Race to the title is on

– Bounty GCC, Old Fort going hard

By Michelangelo Jacobus

The National Greens seemed to falter against Bounty GCC but eventually prevailed in the see-saw contest in the men’s first division clash when the GTT National Championships continued at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Thursday night.
For National Greens, a late rally ensured they ended the game at 5-4. It was pulsating action from end to end with the dangerous Aroydy Branford hitting two goals in the fourth minute to give the National Greens an early advantage. However, Dwayne Scott reduced Bounty GCC’s deficit by 50 percent in the 16th minute but Captain of the Greens Aderemi Simon restored their two-goal cushion in the 26th minute. It was game on in the 27th minute when Steven Xavier scored for GCC and Orland Semple drew the scores level in the 32nd minute.

Bounty GCC’s Goalie Michael Hing saves a shot from National Greens’ Jason DeSantos (number 11) in their exciting game at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall on Thursday night (Michelangelo Jacobus Photo)

Striker Jason DeSantos restored the lead for the Greens in the 34th minute with the score at 4-3 while Aroydy Branford completed his hat-trick in the 38th minute. GCC’s Eric Hing give the Greens a scare when he scored in the last few minutes to make it 5-4, but the Greens’ defense held firm and they walked away the victors.
In men’s second division action, GCC Pitbulls drew with Saint Stanislaus College 2-2 while the Old Fort Warriors climbed to the top of the points table with a 4-0 domination of Saints.
The National ladies continued their merry way as they chalked up their fourth straight win of the championships against the Bingo Spartans. The National ladies registered their highest goal tally of 14 goals in that game.
Pizza Hut GCC sailed into the ladies finals with an easy 5-0 win over iNet Lynx (formerly SIDM). For Pizza Hut GCC, Sonia Jardine took the game to the opposition. She was the lone player to score in the first half of the match with a hat trick which came through two penalty corners and a field goal. Sandy Roopnarine and Dominique DeGroot continued the trend for the Pizza lovers to end with a 5-0 victory.
The Pepsi Hikers pulled ahead of Saints in the men’s first division to set up a challenge with Old Fort Titans for a spot in the final while Old Fort Warriors seem destined for a finals spot in the men’s second division with a routine 4-0 victory over Saints.
Despite some high quality men’s and women’s open division hockey, it was the veterans who produced the most entertaining match of the evening when GCC Vintage took on Antonio’s Grill Hickers. Despite GCC being the favourites in the match based on earlier performances, Hickers midfielder Devin Munroe seemed determined to create another Bourda washout. With the Hickers earning a penalty stroke in the 12th minute of a scoreless game thus far, Munroe converted the first of his three goals for the Hickers. Vintage striker Philip Fernandes drew the scores level at 1-1 just one minute later. The match would continue along this path as Munroe put his team up twice more with GCC levelling the score right after through Patrick Edghill and a Dwayne Scott penalty corner. The game ended at a 3-3 stalemate robbing both teams of bragging rights.
The Pepsi Hikers finally got in the winners column when they faced Saints in their men’s first division fixture. Shane Samuels was the hero for the Hikers, scoring all five goals in their 5-3 victory. Young Parmanad Dindial almost matched Samuels feat but fell short by two in his hat trick for Saints.
With the National teams being ineligible for the finals, the Old Fort Titans and Bounty GCC top the men’s first division pool with four points each. Pizza Hut GCC stands way ahead of the rest with 9 points in the women’s pool. Old Fort Warriors tops the men pool so far with the GCC Pitbulls and Saint Stanislaus College tied for second and GCC Vintage leads the veterans pool.
The finals will be contested tonight at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall with games beginning at 17:00h.