Bounty GCC win Men’s First Division Hockey League
The annual Farfan and Mendes Men’s First Division League climaxed with an entertaining clash over the weekend between top club sides Bounty GCC and the defending champions, Pepsi Hikers.
With the two sides leading the points table by a large margin, the Hikers only needed to secure a draw to emerge as league champions since GCC trailed them by two points overall. GCC of course seemed determined for the win in their quest to regain the title that they last held in 2016.
The match began on an even keel with the both defences holding firm, but GCC gaining the slight edge in the midfield battle in the first quarter of play. After 22 minutes of skilful hockey, GCC’s midfielder Mark Sargeant managed to break the deadlock when he slammed a rebound past Christian Sumeer for the opener.
The second half would prove to be more action-packed as Devin Hooper intercepted a loose clearance from the Hikers defence, nine minutes after resumption, and drilled the backboard for the second GCC goal.
Despite the 0-2 deficit, the Hikers were creating chances of their own, mostly through the outstanding midfield creativity of Jamarj Assanah and the lurking presence of striker Aroydy Branford.
Midfielder Andrew Stewart however, would be the one to pull the Hikers back within one when a Branford shot was saved, but Stewart was there for the put back. GCC pushed further ahead through striker Kevin Spencer who received a slick pass from Meshach Sargeant that split the Hikers defence and took the score line to 3-1 in favour of GCC.
Aroydy Branford turned half of a chance into a goal however in the 58th minute when he received a long pass and in the blink of an eye sent a flick high into the GCC net. Down by three goals to two, the Hikers threw everything forward and were rewarded with a penalty corner on the final buzzer.
Fans held their breath as the Hikers resulting shot swiped across the face of the GCC goal just wide of the left post leaving GCC to emerge victorious.
Earlier in the day, Supernova swamped Saints 8-2 to secure third position in the league, while Vintage defeated Old Fort 4-1 to secure the fourth position. Aroydy Branford of the Pepsi Hikers received the Most Goals award for the league, while Bounty GCC’s Kareem McKenzie received the MVP Award.