On today’s third day of the Indoor Hockey Pan Am Championships, the Hockey Tridents went under to perennial rivals Trinidad and Tobago 8-2 when they took the field at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, Georgetown, Guyana.
Trinidad stunned Argentina in their tournament opener and went on to take full points after blanking hosts, Guyana 4-0. The boys in blue would take the field in hunt of their first points of the tournament, having narrowly missed out on a share of the points against the hosts and then succumbing to Canada in their second fixture.
Both teams tread carefully in the opening minutes but as time wore on questions would be asked of defence and goalkeepers on both sides of play.
One such question posed by the Bajan attack would see a penalty corner strike find the foot of a Trinidadian postman, resulting in a penalty stroke. Neil Franklin stepped up and buried a hard low flick to the right of Ron Alexander, in goal for Trinidad, taking the lead in the fifth minute for the Tridents.
The local boys would not celebrate for long, though, as Marcus James replied in the seventh minute from the run of play levelling the score. Then Jordan Reynos would fall on a rebound off Andre Boyce, in goal again for Barbados, two minutes later to double the score.
The Tridents would fight back, going toe to toe with unbeaten Trinidad, a counter-attacking move earning a penalty corner eventually smothered by Alexander.
On the other end, Boyce with a series of saves would keep the Tridents in it, until successive mistakes by Che Warner at right back caused a turnover leading to a penalty corner and Franklin off to the sin bin for his troubles.
Heroics from Boyce would save the first but not the successive strike from Akim Toussaint, finishing with venom in the 18th minute. Toussaint would force the struggling Warner to make another error and make the Tridents pay again chalking up another in the 19th.
Smelling blood, the Trinis would go hunting in the remaining minutes but the boys in blue managed to hold them off, with Trinidad leading 4-1 at the half.
The second half would see Trinidad start with just as much gusto. The reward came when Mickell Pierre spun on his defenders and connected with a free Jordan Vierra for another goal in the 23rd minute.
Boyce, having a great game despite the scoreline, would be put to work in the next five-minute passage of play and he would prove equal to questions asked by Pierre, Vierra, and James.
Against the run of play Barbados conjured up a penalty corner and on the slip from Franklin, Akeem Rudder fired from the right but Aidan de Gannes saved and cleared the lines on the post.
Caught by the speed of the counter, the Tridents would give up a penalty corner on the other end.
Franklin, learning the lesson, would endeavour for a quick restart of his own but Alexander proved equal to the resulting shot from Rudder, found deep in Trini territory by the pass. Rudder’s stick work would again dazzle seconds later, but Alexander was again solid in goal, moments later smothering another attempt as Dave Cox connected with Laurando Davis.
Tridents, forcing the Trinidadians onto the back foot, continued to press but the final touch remained elusive. Having worked hard through a three-minute passage, the boys in blue took advantage of a time-out, Trinidad also took the chance to bring back up custodian Reiza Hosein into the fray.
Ultimately the rest would benefit the Trinis and with the restart, Vierra would draw Boyce and with a diving finish find the back of the nets for his second, 6-1 in the 38th minute.
On the restart, a sweeping attack from the Tridents had real promise but the unlucky Warner would find the woodwork of an empty goal. Regardless of the scoreline, the Tridents continued to press and were eventually rewarded, when Rudder drew Hosein, a bit too eagerly, and crashed into him – a penalty stroke resulting for the Tridents.
Warner would covert easily to make it 6-2.
With less than two minutes to go Barbados would pull Boyce, opting to play with a ‘kicking back’ – a field player with goalkeeping privileges. Trinidad took full advantage of the decision and scored twice, Vierra and Toussaint making the final score 8-2.
The Hockey Tridents face another tough outing tomorrow when they take on Pan Am powerhouses Argentina at 9:30 p.m.