GTT Hockey: Pepsi Hikers, Bounty GCC put on entertaining show
The Pepsi Hikers and Bounty GCC put on the most entertaining show of the tournament thus far when the two Men’s first division teams clashed in their pool round match on Wednesday evening in the GTT National Indoor Hockey Championships at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.
The GBTI GCC Tigers meanwhile, continued their dominance of the first division Ladies competition with their second convincing win in as many matches, this time over Old Fort Team 2.1.2. The Bingo Spartans realised their first win of the Ladies first division competition over Saints and duplicated their effort with a second division win over the Old Fort Goal Chasers.
GCC Vintage dominated Antonio’s Hickers in the Veterans division, while Old Fort Top Form remained in top form with their second win of the Men’s second division competition with a victory over SHC Silencers.
In the exciting Men’s match-up, which was the final game for the evening, the patient spectators were treated to an exhilarating battle between the defending champs Bounty GCC and the side with the most titles to its name, the Pepsi Hikers.
Three minutes into a blistering start, Hikers midfielder Jamarj Assanah showed his class by weaving through the GCC defence and slipped a reverse pass to the waiting Robert France for the deflection goal. Less than one minute later, Aroydy Branford scored a second for the Hikers then France returned five minutes later to score his second to all but bury GCC by the half with a 3-0 score line.
It seemed like GCC had all but packed up their traps to head home when Branford scored in the opening minute of the second half as surely four unanswered goals was too much of an advantage to overcome. The Bounty boys however, found some light through the storm clouds of despair as captain Dwayne Scott slammed home a low hard penalty corner shot in the 23rd minute and then a second in similar fashion eight minutes later.
GCC seemed bolstered by their goals and grew in confidence as the tiring Hikers saw their grip on the match begin to slip ever so slightly. An explosive drive down the right flank finishing with a thundering shot high into the far corner of goal by Mark Sargeant brought the crowd to its feet and GCC within one goal of a remarkable comeback.
While the final seven minutes of play saw end to end action, there would be no further goals and the Hikers would escape with a 4-3 victory in a hard fought match of great performances by both teams.
The Ladies first division match between the GBTI GCC Tigers and Old Fort 2.1.2 showed some promise in the early stages as Old Fort held off the defending champions for eleven minutes before striker Shebiki Baptiste scored from the right side of goal.
Trisha Woodroffe added a second field goal by the half and Old Fort, despite being down 0-2 still seemed to have some fight and determination to spring a surprise. The second half would be all Sonia Jardine and the GBTI GCC Tigers however as Jardine blasted home a penalty corner and two field goals to give GCC a comfortable 5-0 victory.
Young Abosaide Cadogan was unstoppable when her Bingo Spartans faced off against Saints in the other ladies first division fixture of the evening. Cadogan scored a match-leading hatrick for the Spartans while speedy striker Charlia Webb was the only other player to score with a single goal for Saints.
The 3-1 win was the first victory in first division for the newcomer Bingo Spartans.
The GCC Vintage shot to the lead against the Antonio’s Hickers with three goals in as many minutes and never relinquished their lead. While the Hickers managed four goals of their own, they were unable to catch GCC who ended with a 7-4 victory.
The Spartans got the better of the Old Fort Goal Chasers by 2-0 in their second division match-up, while Old Fort Top Form defeated the SHC Silencers by 3-1 in the lone Men’s second division game of the evening.