Trinidad teams sweep Diamond Mineral Water International Indoor Hockey Festival
An exciting evening capped off another successful Diamond Mineral Water Indoor Hockey Festival as three hotly-contested finals were witnessed by a voluminous crowd which seemed to enjoy every second of competition. In a complete reversal of 2018, this year the Trinidadian visitors proved too much for the locals to handle and carted off each of the three divisions of the festival.
The Men’s final was the closest of the three competitions and could not have been closer as it took a penalty shootout after full time to determine the victor. After a scoreless first have that saw some tenacious defending and sharp goalkeeping, Queen’s Park right back Arrielle Bowen would hammer the tin of the Hikers goal with a penalty corner strike in the 22nd minute to put his team up by one.
The Hikers seemed to be stunned by the goal and conceded two field goals within the next two minutes through Shawn Lee Quay and Piers Evan Farrel.
Jamarj Assanah would spearhead the Hikers attack as the skilful midfielder began making inroads into the so far impenetrable defence of Queen’s Park. Assanah’s hard work and skill paid off as he found the back of the Queen’s Park net in the 38th minute and created a penalty stroke immediately after which was converted by Aroydy Branford.
Just before the end of the third quarter, the local supporters rose in an uproar as Andrew Steward slammed home a penalty corner strike to draw the game even at 3-3.
With no further goals in the match the decision would be made by the unforgiving penalty shootout. After both teams scored their first two of three attempts, Robert France, the third Hiker up, was foiled by Queens Park goalkeeper Reaiza Hosein. Marcus Pascal then stepped up to the line and sealed the deal for Queen’s Park with a cool effort that easily beat the Hikers goalkeeper.
In the ExxonMobil Ladies division, it took almost half a match before the GBTI GCC Tigers could find their rhythm against George United. United wasted no time in the match as speedy striker Brittany Hingh blasted in her team’s first goal just three minutes from the start.
Hingh would return seven minutes later to make it 2-0 to United and tournament MVP Briana Govia then added a double to further stun the Tigers who were now down by four. A Sonia Jardine penalty corner finally scored for the GBTI girls in the 28th minute but Savannah de Fraitas relied immediately to push the score to 5-1 for George United.
With their backs against the wall, the Tigers came out in the fourth quarter determined to reverse their fortunes. Despite some fantastic saves by Jessica Mittelholzer in goal for George United, Princessa Wilkie, Marzana Fiedtkou and Gabriella Xavier would each score to bring the Tigers within one at 4-5.
With seconds to go after Xavier’s goal however, United only had to kill some time off the clock to ensure the victory and secure the win for the Trinidadian side.
The Lucozade Veterans division saw a similar start for Vintage GCC as their female counterparts as Queen’s Park went ahead by 5 goals before the Bourda boys knew what hit them.
GCC began clawing back in the third quarter which ended at 9-3 for Queen’s Park but a tactical change to opt for an extra field player rather than a goalkeeper seemed to provide the spark that Vintage needed. Although GCC outscored Queen’s Park 5-2 in the final quarter, it would not be enough as the locals were defeated 11-8.
A presentation followed with representatives from Platinum Sponsor Diamond Mineral Water, Gold Sponsor ExxonMobil and Silver Sponsor Lucozade. The best goalkeeper awards were donated by Loss Control and Risk Management Services Guyana.
Individual Awards were as follows:
Most Goals – Aroydy Branford (Pepsi Hikers)
Best Goalkeeper – Karlos Stephens (TTDF)
MVP – Aiden DeGannes (Queen’s Park)
ExxonMobil Women’s Division
Most Goals – Briana Govia (George United)
Best Goalkeeper – Jessica Mittelholzer (George United)
MVP – Briana Govia (George United)
Lucozade Veterans Division
Most Goals – Kevin Spencer (GCC Vintage)
Best Goalkeeper – Brian Lee Chow (Queen’s Park)
MVP – Daren Cowie (Queen’s Park)