The 14th edition of the Diamond Mineral Water Indoor Hockey Festival came to a thrilling conclusion last evening as Guyanese clubs – Pepsi Hikers, GBTI GCC, and Old ‘Old’ Fort – downed their Trinidadian counterparts at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH).
Hikers, in the male final, exacted revenge over Queens Park, who they lost to in last year’s final, with a 2-0 win on a penalty shootout, courtesy of brilliant goalkeeping by Jason Hoyte and conversions from Aroydy Brandford and Jamaraj Assanah.
The match had ended 4-4 after regular time.
The opening moments of the contest saw Brandford, Assanah – twice – and Devin Munroe netting for Hikers in the first half which gifted their side a 4-2 lead. Queens Park, however, netted two late goals to send the match to the shootout.
Hikers’ perfect day began with a gritty come-from-behind 7-3 win over Bounty GCC with the captain, Robert France leading the way with a hat trick while and Assanah Brandford had two goals each.
Dwayne Scott scored twice as Peter De Groot scored the goal in GCC’s losing cause.
QPCC put on an exhibition in their semi-final against Old Fort by whipping the Guyanese club by a whopping 9-3 margin.
Shawn Lee Quay orchestrated the pounding by scoring four goals while Dominic Young and Jordan Vieira supported with two goals each as Jerazeno Bell netted the other.
Jadon De Santos, Dwain Quan Chan and Micha Teixeira ticked the scores box for Old Fort.
GBTI GCC, on the other hand, continued Guyana’s supremacy by downing their Trinidadian counterparts, Ventures 3-2 to take the ExxonMobil women’s title in a final that didn’t disappoint.
Marzana Fiedtkou got the local crowd buzzing when she surged through Ventures’ defence and pierced the back of the net in the fourth minute to hand GCC an early lead.
Two minutes later, the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall was pumping again when captain Sonia Jardine netted a spectacular diving goal to extend the local’s lead.
Kirsten Thompson, however, sliced the lead in half when she converted a penalty corner two minutes from that half-time whistle.
The second half saw Gabriella Xavier converting another fantastic goal for the Guyanese club to leave the score at 3-1 with plenty of time still left in the game.
This saw the two sides extending each other as Ventures only found a 34th-minute strike through Anya Sealy as GCC held on for a thrilling win to retain their title.
GCC, in their semi-final, endured a tough battle, perhaps the most exciting of the day, against Shandy Carib Magnolias which they won 3-1 on a penalty shoot-out after the score was tied at 1-1 after regular time.
Ventures, on the other hand, hammered national lady’s champions Woodpecker Hikers 6-1 in their semi-final encounter with Trinidad and Tobago national player Arielle Williams, netting on four occasions.
Krizia Layne scored the other two goals and Nicole Eastman scored the lone goal for Hikers.
The veterans’ title went to Old ‘Old’ Fort who defeated Queens Park in the Stag over-35 final by a 4-3 scoreline.
Old controlled the tempo of the final and led 3-1 at the half. Queens Park, however, netted twice late in the second half but it was the Guyanese who fought bravely in the closing moments of the match to clinch the title.
Queen Park, in their semi-final, mauled their Trinidad and Tobago counterpart, Fatima 7-2 while Old Fort had a 3-2 win over GCC Vintage.