It was even-steven between the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) and Barbados Defence Force (BDF) when the two teams met last night in the 2015 Barbados Hockey Federation Men’s National League and fought to a 1-1 draw.
Played at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus’ AstroTurf, the match was not expected to provide major fireworks but in the end it was an exciting affair. Fourth placed BUT on ten points were definitely the favourites to win over the soldiers, currently in seventh position on eight points, but the boys in green gave as good as they got.
The lone encounter of the night featured three distinct quarters with the teams having periods of ascendancy in each. And at the end of the opening salvo the score was 0-0 even though there were a few opportunities that went abegging as both sides failed to trouble the nets. First it was BUT player and coach Shawn Foster who played a short corner to Paul Stoute who did not connect and missed a golden opportunity to put his team in the lead.
Then BDF made an attempt of their own by shuffling through some unmarked spaces, with captain Enroy Stoute leading the way. He took a shot at goal at the end of the play but was denied thanks to good defending from BUT.
The BDF however went up 1-0 in the second quarter when Troy Waterman from a penalty corner assisted Stoute who nailed one past BUT’s defence and their goalkeeper Tyrese Weekes. Weekes had looked solid all night in the goal-bars but could not stop that one in the 21st minute.
BUT needed to find a goal from somewhere in order to equalize and were made to up their game at this stage especially Foster who frequently went forward along with young Isaiah Nurse to attack BDF’s defenders who did well to block BUT’s attacks and maintain the lead.
When the third and decisive quarter commenced BDF were on their toes as BUT had some relatively young players on their team who were running the ball well, and at speed. They spread themselves out under the instructions of Foster and produced some fantastic clean passes and waited patiently for an opening and pounced whenever the opportunities presented themselves.
With fewer than six minutes to play in the game Foster, fed by an excellent pass, send one flying like a rocket into the back of the nets to level the scores at one apiece.
The women’s national league game between Combermere and Avengers was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. but had to be postponed for reasons best known to the organizing officials.