Hockey boys deliver solid showing against Ontario U-23s
The Guyana National Junior Men’s Hockey Team had their first taste of competitive play when they took on an Ontario Under-23 selection on Wednesday afternoon in a practice match, before the start of the Junior Pan American Championships on Friday in Toronto, Canada.
The Guyanese started shaky and conceded two goals early in the first half, before Rosario Ramsammy pounced on a rebound to put his side on the score board moments before the half time whistle. The GT Boys gradually asserted themselves in the second half, creating numerous goal scoring opportunities that were not converted.
A moment of individual brilliance by an Ontario forward extended the lead to 3-1 for the Canadians midway through the second half against the run of play. Defending deep in their half, Guyana would answer with their second after a devastating counter attack sprung by an Andrew Stewart interception which was finished by Aroydy Branford after a series of one touch passes up the length of the field between Stewart, Branford and Nyron Joseph.
Head Coach Robert Fernandes stated that he was pleased with the team’s performance despite the 3-2 loss.
“The boys started a bit tentative, but played their way into the game. We were lacking in some areas because we had some players in some unfamiliar positions. Two of our starting back four, Kareem McKenzie and Daniel Hooper are arriving tonight (Thursday) so we had to pull back some of our midfielders into defense and they have more attacking instincts so our defensive structure wasn’t the best today. One of our work horses in the midfield, Hilton Chester, also joins the team this evening (Thursday) and that will allow us to maintain a better defensive structure and be more versatile with our personnel higher up field. The practice games served its purpose, hopefully we execute well when it really counts against Chile on Friday.”
The team takes on Chile on Friday at 15:00h, then Mexico on Saturday at the same time before playing second seed Canada on Monday at 17:30h. Local fans will be able to stream the matches live on the www.panamhockey.org website.
CAPTION: Members of Guyana’s Under-21 team (in red) pose with the Ontario Under 23 Selection after their practice match on Wednesday