The first ever Igloo Hockey Festival staged by the GCC Hockey Team at its home ground at Bourda came to a
close last Sunday evening with some exhilarating hockey in all age groups. When the dust was settled however, the favourites of the senior tournament, the Hikers and the Pizza Hut GCC ladies took their familiar spots on the podium. The host club reaped the benefits of its GCC Academy for juniors by securing victories in five of the nine divisions with the Hikers picking up three and Saints capturing one.
After a long day of skills on display at various levels, the greatest show of the festival came down to the final match being a men’s matchup of the Hikers versus Bounty GCC. The teams burst out of the starting blocks with a GCC goal in the opening minute through Kareem McKenzie and an equalizer from the Hikers Shane Samuels immediately after. The teams traded goals once again in the second and third minute respectively before GCC surged ahead by 5-2 six minutes into the match. It was at this stage of battle that Hikers Captain Robert France seemed to come alive as he and teammate Aroydy Branford drew their side level and then up by two just before half time.
The second half saw a herculean effort by veteran GCC striker Kevin Spencer who amassed six goals in the match, but the Hikers answered each of Spencer’s goals with one of their own. The final whistle came all too early for GCC and the excited spectators in attendance, leaving Hikers victorious with 10 goals to the GCC 9.
The highly anticipated women’s final unfortunately did not live up to anticipation as the Pizza Hut GCC returned to pre-tournament form and routed the Hikers by 8-3 after the two had drawn 5-5 on the previous afternoon. Gabriella Xavier remained the main GCC attacking threat while younger sister Rebecca Xavier also put in a sterling performance in defence.