The Hockey Tridents took to the field Sunday for the last time in Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago with national pride to play for. In the 1:30 p.m. sun the Bajan boys put everything into avoiding the wooden spoon against Chile.
For the first five minutes both teams seemed tentative probing each other sparingly. Chile would have the first clear chance releasing one of the forwards and causing custodian Keenan Knight to produce another top save for the tournament and the first of this game.
With one minute left in the first period the Hockey Tridents would get the first penalty corner of the game but the insert proved to pacy for the stick stoppers, the resulting counter causing last second excitement. Chile, however, were not able to convert and they went into the break 0-0.
The cagey game continued afterwards, with no team really ready to throw too much into the attack.
Chile was the first team to make the decision to press the attack bringing another brilliant save out of Knight and also called to action was Che Warner with goal line heroics off the resulting penalty corner. Hockey Tridents were very much in the hunt for their first win.
The rest of the period continued touch and go for both teams. The Hockey Tridents finally mounted some sustained pressure creating chances at the Chilean goal. The South Americans were equal to the task with the half-way score reading 0-0.
The Hockey Tridents would find themselves under heavy pressure from the Chilean attack, spending most of their third quarter on defence. Blistering counters from Akeem Rudder and Mario Moore were the only respite for the local defenders.
On the restart of the last quarter Chile recovered from a Barbados attack and would put the ball in the back of the net. However, umpire Lance Sarabia adjudged the Chilean to be in the wrong having pushed Warner before getting the better of the ball.
In the resulting passage of play Jamar Small, with a telling solo run from the heart of the Barbados defence, won a penalty corner which his team would not convert.
With ten minutes left in the game both teams would turn up the tempo. The Hockey Tridents asked a number of questions but Chile managed the right answers.
After a blistering passage of play where both teams came close to converting Knight again kept the local lads in the hunt with another sliding save.
Khodi Gibson would get a yellow card, a mandatory five minutes in the sin bin, for what the umpire adjudged to be a deliberate kick of the ball. The Hockey Tridents now down to ten men with three minutes left in the game dug deep and Chile in possession of the ball would have a clear attempt from the top of the shooting circle but it was way off target.
Che Roach would then get a second yellow taking the local boys down to nine men. Chile pressed the impetus but the Hockey Tridents with yeoman service from Jerome Harewood saw the game to the end of regulation and called on custodian Keenan Knight to come up big again, as they went into the game-deciding penalty shootout.
Chile would go first and Vincente Martin beat Knight for pace, 1-0 to Chile. Akeem Rudder would be smothered by the Chilean custodian, keeping the Chilean lead. After the next pair of shootouts where both Barbados and Chile didn’t score with Knight coming up with a big save, Warner kept Barbados in it by skilfully placing the ball in the back of the net.
Justin Catlin, needing to score, fumbled the ball and that would lead to an easy save.
The Hockey Tridents would finish in eighth place at the Hockey World League Round Two.
Coach Dominic Hill had high praises for his team. “We met a lot of performance goals and had a lot of positives. It is going to have to be about consistency and progressing in the upcoming tournaments,” Hill said.
The female Hockey Tridents will be on the field later this year, when they play at the Pan American Cup in Pennsylvania in August. After that both teams will look forward to the next Hockey World League cycle and the CAC Games in 2018.
On Saturday, the second fifth to eight bracket game saw the historical Caribbean grudge match between the Hockey Tridents and hosts Trinidad and Tobago for a place in the fifth/sixth qualification game. Trinidad and Tobago would emerge 3-1 winners.