Teams impress in exciting hockey competitions
The Guyana Hockey Board staged a busy weekend of competition with the commencement of the two premier hockey competitions of the year.
The Woodpecker Products Women’s First Division League enters its second year and saw traditional powerhouses Pizza Hut GCC overwhelm the Old Fort Shooting Stars 10-0 in the opening fixture played on Saturday at the Saint Stanislaus College ground on Carifesta Avenue, while the Woodpecker Hikers smothered the youthful Spartans by 2-0 the following afternoon at Bourda.
The opening Farfan & Mendes Men’s first division clash which followed immediately after was a more balanced contest, but the Pepsi Hikers outduelled Old Fort giving the club its second loss of the weekend.
Bounty GCC meanwhile, cruised to a comfortable 5-0 victory over Saints HC in the other Men’s fixture.
Shebiki Baptiste was the workhorse of a Pizza Hut GCC team that was all business in their opening match of the competition and was rewarded with an eighth minute opening goal which concluded with a diving finish.
While Baptiste would slam home a second later in the match, fellow striker Sonia Jardine unleashed a plethora of unstoppable shots throughout the match to finish as the game’s high scorer with 5 goals to her name.
Skilful midfielder Aliyah Gordon managed two goals herself while midfielder Carina Moller added a well-timed deflection to round out the 10 unanswered goals for the victors.
The experience of the Woodpecker Hikers showed in their control of the opening minutes of their clash against the Spartans. Midfielders Maria Munroe and Marisha Rodrigues dominated the midfield for the Hikers, while Dominique DeGroot and Makeda Harding both held firm in defence for the Spartans to keep the score levelled at 0-0 for most of the first quarter.
After 13 minutes without a goal, Munroe managed to unleash a powerful shot that was parried by Spartans goalkeeper Jessica Mittleholzer, but Kenisha Wills was first onto the rebound to put it into the open net.
The Spartans improved their game throughout the match, but the Hikers continued to hold the edge and were finally able to make their second breakthrough from a Munroe penalty corner strike to make the final score 2-0 for the Hikers.
As the Farfan & Mendes Men’s First Division competition got underway, Old Fort’s Warren Williams would score the first goal in the competition in the 19th minute to put his side in the lead. The Hikers however pressed for the equaliser, which came only four minutes later through overlapping national defender Andrew Stewart.
The Hikers would strike again in the final minute of the half when their traditional leading marksman and Captain Robert Harry France outworked the Old Fort Defence to slot home the team’s second goal. Young Tevesarid Garnett managed the lone goal in the second half for the Hikers to secure their 3-1 win.
While Saints HC showed great courage in holding off powerhouses Bounty GCC throughout the first quarter and well into the second quarter of the match, the floodgates opened when Kevin Spencer scored his first in the 22nd minute.
Spencer evaded three defenders before beating the goalkeeper and sliding his shot into the right post for his opener and scored his second goal in similar fashion just two minutes later.
Junior national captain Mark Sargeant got himself onto the scoresheet next and added a second in the closing minutes of the game, while the former national Philip Fernandes added a diving reverse shot to complete GCC’s 5-0 victory.
Matches continue for the next six weeks on Mondays and Fridays at Bourda and on Saints ground during the weekends.