Tough times

BARBADOS BEATEN AGAIN AT PAN AM HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIPS

Today was another tough day at the ‘office’ for the Hockey Tridents at the Pan Am Hockey Championships being played at the indoor Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Georgetown, Guyana.

On the second day of the games, the Hockey Tridents took the field against four-time and reigning champions Canada. When the final whistle sounded the local lads had been trounced 6-1.

The Canadians, the top seeds in the men’s tournament and ranked 10th in the world, spent the first five to eight minutes of the encounter feeling out the boys in blue, who yesterday announced their presence on the scene with a thriller against the hosts Guyana.

The defending champions then showed the Bajan lads their class. Ken Pereira found the back of the nets from the narrowest of angles leaving custodian Keenan Knight in no-man’s land in the seventh minute. The fightback was immediate and a series of chances went a begging from Che Warner and Akeem Rudder in quick succession.

Barbados’ Neil Franklin attempts to pass while being shadowed by Canada’s Ken Pereira (right) and Lyle Fernandes (background). (Pictures by Yan Huckendubler/PAHF)
Akeem Rudder scored Barbados’ sole goal.

Off the second such miss, Canada would make Barbados pay for their sloth with a quick restart; Lyle Fernandes finishing with aplomb three minutes later.

It seemed as though Canada were following a precise script when they added to the score three minutes later through Gurtej Dhaliwal and again three minutes later through Fernandes with his second goal.

The Barbados men would go into the halftime break four goals down having played some promising passages of hockey but missing that clinical final touch to keep themselves relevant in the match-up.

Barbados came into the second half with tighter structure and would create a couple of good chances, forcing Canada onto the backfoot for the first four minutes of the game. Dave Cox and Laurando Davis made many decisive interceptions.

Canada would then take some of the game back and traded offensive punches with the boys in blue until the long clinical passes of the Canadians found the unmarked Gurtej and he made no mistake with the finish.

Barbados would again press immediately afterwards which saw Canadian custodian Pardeep Koonar make two saves in succession to keep the Bajans still looking for the back of the nets.

Back up the other end almost instantly Canada won a penalty corner and duly converted, Micah Teixiera making the gap six to nothing in the 31st minute.

In the 36th minute, the Canadians would follow Barbados’ lead and give another goalkeeper some floor time in the person of Adam Kapasi. Andre Boyce did not suit up for Barbados in today’s game

Knight would make some timely interceptions of attacking counters to see that nothing more was added to the scoreline in favour of the rampant Canadians.

Pressing for at least a goal from the fixture, Barbados would be rewarded on the horn with Rudder getting the final touch on a joint effort with Jamar Small.

Asked afterwards how he felt about the game, Knight said despite the loss he felt very proud of the team. “I feel that the performance of the lads today reflected the hard work and preparation we put in,” he said, noting it was a good result against the experienced Canadian men who are the highest ranked Pan Am continental men’s team in the world.

Barbados’ men take to the court again tomorrow at 3:15 p.m. in a regional derby as they take on Caribbean neighbours Trinidad and Tobago who stunned Argentina yesterday 5-2. The Lady Tridents will also be in action tomorrow against hosts Guyana at 7 p.m. 

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