T&T hockey men, World Cup bound

T&T’s indoor men’s hockey players before the start of the 2017 Indoor Pan American Cup Men’s final against Argentina in Guyana. The T&T players seen are, left to right, Kristien Emmanuel, Marcus James, Dwain Kwan Chan, Jordan Reynos, Mickell Pierre and Ron Alexander (goalkeeper).

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On Wednesday, the younger Govia also called ‘Raffi’ had to return to T&T after his father, a former president of the Queen’s Park Hockey Club, had taken ill on Monday, the same day that T&T beat Argentina 5-2 in their opening match of the competition.

At the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, in Georgetown, Guyana last night, Mickell Pierre and Australia-based Akim Toussaint scored two goals each as T&T’s “Calypso Stickmen” crushed Argentina and booked a spot at the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup in Berlin, Germany next February. It will be the second appearance for the national men’s hockey team at an Indoor World Cup final after the 2005 team ended second in the Pan American tournament behind hosts Canada to reach a first ever FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup in Vienna, Austria in 2007.

Positioned as table-toppers at the end of the six-team round-robin series on Friday night, the ‘Calypso Stickmen’ took the lead three minutes into the gold medal match through Pierre from a penalty-corner set play, as they looked to repeat Monday’s win over the South Americans.

Toussaint then made it 2-0 with a field goal in the 11th minute while Pierre banged in a third item for T&T on the stroke of half-time to take a commanding 3-0 lead.

Standing 20 minutes away from booking a ticket to Berlin T&T resumed work three minutes into the second-half, as captain Solomon Eccles and Marcus James added swiftly to the team’s overwhelming lead.

Toussaint then got his second of the match, six minutes from full-time before Aidan De Gannes completed the drubbing in the 36th to cement the gold medals and a spot in Germany.

Canada, winners of the previous tournament ended with the bronze medals after holding off Guyana 5-2 while Barbados grabbed fifth spot with a come-from-behind 6-4 win over Mexico.

Stickwomen whip Guyana for fifth spot

Captain Alanna Lewis was among the goals as T&T ‘Calypso Stickwomen” outplayed hosts Guyana 3-1 to secure fifth spot in the seven-team Women’s competition.

Australia-based Lewis gave T&T a 1-0 lead in the tenth minute which it took into the half-time interval before Arielle Williams made in 2-0 three minutes after the resumption.

Guyana, backed by a lively home crowd pulled a goal back from Marzana Fiedtkou three minutes later, and continued to press in search of the equaliser.

However, a minute before the final whistle, T&T former European-based veteran, Blair Wynne sealed victory for her team, coached by former Guyana international Jerazeno Bell.

It was the second win for T&T over the Guyanese during the one-week tournament, after Thursday’s 6-3 round-robin win.

USA’s ladies booked a spot in next February’s FIH World Indoor Hockey Cup in Berlin, with a narrow 2-1 win over Argentina’s women’s team thanks to a 35th minute winner from Ali Campbell.

After a 0-0 first-half Katie Gerzabek put the Americans ahead in the 31st minute, but Emma Yanzi replied for Argentina in the 34th, only for Campbell to reply almost from the restart with what turned out to be the match winner.

In the third place play-off, Uruguay pulled off a shock 3-2 win over Canada to avenge a 2-1 round-robin loss.