The men’s 2018 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Aderemi Simon lived up to his reputation in leading a young YMCA Old Fort men’s First-Division team to an impressive 5-3 victory over Bounty GCC on the opening night of the GTT National Indoor Hockey Championships.
The GBTI GCC girls, however, redeemed their male counterparts with wins by the GBTI Spice over the YMCA Old Fort Young Bloods 2-0 and the GBTI GCC Tigers over the GBTI GCC Spartans 4-1.
The female defending champions survived a scare from newcomers Saints, who eventually succumbed 2-1 while GCC Vintage drowned Antonio’s Hickers 9-4 in the lone veterans match. Saints Sensations enjoyed the largest margin over YMCA Old Fort Hard Ball with a 9-0 win in the men’s Second-Division competition.
An eighth minute penalty for YMCA Old Fort seemed to turn the tide in their favour against Bounty GCC in their men’s First-Division match-up as the two teams had battled evenly up to that point. Midfielder Omar Hopkinson stepped up confidently and converted the stroke to give Old Fort a 1-0 lead. Old Fort would slam home three more goals, including one from a brilliant reverse spin-and-shoot move by Jason DeSantos before GCC could get on the scoresheet.
GCC’s experienced defender Dwayne Scott would score his team’s first goal in the 31st minute as the tactical move to have him in the forward line paid off. Old Fort’s Ascofu Simon, however, answered two minutes later with a move that had the GCC defence falling over themselves. Steven Xavier and Meshach Sargeant managed to score two more in a comeback effort for GCC, but the final score was 5-3 in favour of YMCA Old Fort.
In the ladies division, the youthful Saints held off an experienced Woodpecker Hikers side, keeping them scoreless for the entire first half. Speedy left wing Clayzia Bobb then surprised all by dribbling the last defender and slipping her shot past the advancing goalkeeper to take Saints up by 1. Newcomer to the Hikers side, the athletic Jasmine Assanah managed to get onto the end of a squared pass by Nicole Eastman to even the score in the 29th minute and Eastman herself broke the hearts of the Saints supporters with seconds to go with a second goal for the Hikers. The Woodpecker Hikers came away with victory by a 2-1 margin.
The GBTI GCC Tigers and GBTI Spartans played an exciting match, which started off at a blistering pace. While Abosaide Cadogan was first on the scoresheet with a penalty corner strike high into the net, the Tigers’ Marzana Fiedtkou answered almost immediately to take the game into halftime at 1-1. The second half was all Tigers as the junior Spartans showed signs of wear allowing Fiedtkou to score a second while teammates Sonia Jardine and Gabriella Xavier added one each for a 4-1 win. Vanessa Pires and Sandy Roopnarine were the lone goalscorers in the GBTI GCC Spice win over the YMCA Old Fort Bloods. The match never seemed in doubt as the Spice girls seemed mostly in control.
Shakeem Faucette scored a helmet trick of goals (four goals) to lead all scorers as the Saints Sensations routed YMCA Old Fort Hard Ball. Hilmar Chester added two goals for the Sensations while teammates Tivesard Garnett, Baraka Garnett and Ezekiel Springer each added one in their 9-0 win. GCC Vintage were victorious over the Antonio’s Hickers by a 9-4 margin in the lone veterans match of the evening. Devin Hooper and Alan Fernandes scored hat-tricks for the Vintage while Dwayne Scott added a double and Patrick Edghill a single. The Hickers goals were scored by Brian Asregado (2); Devin Munroe with a diving effort from Nicolette Fernandes.
Matches continue all week at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with the finals set for Sunday evening.