GCC Vintage, GCC Ladies surge to championship glory
Noble House Seafoods Indoor Hockey
GCC Vintage delivered once again to become the surprise winners of the men’s competition in the Noble House Goals Galore Indoor Hockey Championships. The previously unbeaten Bounty GCC were toppled in a thrilling men’s final.
Pizza Hut GCC Ladies completed the club’s domination of the competition with an easy win over Saints, to take the female trophy on Saturday evening at the National Gymnasium.
According to a release from the Guyana Hockey Board, after a tiring semi-final battle against the OFHC Warriors, which ended in favour of Vintage by a meagre one goal margin, the veteran side found themselves opposing unbeaten Bounty GCC in the men’s final of the competition.
Vintage would start with a +6 goal handicap, one more than Bounty’s +5.
Surprisingly, it was the underdogs Vintage who scored first in the match, with speed ace Devin Hooper finishing a Patrick Edghill pass from the right just two minutes into the match.
Bounty midfielder Mark Sargeant managed to draw one back for his side four minutes later, when Hooper stopped a penalty corner bullet on the line, but Sargeant flipped the rebound into the net.
Vintage would rattle off three more unanswered goals, with Hooper’s second being set up by a skilful overlapping run by right back Rawl Davson. Two attractive goals came from Patrick Edghill.
Bounty GCC made a late surge with two penalty-corner goals from the tournament’s highest goal-scorer, Kevin Spencer, but they had postponed scoring for too long, and were left two goals shy of drawing even, with a 10-8 full time score for the GCC Vintage.
The Cinderella ladies of Saints danced their way through to the finals despite being huge underdogs against far more experienced sides. After a hard-fought semi-final battle against the Woodpecker Hikers, wherein the Saints held off the opposition to secure a 13-9 victory, Saints were now to face the powerful Pizza Hut GCC, who had comfortably won all their previous matches.
With GCC starting on zero and Saints enjoying a +12 goal handicap, the Pizza Hut ladies certainly had their work cut out for them, especially with the goalkeeping heroics of tournament best goalkeeper Donyale Nurse, who managed to deny a multitude of attempts throughout the tournament.
It took GCC five minutes to get their first breakthrough, but no time after that to get their second. The Pizza Hut ladies piled on the pressure and amassed eight goals by the half, to see the scores at 8-12 still in favour of Saints.
The second half continued with the dominance of Pizza Hut GCC, as their crisp passing and unique skills bewildered an inexperienced Saints defence. GCC managed to duplicate their first half efforts with eight more goals in the second half, cruising to a 16-12 victory.
The five leading goal-scorers of the tournament each made a mark on the match, with Marzana Fiedtkou and Gabriella Xavier netting four each, tournament top scorer Sonia Jardine and Aliyah Gordon scoring hatricks, and Kerensa Fernandes topping it off with a double.
Young Donyale Nurse of Saints received the nod for best goalkeeper of the women’s competition. Leading goal scorer for women was Sonia Jardine of Pizza Hut GCC, with 14 goals; while Kevin Spencer’s 21 goals captured the male title for the Bounty GCC striker.