Hikers capture male, female first ‘D’ titles

—GCC Pitbulls, GCC Spartans crowned Second Division champs

Hikers on Sunday evening captured both the male and female first division titles (Royston Alkins photo)

Club Hikers on Sunday evening reigned supreme as they clinched both the male and female first division titles to bring the curtains down on the 2018 edition of the GTT National Indoor Hockey championships at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH).

Pepsi Hikers, in the male first division final, demonstrated their unquestioned dominance by capturing another first division title.

Hikers snuck their way past a spirited Old Fort unit 3-2 on the penalty shoot-out to collect the male championship. 

Woodpecker Hikers’ skipper Nicole Eastman (second from right) celebrates with her teammates after scoring a late second-half goal to hand her side championship honours (Royston Alkins photo)

The Pepsi-sponsored side, who were the clear favourites to take the male title, appeared shell-shocked after they found themselves trailing 2-4 with ten minutes left on the clock after strikers Aderemi Simon, Askofu Simon and a beautiful deflection from Warren Williams pierced the back of their net.

But like true champs, Hikers’ skipper, Robert France and iceman, Aroydy Branford manufactured two late goals to tie the match 4-4 at the end of regular time.

The women’s final between GBTI GCC Tigers and Woodpecker Hikers presented fans with an electrifying finale, with the latter coming from a goal down to win the women’s title 2-1.

Both teams failed to score at the end of the first half after sterling defence efforts from both units.

GCC’s Marzana Fiedtkou broke the deadlock with a superb flick with three minutes left on the clock to lift her side to what seemed to be a hard fought win.

However, it was not to be as the tenacious Nicole Eastman harboured other ideas as she equalized two minutes later after which she broke the hearts of the GCC ladies with another strike past the upright, with just 15 seconds left on the clock to send Hikers’ fans into an uproar.

The first final of the evening – the men’s second division showdown – which was perhaps the most intense and exciting, saw Meshack Sargent and goalkeeper Michael Hing delivering a 2-0 win on penalty shootout for GCC Pitbulls over Old Fort.

The contest was tied a 1-1 after Pitbull’s Samuel Woodroffe’s opening strike in the second minute. Warren Williams levelled the contest 22 minutes later in the second half.

GCC regained the lead when Shaquille Leung snuck passed Old Fort’s defences and scored. Old Fort, however, found another response when Omar Hopkinson scored off a deflection, to leave the score on 2-2 at the end of regular time, requiring a penalty shootout to settle the score.

The women’s second division final saw GCC Bingo Spartans getting past Saints 3-2 on penalty shootouts after a 1-1 scoreline at the end of regular time.  Meanwhile, Kevin Spence and Philip Fernandes each scored twice in GCC Vintage’s 6-3 win over arch-rivals Old Fort Mustangs in the veteran’s finals. It was an intense contest which was tied at 2-2 at the half, but it was the GCC old school side that rolled back the years and drew on all their experience to hand GCC another title.

Dwayne Scott and Devin Hooper were the other scorers for Vintage while Askofu Simon and Chris Low netted for Mustangs.

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