Deacons, Avengers advance to hockey finals

Deacons’ men and Avengers Field Hockey Club women have earned their place in the Barbados Hockey Federation Sevens League final respectively.

Combermere School Old Scholars (CSOS) men and women played impressively to reach Tuesday night’s semi-final but neither team was able to gain entry into the final as they lost to Deacons men and Avengers women at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex. Empire came out tops in both the men and women’s action and have therefore gained automatic entry into the final.

Cherise Mapp (tackling) and the rest of the Avengers women (wearing orange) had a tough task keeping Cher King of Combermere School Old Scholars quiet.
Cherise Mapp (tackling) and the rest of the Avengers women (wearing orange) had a tough task keeping Cher King of Combermere School Old Scholars quiet.

The women lost 3-2 to Avengers who took a 1-0 lead as early as the second minute compliments a field goal from Shakeira Sandiford. That set the tone for what turned out to be a keenly contested match consisting of three 15-minute periods.

Avengers struck again this time through Tammisha Small in the 25th minute when she dribbled through CSOS’ defence quite comfortably and gave her team a 2-0 lead. A minute later in the 26th minute CSOS responded through Tricia-Ann Greaves who took an open shot off a corner that comprehensively beat Avengers goalkeeper Shontelle Sargeant to make it 2-1 at the end of the second period.

Tammisha Small (left) scored two great goals for Avengers women that saw them through to the final.
Tammisha Small (left) scored two great goals for Avengers women that saw them through to the final.

In the third and decisive period Small was once again in action and added goal number two to her name to make it 3-1 to Avengers in the 33rd minute. She played the ball past Maria Sealy of CSOS and took aim to put away yet another field goal.

With just a minute to play Greaves impressed yet again when she capitalized on a corner that she smashed into the goal bars to give CSOS some hope in the 39th minute. But they were still unable to prevent Avengers from sealing the win.

In the men’s semifinal showdown Deacons and CSOS played to a 1-1 draw that forced the match into a penalty shootout that was won 4-2 by Deacons. They have placed themselves in a good position to face Empire who gained automatic entry after playing unbeaten and finishing top of the men’s super league.

 Jason Robinson (right) sets himself in a good position to smash the ball before Deacons goal scorer Neil Franklyn intervenes.
Jason Robinson (right) sets himself in a good position to smash the ball before Deacons goal scorer Neil Franklyn intervenes.

The first quarter was goalless but Deacons went ahead in the second quarter due to an error by Jabari Harper who played the ball over the back line to give the opposition a penalty corner which Neil Franklyn put away in the 29th minute to take a 1-0 lead into the third period.

CSOS were still in it and created a number of goal-scoring opportunities but none connected until Jamar Lashley with a diagonal shot from the left aimed at the goal bars, found Dave Cox’s stick and he finished superbly in the 39th minute of the game.

Dave Cox of Combermere School Old Scholars in total control of this play and responsible for equalizing against Deacons men and forcing the match into a penalty shootout. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)
Dave Cox of Combermere School Old Scholars in total control of this play and responsible for equalizing against Deacons men and forcing the match into a penalty shootout. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)

From there it was a penalty shootout and Deacons were in clear control with a few fantastic shots on target.

The finals are set for Saturday with games starting from 3:30 p.m.

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