A last-minute goal by Neraj Mason gave the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) a thrilling 3-2 victory over Combermere School Old Scholars (CSOS) last night at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus’ AstroTurf.
A modest crowd was on hand to witness the two teams battle it out feverishly in the ongoing 2015 Barbados Hockey Federation Men’s Super League. YMCA was unable to provide a goalkeeper and therefore played at a slight disadvantage but had their basics covered and took the lead 1-0 in the 11th minute when Dario Lewis controlled a good pass from Rico Bourne and buried the ball past CSOS’ two-man defensive team and their goalkeeper Clint Small.
YMCA should have had at least two more goals in the opening quarter when Shawn Harewood sent an overhead pass to Mason who did well to pull it down and took an open shot at goal but sent it just wide of the goal bars. Following that the veteran Ralph Watson also had his moment to give YMCA a two-nil lead after going one on one with CSOS’ keeper Small who had a busy first quarter.
CSOS found the equalizer a few minutes into the second half through Mark Owen who produced a lovely flick shot in the 18th minute. That lasted only for so long as the experience Watson was back in action once again and thanks to a good touch from Mario Moore on the left, Watson was able to dribble his way around Small who left his mark in an effort to defend the ball and got out played by the National Sports Council coach who finished the job superbly in the 25th minute to the delight of YMCA fans around the turf.
Four minutes later CSOS were back in it compliments Kamar Bovell who scored and levelled the game 2-2. It all occurred when Bovell played a drag flick shot off a penalty corner that grazed the stick of YMCA defender Richard Jones and into the back of the nets in the 29th minute.
That made room for an interesting third and decisive period as YMCA, currently in fifth position on ten points, and CSOS in seventh on six points, needed to win in order to boost their chances of staying alive in the competition.
Both teams went back and forth in an effort to capture the lead and after battling it out for more than 13 minutes in the final quarter YMCA found themselves in a spot of bother. Watson received a yellow card for verbal exchange with umpire Shane Lewis in the 43rd minute. After Watson’s departure Mason who played mainly defence was rewarded for his hard work in the 44th minute with an easy goal.
In the other game played University of the West Indies (UWI) Blackbirds and Massy United Insurance Empire ended their encounter with a 1-1 draw in the National Men’s League match-up.
UWI went ahead 1-0 through Davron Atherley in the ninth minute but Empire did well to respond through Peter Alleyne in the 17th minute of the second quarter.