Bajan blues


Barbados’ women suffered a similar fate tonight to their male counterparts when they were trounced 5-1 by hosts Guyana at the 2017 Indoor Hockey Pan Am Championships at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, in Georgetown. Earlier in the day, Barbados men were defeated by Trinidad and Tobago.

Guyana were coming off two strong showings, losing their first game narrowly to Uruguay 4-3 and then holding Canada to just two goals. Both teams were eager therefore to put some points on their respective boards.

From the first whistle, it was clear from the tempo of the game that both teams were going to leave it all on the court. But neither team seemed able to trouble the scorers until on a structured passage of play by the Guyanese, Barbados were undone by some fancy stick work and conceded a penalty corner.

Tammisha Small (in blue) gets by defenders Marisha Fernandes (left) and Trisha Woodroffe (partially hidden) during Barbados’ match tonight against Guyana. (PAHF)

The Guyanese worked a sublime slip routine and gave Bajan custodian Sheena Nicholls no chance, the hosts taking the lead in the fifth minute through Gabriella Xavier. Barbados would press hard but that effort only created more openings at the back with a second penalty corner striking Cher King goal bound; penalty stroke for the attacking Guyanese. But Nicholls would pull off some goal-line heroics saving low to her right in a diving effort.

The next ten minutes would be fairly even until Guyana put together a quick series of passes and finally managed to find a foot and the resulting penalty corner was initially charged down but the rebound was emphatically hammered home by Xavier for her second goal in the 14th minute.

Seemingly flustered, the Bajan girls coughed up the ball to Leigh Sanderson who found Kerensa Fernandes isolated on the stroke mark and she made no mistake lifting the ball over the sliding Nicholls.

Late in the half, Cher King would do it all herself, in the 19th, taking a quick restart after a Guyanese infringement. King took the ball all the way, won a penalty corner which she converted herself after dribbling the advancing defence.

The Lady Tridents would go into the break down 3-1 but still in the contest if they raised their game a notch.

At the restart, Guyana again pressed aggressively but Nicholls was alert and up to the task, stopping any early excitement.

In response, Ayanna Wilson, known for her lightning speed, turned on the jets down the right sideboard but only a long corner resulted from her efforts.

Settling from the opening salvos, both teams seemed to be grasping at straws until Nicole Eastman started away from her mark and put a telling long range pass in the back of the nets taking the score to 4-1 in the 24th minute.

Eastman would try again from the right and Sanderson from the left but Nicholls would not give up the goal the hosts seemed to be searching for.

Guyana then applied full-court pressure for the next five-minute passage but that left them exposed and Barbados managed to win a penalty corner. But Tammisha Small’s effort pulled a top-drawer save out of the custodian Alysa Xavier to frustrate Barbados’ attempt.

Guyana would continue to apply a three-woman high press and defenders D’Jamila Edwards and captain Camille Pounder would find themselves under siege in the Tridents’ defence.

The pressure led to a Guyanese penalty corner that translated into a penalty stroke and Marazana Fiedtkou made no mistake with Guyana taking their advantage to 5-1 in the 32nd minute.

The Bajan girls would pour on the pressure gaining three penalty corners in succession but desperate defence from the hosts kept the scoreline unchanged.

The Guyanese would not get far when Small was again involved in the play using some silky stick skills to gain another penalty corner but somehow the hosts managed to keep it out.

Barbados then went on the goal hunt but Guyana did everything defensively, and then some, to hold on to their comfortable margin of victory.

Games continue on Day Four, October 19th, with the Bajan women taking on the USA at 12:45 p.m. and Uruguay at 5:45 p.m. The men are set to do battle against Argentina at 9:30 p.m. 

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