Third straight defeat for Guyana in CAC hockey qualifier

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With pride at stake in their final match of the CAC qualifier, the Guyanese ladies lost to Jamaica in similar fashion to all other encounters.

After holding steady for most of the match and failing to capitalise on their scoring opportunities, Guyana would eventually succumb to Jamaica off a penalty corner in the 54th minute.

With a flawed trap at the top of the circle, the Jamaicans moved the ball to the right and misfired towards goal; the bouncing ball however was first met by the stick of Imauny Linton on the far post who slammed a first time shot into the net from close range.

In all three of its encounters, Guyana held firm for most of the match only to have lapses in concentration late in the game, which resulted in their three 1-0 losses.

Aaliyah James weaves her way out of danger for Jamaica

Head Coach Philip Fernandes expressed his frustration and disappointment in the outing given that in his opinion, the team performed above the suggestion of the score lines and should have won at least one of the matches if not more.

“Our team is very young and inexperienced,” said Fernandes, “but our front line should have at least scored.  Goalkeeper Alysa Xavier, who won the Best Goalkeeper of the Tournament award, did all she could to keep the ball out, but you cannot win games unless you score.”

When asked what’s next for the team, Fernandes expressed that it was becoming virtually impossible to challenge teams that train on artificial pitches similar to what is used for international competition, without Guyana having one.

Veteran of 50 caps, Marzana Fiedtkou battles against the Jamaican midfielders

He indicated that it was vitally important for the continuity of the game and for any decent international results for Guyana to find a way to have an artificial pitch. At the moment, Guyana is the only nation to compete regionally without such a surface.

“This also prevents teams from coming to Guyana to compete. No one plays on grass anymore and so it is impossible to bid for international competitions or to invite teams for friendly clashes which are vital for the development of our own players,” Fernandes explained.

The Guyana Hockey Board President went on to state that the next calendar event for the female side of the sport was a Junior Pan Am Championship in March 2022 in Barbados. Fernandes is hopeful that Guyana can have an artificial pitch installed in time for the players to train for those championships.

Young Guyanese midfielder Madison Fernandes on the attack

Hosts Bermuda won the ladies competition followed by Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Guyana with the top two qualifying for the CC Games in 2023. In the Men’s competition, Jamaica finished first and qualified for the CAC games along with second place Puerto Rico while the Bermuda men failed to qualify.

For the Women’s tournament, Maha Clarke of Bermuda earned the Player of the Tournament Award, while Shareeka Elliott of Jamaica and Josefina Freaney of Puerto Rico were joint top scorers with two goals each.  Alysa Xavier of Guyana received the Best Goalkeeper Award.

Richard Harris of Jamaica was awarded the male Player of the Tournament, while Brandon Clarke of Jamaica scored the most goals with two. Justin Dill of Bermuda received the Best Goalkeeper Award.

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