Bingo Spartans, St Joseph dominate overseas competition
History was made in the hockey world over the past weekend when two Guyanese Under-16 teams attended their first ever international tournament and produced the performances of their lifetime to return home with gold medals.
Paragon Hockey Club’s 4th Youth Indoor Tournament was staged in Trinidad and Tobago. It proved a difficult challenge for the Guyanese players, who not only had to overcome several other teams, but had to attain this feat on their opponent’s home turf. The team’s successes can be attributed to the successful junior hockey program and competitions staged over the past two years by the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB).
On the male side, Guyana was represented well by the St Joseph Boys and North Ruimveldt Multilateral (NRMS). Bothe teams surged through their pool matches; however, the St Joseph team met a hurdle when they were pitted against the Diego Secondary. It was a rather close encounter, with the Guyanese team losing 1-2. Despite this, their luck struck when Diego lost a group match to Futuristiks, affording St. Joseph a spot in the semifinal. St, Josephs would defeat the NRMS, also of Guyana, in their semi-final to set up a repeat match against Diego, who edged past Futuristiks in the other semi-final.
The St Joseph boys were up for the challenge in the entertaining final, as they managed to reverse their fortunes against Diego with a 4-2 victory to lift the trophy. Tournament leading scorer Warren Williams, was on fire for St Joseph as he chalked up a pair of goals in the final, with Nandalall Persaud and Louis Adams scoring one each.
Given the final result and their excellent play throughout, St Joseph secured several individual awards at the final presentation, with Warren Williams receiving the Most Goals Award for Under 16, Paul DeAndrade receiving the Best Goalkeeper Award for under-21, and both Paul DeAndrade and Nandalall Persaud being named to the All Star selection.
The North Ruimveldt Multilateral appeared to be the youngest team in the competition, but managed to finish in a creditable fourth position.
On the female side of things, the GCC Bingo Spartans were even more dominant in the Girls Under-16 competition after they blazed through their pool stage, settling for a draw in just one encounter with a combined school team which was fittingly named ‘Combined’.
With COMBINED defeating the Magnolias in their semi-final, they would have a third crack at the Spartans in the Girls Under-16 final. The COMBINED goalkeeper put on a fantastic performance in the final, and made the Spartans sweat to earn their opener minutes into the second half through a penalty corner shot from tournament top scorer Sarah Klautky.
While COMBINED had their chances, the Spartans earned several penalty corners in the second half, which were well defended by COMBINED to keep the score at 1-0. The final buzzer would leave the Spartans celebrating their undefeated run to the title.
At the presentations, the Spartans carted off four individual awards, with Madison Fernandes securing the Most Valuable Player, Sarah Klautky receiving the Most Goals award, Jessica Mittelholzer the Best Goalkeeper, having conceded no goals; and Makeda Harding being named to the All-Star Team for defenders.