Hockey: Juniors win series in Barbados; Seniors close gap on final day

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Guyana’s junior and senior male national Hockey teams returned to Guyana earlier this week after both completing four-match test series against their Barbadian counterparts.

After playing to 1-1 stalemates in all three of their earlier encounters, the juniors dominated their final match and should have won by a larger margin than the 4-1 victory.

The seniors, meanwhile, came within seconds of claiming their first victory of the series before Barbados equalised from a penalty corner with no time left on the clock.

National captain Shakeem Fausette was adjudged MVP of the junior series, while Guyana’s #9 Frederico Cush received the award for most goals in the series.

Commenting on the teams’ performances, National Coach Robert Fernandes, said: “I think the fact that eight of our juniors got the experience of playing the senior matches, although very taxing physically, took their game to a whole new level and it showed in the junior matches. The seniors had a tough start to the competition and were missing some key players in their earlier matches.”

He continued, “In the first match we didn’t have Shakeem Fausette, and Warren Williams only lasted a few minutes, both pulling up with cramps, so we sat them out for the second match also, and in the third match our best player Jamarj Assanah had to sit out with a leg injury. Sunday’s match was the first time we had all our playmakers on the field and the boys performed really well. The press was excellent and they had several quality circle entries and penalty corners. We scored in the final quarter and got a penalty stroke which was saved by the Bajan goalkeeper. Barbados were awarded a penalty corner with seconds left on the clock, so when time expired they sent their entire team forward and were able to convert for the 1-1 draw.”

Fernandes added that the tour helped to expose some gaps in individual techniques, skill sets and tactical awareness, which need to be addressed in the coming months.

“However, both teams have been on an upward trajectory since they got to Barbados, putting out improved performances with every match. Considering that our entire junior team and 14 members of our senior team made their international debuts on this trip, against a country ranked 45 places above us in the world rankings, I think we achieved what we went there to do- gain international experience, learn from it and get better for the junior Pan Ams and CAC Games next year.”

The trip was sponsored by the Guyana Olympic Association, the National Sports Commission, Kestrel Guyana Inc., Sankar’s Auto Works, Guysons and Dyna’s Embroidery and Screen Prints.

Complete Series Results

Day One

Juniors – Drew 1-1

Seniors – Lost 0-4

Day Two

Juniors – Drew 1-1

Seniors – Lost 0-1

Day Three

Juniors – Drew 1-1

Seniors – Lost 0-2

Day Four

Juniors – Won 4-1

Seniors – Drew 1-1

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