Pepsi Hikers, Toronto Toros and Bal Was Ers were all crowned champions of their respective divisions when the curtains came down on Sunday night on the 13th Annual Guyana Hockey Board/Diamond Mineral Water Indoor Hockey Tournament at the National Gymnasium on Mandela Avenue.
An appreciative crowd witnessed a captivating game in the men’s final between Pepsi Hikers and the Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) hockey team that kept them on the edge of their seats for forty thrilling minutes. The game was played at an electrifying pace, and the goals came fast and furious.
Within six minutes Hikers had grabbed three strikes against one for the Trinidadian visitors. At half-time, the scoreline read 4-2. The pace picked up in the second half, and goals by Jordan Reynos and Akim Toussaint in the 34th and 35th minute, respectively, drew QPCC level with the local unit at 6-6.
Devon Munroe got the winner a minute later, as the visitors threw wave after wave of attacks until the final whistle. The game could have gone either way, and QPCC’s penalty miss early on, probably changed the momentum of the match. The referees did an excellent job of handling a very intense contest.
The seven time champions’ other goals came via a hat trick from Randy Hope, a brace from Robert France and a lone strike from the stick of tournament MVP Aroydy Brantford. The runner-ups got their goals through doubles by Jordan Vieira and Akim Toussaint, and strikes by Dominic Young and Jordan Reynos.
In the semi-finals, played earlier in the day, the Hikers, in arguably the upset of the tournament, came from 2-1 down at the half, to beat defending champs Lions FHC of Toronto 5-3. In the other game, QPCC easily disposed of Bounty GCC 6-1.
In the Ladies division, the Toronto Toros made light work of the Woodpecker Hikers, winning 5-1. A hat trick from Danica Jayne and a double from Kaekin Watson provided the goals for the winners, as Alana Lewis’ goal prevented a clean sheet for the champs. The Toros thumped Old Fort 7-0 in the first semi-final, as the Hikers squeezed past Piazza Hut GCC by a 4-2 margin.
The USA Veteran team, the Bal Was Ers earned the Veterans’ crown in their first foray in the tournament.
In an exciting final against QPCC, they pulled back two goals late of the stick of Inder Bath to level the score at 4-4. In the penalty shootout, excellent skill by the two goalkeepers saw all three shots for either side been missed.
In the sudden death shoot out, both sides scored immediately, and then Raphael Govia missed for QPCC, and Jesse Larson completed the honours for the Bal Was Ers.