CAC hockey qualifiers: Guyana women’s hockey team suffer second defeat

The Guyana women’s hockey team has suffered its second defeat in as many matches, this time to hosts Bermuda during the CAC qualifiers being contested in Hamilton Bermuda.
Coming after the disappointment of an opening 0-1 loss to Puerto Rico, the Guyanese ladies played much better against hosts Bermuda, and it was also their third time on the artificial pitch on which international hockey is played.
The Guyana ladies looked the better side from the outset, and created several early chances, which was a quite different circumstance from their previous start against Puerto Rico. The inexperience of the side however showed, as despite their many scoring opportunities, they were unable to convert them to goals.
The game remained scoreless for three of the four quarters of the match, with Guyana having twice as many scoring circle entries in the match to Bermuda and one more penalty corner. Guyana pressed hard as the match wound down, seemingly headed for a stalemate. It was during a well-constructed attack in the very final minute of the match that saw Guyana penetrate the Bermudan circle, only to have the ball stripped at the last minute.
The resulting counterattack by Bermuda caught most of the Guyanese in their attacking half, and the Bermudian centre forward was gifted a golden opportunity of a one v one against Guyanese goalkeeper Alysa Xavier.
Xavier advanced and made a strong effort to block the shot, but striker Mallory Towlson managed to fake right and roll the ball between the shuffling legs of Xavier for the goal, which sent the Bermudian crowd into a frenzy.
Guyana still had time to launch one more attack, but the skilful Aliyah Gordon’s final entry pass into the circle was blocked just seconds before the final whistle.
This second loss means the Guyanese will finish out of the CAC qualifying spots as they face Jamaica in their final match on Sunday.
Head Coach Philip Fernandes expressed his disappointment in saying that while he was pleased with the way his team performed despite the overwhelming odds of not being able to train on a proper surface, their inexperience and a bit of unfortunate luck turned matches that could have been won, especially against Bermuda, into narrow losses.
Guyana fielded the youngest team with six teenagers, all of whom were playing their first international tournament.