of the bowlers with 3-12; Tyrone English picked up 2-4, while there was one each for Walcott, Ramnauth and Fung.

In the final, GRDB faced Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), who had drawn the bye to the championship game. Deciding to bat first upon winning the toss, GSA put together 88-7 by the time the overs expired.

A. Narine (16), S. Franklin (14) and C. Fraser (12) were the leading scorers, while extras were 19. Bowling for GRDB, Bahadur was again amongst the wickets with 2-10, while there was one apiece for Walcott, English and Fung.

GRDB then raced to the target, completing the victory in 6.4 overs with just two wickets down. After Bahadur went without scoring, Fung and English took the attack to the bowlers with a partnership of 70 to effectively seal the match.

While Fung was the aggressor, blasting three sixes and a four in 36, English was more content on rotating the strike, before he unleashed two sixes and a four in the seventh over to finish the game. English ended on 22 not out, while extras were again a healthy 22.

For the win, GRDB cricket team received a beautiful trophy and medals, while GSA and NAREI had to settle for the runner-up prizes. While Fung was named Man-of-the-Series and Highest Run-Scorer, Bahadur emerged as the bowler with the most wickets.

In the preliminary cricket matches, NAREI (148) had defeated Hydromet/New GMC (126) by 22 runs with Kumar Bishundial making 58 runs and taking a wicket, while GRDB (173) had disposed of Fisheries/Pesticides (75) by 98 runs with Fung making a 50 off 13 balls.

Part of the action in the domino competition
Part of the action in the domino competition

In the other disciplines, Hydromet defeated GSA in the football final; Head Office won the domino competition; and GSA got the better of GRDB in the volleyball and basketball finals. The cards competition was won by GLDA, while the March Pass was won by Fisheries.

There were also several novelty competitions, including Lime and Spoon, Tug-of-War, Buns Eating, Beer Drinking and a Heads of Department race.

The winners of these events were all presented with hampers, compliments of New GMC. On hand to help in the distribution of prizes were Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder and Permanent Secretary George Jarvis.

The Ministry of Agriculture would like to thank all and sundry who participated in some way to make the activity a success. Special mention is being made of the New GMC and GLDA for donating extra prizes

Gratitude is also being expressed to NAREI, MMA, Pesticides, GSA, Hydromet, NDIA, Fisheries, GRDB, GuySuCo for their involvement in this year’s activity.

The sport finals brought the curtains down on Agriculture Month 2016, which was held under the theme: “Exploring new production frontiers: in pursuit of climate resilience.”

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