The Noble House Goals Galore Indoor Hockey Championships saw more high-scoring performances on Wednesday evening at the National Gymnasium as the Bounty GCC men and Pizza Hut GCC ladies both made their first appearances with convincing wins, while the Pepsi Hikers continued along their dominant road to the top of their table.
The opening match of the evening produced high drama for the excited fans as Saints HC beginning with +12 goals needed to hold off an unbeaten GCC Spice (+4) in their debut match. It took Spice 15 minutes to add to their goals tally but once the breakthrough was made they seemed destined for victory with two more in the half. As Spice raced against the clock to close the goal deficit on Saints, national striker, Tekeisha DeLeon drew the loudest noise from the crowd in her heroic defence for Saints, blocking several Spice shots and keeping her team’s hopes alive. With a hat trick from Vanessa Pires, doubles from Tricia Fiedtkou and Tiffany Solomon and a final goal from Dominique DeGroot, Spice managed to draw even with six minutes remaining. The final buzzer however beat Spice to the line as Saints erupted in jubilation at holding the pool leaders to a 12-12 draw.
In the other ladies clash of the evening, the most senior side in the tournament, Pizza Hut GCC, boasted a litany of national players, cruised past the babies of the tournament, Spartans by 17-13. With Spartans beginning on a plus 12 goal advantage, their lone additional goal in the match from a Makeda Harding penalty corner rebound in the 30th minute received the loudest cheer. By then however, the Pizza Hut ladies who started with zero goals, had drawn even and dominated the rest of the game with four more goals for the 17-13 win. Kerensa Fernandes was the top scorer for Pizza Hut with 5 goals, Aliyah Gordon scored four, both Marzana Fiedtkou and Sonia Jardine three and Gabriella Xavier two for GCC.
The always entertaining Pepsi Hikers strolled to a 17-12 victory over SHC New Tricks in the opening men’s match of the evening. With New Tricks beginning on a plus 12 goal advantage, the Hikers would dominate from end to end and gave a masterful demonstration of hockey to their youthful opposition. Captain Robert France topped the score sheet with 5 goals while teammate Aroydy Branford added 4. Randy Hope, Jamarj Assanah and Andrew Stewart with doubles each and singles from Colonel Heywood and Rayon Branford rounded out the scorers for the Hikers.
Bounty GCC had a productive evening as they dominated both of their ties for the evening, first with a 19-14 win over the HHC Recruits and then a 17-12 win over SHC Old Dogs. Bounty Captain Kevin Spencer was their main marksman of the evening with nine goals in the two matches while Mark Sargeant put in an entertaining performance with several solo goals including a diving finish to end the final game.
The young Old Fort Warriors created the upset of the evening in their men’s clash against then veteran GCC Vintage. With the Warriors enjoying a handicap of 20 goals in their favour to the Vintage six, they would need to use their youth and speed to hold their experienced opponents to less than 7 goals per half. Goalkeeper Paul Andrade produced a stellar performance for the Warriors as Vintage saw several shots being saved, each escalating the volume level of the keen Warriors supporters. Vintage was able to score four goals in the last ten minutes of the match but still fell two goals shy of catching the Warriors who would go on to celebrate a 20-18 victory.
The Pepsi Hikers and Bounty GCC lead the men’s tables with 6 points each while GCC Spice leads the women’s pool table with 4 points followed by Pizza Hut GCC and the Old Fort Shooting Stars.
The tournament continues today, with the finals scheduled to begin at 18:40hrs tomorrow.