Hockey: GBTI GCC Tigers, Queen’s Park, Pepsi Hikers among winners on night two

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As the second night of the Diamond Mineral Water Indoor Hockey Festival drew to a close, some teams have already begun to emerge as likely challengers for this year’s trophy.

The GBTI GCC Tigers brushed aside the challenge of Saints 4-1 to chalk up their second convincing victory in as many matches of the ExxonMobil Women’s division.

Queen’s Park enjoyed a hard-fought win over the Bounty GCC Men in their festival opener, while Old Fort managed their second draw of the festival, this time against debutants TT Defence Force.

GBTI GCC and national striker Gabriella Xavier is challenged by Rene James of Saints

Saints managed to last a scoreless quarter against pre-tournament favourites, the GBTI GCC Tigers, in their ExxonMobil Ladies division match-up.  Immediately, as the second quarter began however, striker Gabriella Xavier broke the deadlock by converting a crossed ball into the cage.

The GCC pressure by this time started to produce cracks in the well-organised Saints defence. Marzana Fiedtkou produced a second for the GBTI girls before the half and Captain Sonia Jardine and Ashley DeGroot completed the four GCC goals by full time. Saints managed to pull one goal back before the final whistle through Shania Azeez to produce a final score of 4-1 for GCC.

GBTI GCC left back and Guyana national captain Trisha Woodroffe in possession against Saints

The Spartans managed to nudge by Red Wyne in the other ExxonMobil Ladies match of the evening with Abosaide Cadogan scoring a double for the Spartans. Both goals came in similar fashion as speedy right winger Sarah Klautky out-paced her marker, drew the goalkeeper and slipped the ball across the open goal for the waiting Cadogan.

Red Wyne seemed to make a surge at the end and gained a penalty stroke, which was converted by Minsodia Culpepper, but it was not enough to avoid the 2-1 loss to the Spartans.

Former Trinidadian international Daren Cowie of Queen’s Park drives past the challenge of Old Old Fort’s Devin Munroe in their Veterans match-up

The lone Lucozade Veterans match of the evening saw Queen’s Park stamping their authority on the competition with an impressive 5-2 win over Old Old Fort.

Former Guyanese national Jerry Bell, now playing with Queen’s Park, was the high scorer of the match with a double, while teammates Azad Ali, Rob Wyatt and Reiza Hussein each added singles for the victors. Jason DeSantos and Aderemi Simon were the goal scorers for Old Old Fort.

Queen’s Park returned in the Men’s division to all but match their Veterans achievement with a 5-3 beating of Bounty GCC.  The high-paced match was competitive throughout and the scores were settled at 3-3 at the half.  Jerry Bell and Shawn Lee Quay however, would score for Queen’s Park in the final quarter giving them a 5-3 win.

Arrielle Bowen, Dominic Young and Marcus Pascal were the other goal scorers for Queens Park, while Dwayne Scott with a double and Kareem McKenzie with a single were the scorers for GCC.

Old Fort’s Aderemi Simon makes a reverse attempt at goal against Queen’s Park

The TTDF (Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force) versus YMCA Old Fort Men’s match-up proved to be the most entertaining of the evening. Christopher McKey was the lone scorer of the first quarter, slamming home a rebound for TTDF.  With shots raining and some fine goalkeeping at both ends, Old Fort’s Theodore Thierens would draw the scores levelled at 1-1 just before the half.

Old Fort would go up by one in the third quarter through an Aderemi Simon penalty corner, but McKey scored his second for TTDF to keep it even. Old Fort would take the lead once more with 10 minutes remaining in the match, but five minutes later, the persistent TTDF drew the scores and the match at 3-3 with a final penalty corner goal by Keshen Johnson.

The PEPSI Hikers look cool and collected as they demolished Saints by 10-0 in the remaining Men’s match of the evening.  While the Saints side provided flashes of skill, the experience of the Hikers proved too much for the young unit to overcome in any meaningful manner.

Randy Hope and Robert France each managed hat-tricks for the Hikers, while teammates Devin Munroe and Aroydy Branford scored two each.

Matches continue all week at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with the finals set for Sunday evening.

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