Hockey year in review
Trinidad teams big winners at Int'l Indoor festival

Stabroek News
December 28, 2006

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It was another successful year for the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) as several local tournaments were staged including the much anticipated Diamond Mineral Water International Indoor Festival which is getting better every year.

The year started off with three clubs sending teams namely, the Everest Hikers, Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) and Old Fort, to contest the Ventures Indoor Hockey Championship in Trinidad in January. The GCC was knocked out in the semis by Malvern of Trinidad who went on to beat Everest in the final. Everest placed second, GCC third and Old Fort fourth. In the same month, the Everest men's team won the Barbados indoor classic.

This was followed by the annual GHB One-Day Tournament which was hosted at the GCC ground. In the ladies' competition, Everest defeated GCC `A' in the final by a 1-0 margin. In the men's competition, the Everest Hikers defeated the GCC in penalty strokes by 4-3 in the final after a 1-1 draw at full time.

In May, the Independence Indoor Championships were staged and the GCC men's team beat the Everest Hikers in the final by 5-2, while in the ladies' category, the Everest Hikers defeated the GCC Tigers 2-1.

In August, the GHB staged its first handicap tournament, the Noble House Goals Galore Handicap Tournament, where teams were seeded and began each match with different goal handicaps according to seeding.

In the women's competition, the Everest Skillies defeated the Everest Shorties 4-3 in extra time. Also, the GCC `B' team, with a 12-goal handicap advantage, lost to the Everest Hikers 14-13 in extra time in the men's competition. The Banks/Global Night Hockey tournament was also held and the GCC men were defeated 2-1 by the Everest Hikers, while in the ladies' competition, the GCC Tigers defeated the Everest Shorties 2-0.

The Hikers won the lien trophy in the Farfan and Mendes First Division League tournament, which was held from March to August. Also, the John Fernandes Insurance Services Limited Men's Second Division League started early in the year and was completed in October, when the Western Dragons emerged the winners.

In October, Guyana sent a women's national team to Venezuela to compete in a tri-nations tournament against the hosts and Brazil. Guyana beat Venezuela 3-0 and drew 0-0 while losing to Brazil 0-1, 0-5 and then 0-3 in the final. This was the first time that a women's team had competed in an outdoor hockey tournament in over 20 years.

Also, in October, the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph National Indoor Competition was staged and the GCC men's team defeated Old Fort 4-3 in the final, while the GCC Tigers beat the Everest Shorties 3-2 in the ladies' final.

Canada's Toronto Galaxy defeated Trinidad's Notre Dame 4-2 to win the US$1000 and trophy in the Diamond Mineral Water festival which was held in November. Trinidad's success continued when the country's Malvern placed 3rd after defeating highest placed Guyanese men's team, the Everest Hikers 4-2 in the third place playoff. Also, the Raiders defeated countrywomen Malvern 2-1 after a penalty shootout to decide the winner while fellow twin island-republic team the Ventures defeated the GCC ladies 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out for the third place. The Malvern veterans won the Carib veterans competition by defeating compatriots Fatima 4-3 in the final.