Dominant Pepsi Hikers remain unbeaten in Noble House hockey
The Pepsi Hikers put in another dominance performance on Friday evening to complete their pool round unbeaten in the Men’s division of the 2019 Noble House Goals Galore Indoor Hockey Championships.
GCC Vintage also came up successful by the narrowest of margins to secure the second spot in Pool A, while SHC Splinters’ draw with YMCA Old Fort Top form saw them secure second place in Pool B behind the Hikers Generals.
A convincing win by the Bingo Spartans held them in the top position of the Ladies’ pool round, while the GBTI GCC Tigers and GBTI GCC Spice hold the second and third spots.
The final match of the Friday evening schedule produced the most entertaining match-up of the day. The GCC Vintage, primarily comprising former national players, took the floor against the SHC Slick Sticks featuring some of the most talented juniors in the country.
Despite the Slick Sticks enjoying an eight-goal handicap to the Vintage five, Baraka Garnett would answer a Dwayne Scott seventh minute opener for Vintage with a goal for the Slick Sticks four minutes later. The Slick Sticks kept the game tempo high with a stifling, pressing game that seemed to age the Vintage even further as time went on. The halftime score remained 9-6 in favour of the Slick Sticks.
After a scoreless 10 minutes in the second half, Scott finally found a solution as he drilled home three successive penalty corner goals to tie the score with three minutes left in the match. As the seconds counted down to what seemed to be a certain stalemate, a right sided attack for Vintage by Alan Fernandes saw him carve a pass that split the Slick Sticks defence and found lurking striker Patrick Edgehill in front of goal.
Edghill’s deflection rattled the back board of the Slick Sticks goal with just six seconds remaining on the clock. The 10-9 victory secured the second spot in the semi-finals for Vintage and knocked the Slick Sticks out of the semi-finals.
The SHC Splinters and YMCA OFHC Top Form almost had a similar encounter as the Splinters enjoyed a nine-goal handicap, while Top Form began the match with five goals. A scoreless first half seemed to indicate an easy Splinters victory, but the individual brilliance of Omar Hopkinson made its mark on the game as the midfielder hammered in two penalty corners and a field goal within the first twelve minutes after resumption.
Former national stalwart Aderemi Simon would draw the game with a 36th minute goal for Top Form which took the game to a 9-9 full time score.
Pepsi Hikers made light work of a depleted YMCA OFHC Pacesetters with an easy 20-11 victory after Pacesetters began the game with 11 goals as their handicap. Aroydy Branford was at his usual devastating best as he scored a match-leading seven goals for the Hikers.
The Ladies competition saw the three GCC affiliated teams all come out victorious to earn semi-final berths. The Bingo GCC Spartans upstaged the YMCA OFHC Bellatrix 15-9 with striker Abosaide Cadogan leading the charge with five goals. Sarah Klautky added a double for the Spartans, while cousins Georgiana and Madison Fernandes in addition to Alana Chung each scored one.
The GBTI Spice, the top ranked side in the tournament based on their zero handicap, defeated the YMCA OFHC Wolves 8-6. With the Wolves starting with a five-goal handicap, they would muster only one goal through Jasmine Assanah, but Spice would score four penalty corner goals and a similar amount of field goals to secure the victory.
The GBTI GCC Tigers managed just two goals in the first half against Saints. The five-goal handicap of Saints to compared to three for GBTI GCC Tigers meant the halftime scores were locked at 5-5. The second half would be all GC however, as the Tigers shredded the defence of Saints with five more goals to one solitary goal for Saints in the second half. The victory ensured a semi-final spot for the Tigers, while Saints would need to await the outcome of Saturday’s games to make the semis.
Going into the final two days, the Men’s competition moves to the quarter-final stage, while the Women’s segment has two more matches to determine the four semi-final spots.
The finals are scheduled for Sunday from 17:40h.