Hockey women enjoy rare win against Trinidad; draw with Barbados
The Guyana Women’s Hockey team enjoyed a successful opening day in their three-nation hockey series being held at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex in Wildey, Barbados.
Arriving in the popular tourism island on Wednesday evening, the Guyanese faced hosts Barbados the very next morning on Thursday (June 28) at 09:00h, which would also be their first match on an artificial surface since their CAC Games qualifier in Jamaica seven months ago.
They would return later that same evening to play the highly ranked Trinidad and Tobago who round out the three nations participating in this warm-up series for the Central American and Caribbean Games in the latter half of July.
The match day started with heavy winds and rain but this did not affect the prompt first whistle to start the series at 09:00h sharp.
The game got off to a rocky beginning for the Guyanese ladies as they expectedly struggled to adjust to the unfamiliar artificial pitch. After a patch of scrappy defensive play, Guyana conceded a penalty corner to Barbados giving them their first real scoring opportunity. The corner was well defended by Guyana who launched a swift counterattack catching the Bajan defenders in mid-pitch. Three Guyanese strikers bore down on the Bajan goalkeeper and finished off a few well-timed passes with striker Shebiki Baptiste walking the ball into the empty goal in the 13th minute of the game.
Both teams enjoyed bouts of good ball possession for the remainder of the match but Guyana held firm until the final two minutes of play when the Bajans capitalised on a lapse in the defensive structure of Guyana and Bajan striker Ayana Wilson tucked in a field goal past Alysa Xavier in goal for Guyana. The goal by Barbados was the final one of the match leaving the scores leveled at 1-1 at full time.
The afternoon game against the twin island republic, Trinidad and Tobago, was intense from beginning to end with both teams running hard and trying to maintain possession of the ball.
It was lucky minute number 13 once again when Guyana would find success off the stick of midfield player and 2017 National Sportswoman-of-the-Year, Marzana Fiedtkou, from a penalty corner.
Guyana held firm for the rest of the match despite feeling the tiredness of their travel the previous evening and the effort of the earlier match with the final whistle seeing them secure a 1-0 victory.
With Friday being a rest day for all teams, Guyana next will face Trinidad at 15:45h on Saturday (June 30) followed by their final match against Barbados at 09:00h on Sunday (July 1).