Guyana’s Supernova off to super start at Ventures Indoor
Guyana’s indoor developmental hockey team, Supernova, got off to a flying start at the Ventures International Indoor being played at The University of the West Indies (UWI) Sport & Physical Education Centre (SPEC) in St. Augustine, Trinidad, on Friday.
Starting against senior club side SHAPE, the Guyanese were put under some early pressure, being forced to defend several attacks, before they earned a penalty corner in the 5th minute. Kareem McKenzie unleashed a bullet of a drag flick into the top right corner to settle his team’s nerves with that all important first goal.
The Guyanese grew in confidence with each passing minute, but it was not until the 13th minute that captain Jamarj Assanah evaded several defenders to put his team two goals clear.
One minute later right striker Nandalall Persaud stole the ball from the SHAPE left back and slipped a pass through to Meshach Sargeant who scored to send his team into half time up 3-0.
Immediately following the resumption of play, similar work from Shakeem Fausette was finished by Shomere Garnett on the left side to make it 4-0.
Warren Williams then scored the goal of the game when he stole the ball from the SHAPE right back and reverse lobbed the ball over the advancing goalkeeper. This forced SHAPE to change their strategy by pulling their goalkeeper and inserting an extra outfield player.
This tactic worked for the first 5 minutes as the Guyanese were forced to lift their level of intensity to make up for their numerical disadvantage. They adjusted well and were able to score another four goals through the sticks of Williams, Sargeant and a Nandalall Persaud double, to finish the clinical display 9-0
In his post-match assessment, national coach Robert Fernandes said: “The boys did well today, I was pleased with their response to adversity and their ability to recognise tactical changes by our opponents and to make the necessary adjustments. However, they will have to lift their game tomorrow to be competitive against two much tougher opponents in traditional powers Queen’s Park II and Fatima. The objective of this tour is to give the next generation of national players some international exposure to both indoor and outdoor hockey, so we’ve been having twice a day practices since we got here, both at the indoor facility and on the artificial turf at the national hockey centre.”
The Ventures Indoor concludes on Sunday, then the team will be competing in the UWI Indoor from Thursday January 10th to Sunday January 13th. In the three-day gap between tournaments the young side will take the opportunity to play outdoor practice matches on the artificial surface.