Guyana storms through pool round at Indoor Hockey Masters World Cup


Guyana put in a rock-solid performance on Friday to stun hosts and heavily favoured England 7-4 in the Men’s Over-45 division of the Indoor Hockey Masters World Cup.

As a true testament to their sponsor, local distributers of the popular cement, Rock Hard Distributors Inc., Guyana did not disappoint the few Guyanese fans in attendance at the world-class competition.

Guyana had faced Pan American powerhouses Canada on the opening day, Mach 28, at the David Ross Sport Village in Nottingham, England, where the Indoor Hockey Masters World Cup is being staged.

Guyana got off to a hot start against the Canadians with a first-time goal by Devin Munroe just four minutes in. A pair of penalty corner goals by captain Jerazeno Bell helped secure a 3-0 led for Guyana by the end of the first quarter.

Guyana went on to outscore Canada by 10-2 as they dominated the match through another pair of goals by Bell, a single more by Munroe to take his own total to two, then a pair of goals each by strikers Devin Hooper and Ian Nicholson.

Canada’s two goals came in the second and third period via field goals by Daniel Shafransky and Ramandeep Brar.

The following morning Guyana would face pool favourites, England, who had defeated Wales by a whopping 12-2 on the opening day.

Guyana would face an opening onslaught from England that caught the South Americans on their back legs, but solid defending and masterful goalkeeping by Gregory Garroway kept England out of the net on their three early opportunities.

Guyana then settled into a more constructive game by the close of the first quarter when it was Munroe and Bell again who came through with a pair of first quarter goals.

Guyanese striker Devin Hooper outpaced the Brits down the right flank before sliding his pass across the face of goal for the goal hungry Munroe to slam home the opening in similar fashion to his opening match.

Captain Bell’s goal came by virtue of a penalty corner where he drove to the right, froze goalkeeper Harris, and slotted his shot through the narrowest of spaces just inside the near post.

Dwayne Scott would produce the two goals of the match when he slammed home a rebound at blistering speed down the right and then sliced the ball over the advancing goalkeeper on the left. The second goal was controversially disallowed but a penalty stroke by Bell and another field goal by Munroe would take Guyana’s tally to five by the half.

A momentary lapse in defense showed a chink the in armour of Garroway as English striker Jon Cooper managed to blast a shot past him in the 14th minute taking the teams into a halftime score of 5-1 in favour of Guyana.

The crowd began to swell by the second half as word spread in the facility that some unknown team from South America, which had never participated in a World Cup, was upstaging one of the pre-tournament favourites, England.

The host made a few tactical changes and their resulting pressure earned them a penalty stroke against Guyana which was converted by Dan Fox.

After trading a pair of goals in the final quarter by Captain Bell for Guyana and Andy Langlands for England, the latter traded their goalkeeper for an extra field player in a last ditch effort to even the now 3-6 deficit.  It was Guyana however, through a final penalty corner from Bell to score next before England managed a penalty corner of their own at full time through Titch Hanspal.

President of the Guyana Hockey Board, Philip Fernandes, made the comment that the victory over England was historic for Guyana.

Fernandes indicated that it was the first time the two nations have ever met on the hockey court and that the host status gave England a huge psychological advantage.

Fernandes indicated that Captain Jerazeno Bell and Devin Munroe, the team’s most prolific scorers, had put in solid performances, but added that striker Devin Hooper, midfielder Alan Fernandes and defender Dwayne Scott were also major contributors to the team’s success.

The 7-4 victory for Guyana is probably the biggest upset victory of the tournament so far and placed the Guyanese at the top of Pool B going into the final pool match against Wales on March 30.

Meanwhile, Germany leads Pool A with France sitting in second place, making them the likely teams to advance to the semi-finals in addition to Guyana and England from Pool B.

More information can be found at the Official Tournament Site at: Indoor Hockey UK • 2024 WMH Indoor World Cup • Official Event Site



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