Jamaica, Guyana cop CAC Games Qualifying hockey crowns

Observer writer

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

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JAMAICA and Guyana won the men's and women's titles, respectively, at the 2017 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games Qualifying hockey tournament that ended at the Jamaica National (JN) Hockey Field in Mona on Sunday.

The Jamaican men were crowned winners when their final with Guyana was called off due to poor lights at the venue, while Guyana clipped Jamaica 1-0 in the final of their women's competition.

LaTacia Chung scored the winning goal for Guyana in the 48th minute.

Meanwhile, the men's final came to a premature end as a result of poor lighting at the venue, which resulted in the tournament director ordering a 10-minute break for the electricians to remedy the situation.

It was then announced that the game was called off as no further play was possible because it was too dangerous for play under such inadequate lighting. At the time of the abandonment, only one quarter was played with the score locked at 0-0.

The decision was then made to award Jamaica victory by virtue of topping the preliminary stage with 12 points. Jamaica had defeated Guyana 3-2 in their preliminary match on Saturday.

Jamaica's Head Coach Nicholas Brown said it was a bit disappointing for both teams that the match had to be called off.

“Everyone was looking for a an exciting encounter as the two teams were prepared and ready,” he said.

“We were looking to win as our team plans were to press hard and pressure Guyana and take an early lead. The players from both teams were looking for a good match and now are disappointed that the match was not finished. Our main aim, however, was to qualify for the CAC Games and we made it,” Brown said.

Meanwhile, Robert Fernandes, coach of Guyana, said he was really disappointed.

“Our main goal was to make the team qualify for the CAC Games in Colombia next year. We will be working very hard as it will be a much higher level of competition with the inclusion of the other seeded countries, Mexico and Cuba,” Fernandes said.

Meanwhile, Jamaica's women's Head Coach Christine Bartley said the players wasted too many chances. “We created numerous scoring opportunities, but the hits to goal all were off target.

“We wanted to come out winners, but Guyana managed to score a goal and won. Our aim was to qualify for the CAC Games next yearm and this is also only the beginning, as the players need to improve a lot, especially with their hits and penalty corners,” Bartley said.

She noted that Guyana is a tough team, especially in the middle. “They are also a very compact team as the Jamaicans had to produce majority of their attacks on both right and left flanks.

“I knew that it would have been a tough final with Guyana, as we had played to a 0-0 draw in our first meeting. We made a few tactical changes to the team, but it was our only defeat in the tournament,” she added.

Philip Fernandes, head coach of Guyana's women's team, said he was very pleased with the result of the match.

“The team played very well, as I had to use some of the younger players to get the experience. I knew it was going to be a tough encounter playing against Jamaica. It will be a much higher level facing tougher oppositions, such as Mexico, Cuba and others,” Fernandes said.

He added that the players will have six months of preparations and to make more improvements as the competition will be very tough.

For the individual presentation awards in the men's category, Aroydy Branford of Guyana was the top goalscorer with seven goals, and also the most outstanding player of the tournament, while Medroy Scotland was adjudged the best goalkeeper in the competition.

Marisa Miro of Puerto Rico was the top scorer with five goals in the women's category, while the most outstanding player was Josefina Freaney of Puerto Rico, and Norma Quevedo of Guatemala being the best goalkeeper.




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