Hockey festival reaches semifinals

Defending men champions Look Fuh Points, veterans A Bad Connection and mixed team Sentry Insurance Rockets – three powerhouses in local hockey – will look to bully their way into the Barbados International Hockey Festival finals.

In a quest to do the double at the 32nd edition being sponsored this year by Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. in association with the Tourism Development Co-operation, those three triumphant teams from last year will aim to dismiss their respective opposition during tomorrow’s semifinals at the Barbados Football Association’s Wildey, St Michael AstroTurf beginning at noon.

Reigning men’s kings Look Fuh Points made up mostly of senior national players that include Che Warner, Neil Franklyn, Marlon Daniel, Jerome Harewood, Justin Catlin and Jamar Small, will seek to retain the Winsmore Humphrey Trophy as they take on A Bad Connection (ABC) which also have a diverse and skillful group of players with the likes of Laurando Davis, Mario Moore, Dario Greenidge, Mark Owen, Khevyn Williams, Anthony Trotman and Keron Taylor.

The other men’s semifinal will see last year’s losing finalists University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds men against Du Badd. Kris Holder and Akeem Rudder, two current national players along with Shane Lewis, one of the most seasoned players on the team, will lead from the front for UWI as they take on Du Badd. The latter are seeking to go all the way this year once Aaron Forde, Kamar Bovell, Cyprian Payne, Chetwyn Henry, Che Roach, Jamar Lashley and Kofi Hinds get firing.

Going into tomorrow’s semifinals, UWI having played five matches coming out of the single pool division of six teams won three and drew two for a total of 11 points, Look Fuh Points and ABC have ten points each with three wins and a draw while Du Badd scored two wins and registered a  draw for eight points.

The Tony Cozier Trophy will be held by new queens this year because British Army Ladies are not back to defend their title, leaving every possible opportunity for all-comers this year including former two-time champions and last year’s losing finalists ABC to secure the victory in 2017.

Eight teams featured this year for the women’s competition, split into a pool of two with ABC and UWI topping group A while Du Badd and Deacons/Maple (first ever collaboration of these two teams) were the top two teams from pool B. That means ABC will battle Deacons/Maple and Du Badd against UWI.

Davis Rouse (right) is one of the key players for Maple when they take on A Badd Connection in the veterans semifinal tomorrow. (Pictures by Morissa Lindsay)

For ABC, current national players Cher King, Tammisha Small and Keisha Boyce will be the ones to keep an eye on as they take on Deacons/Maple, a team consisting of several former national players with the likes of Leslie Austin, Angela Thompson and Corlett Kellman-Thomas, who all possess the kind of experience needed at this level to reach the final.

The women of A Badd Connection are into tomorrow’s semifinal where they will take on Deacons/Maple. 

The veterans always roll back the years and ABC versus Maple should feature some vintage action when they meet in the semis. Meanwhile, the visiting New York Islanders will try their best to ensure Y’s Guys do not make it into their second straight final.

In a single pool of seven teams, Y’s Guys tallied 16 points, Maple 12, ABC ten and Islanders eight to finish in the top four. The most competitive out of those two semifinal match-ups should be between ABC with Mark Owen, Peter Harris, Mark Ince, Alain Hinds, Nku Davis, Anthony Trotman, Paul Reid and Khevyn Williams, against Maple’s Emmerson Phillips, Richard Blunt, Adrian Nicholls and David Rouse.

While the visiting New York Islanders will try to hold their own against Y’s Guys with a talented group of players that include Rohan ‘Teno’ Thomas, Ralph Watson, Dexter Clarke, Shawn Harewood and Timothy Parris, just to name a few.

Meanwhile, UWI will await the winner between defending champions Sentry Insurance Rockets and ABC when the semifinals for the double elimination ladder mixed competition takes place tomorrow.

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