League leaders Monster All Stars tasted defeat on Sunday, as they were beaten 3-2 by UWI Blackbirds when action in the Barbados Hockey Federation’s Division 1 Competition continued at the Hockey Center, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, Wildey, St. Michael.
In the day’s final and highly entertaining match, it seemed like business as usual for the Stars when consistent national forward Barry Clarke, deflected a pinpoint cross from teammate Mario Moore in the 17th minute to beat Blackbirds’ custodian Justin Taitt.
However, after halftime, the Blackbirds flew out with a vengeance, where national striker and scholarship player Akeem Rudder got the better of Stars’ goalkeeper Dario Greenidge, with a timed left side slip through the legs of a moving Greenidge and straight into the goal to level the scores. Shortly after, UWI’s Justin Catlin left the nest scoring his goal past Greenidge and giving the Blackbirds the 2 – 1 lead.
Facing unrelenting attacks, Greenidge appeared to have twisted his knee during a save and had to leave the field of play to be replaced by a field player. UWI capitalized on this, earning a penalty corner in the 44th minute, which Rudder had no difficulty converting hard and fast under the crossbar. In the final minutes of the match, All Stars managed some attacks of their own, one of which was converted by midfielder Damien Downes, who bested Taitt with a classic “push-and-pull” on the whistle, to pull one back and keep the deficit at just one goal.
The result was All Stars’ first loss of the season and the Blackbirds’ fourth straight win, having flew over Deacons 4 – 2, CSOS 6 – 2, YMCA 6 – 1 and now Monster All Stars 3 – 2, with national striker Justin Catlin leading the league’s goalscorers with nine goals from seven matches.
Earlier, Barbados Juniors narrowly lost their Round 8 fixture against Massy United Insurance Empire, going down 1 – 0 to the Bank Hall team. Leading Empire striker and junior national Peter Alleyne scored his team’s lone goal in the 17th minute. The Juniors continued to probe the Empire team but could find no success with Empire’s Che Warner and Laurando Davis guarding the gates.
It was a case of YMCA’s losses continuing to mount, as they lost to Williams Industries Avengers 1 – 0. YMCA, who have been struggling to find a regular goalkeeper, have lost all of their matches so far for the season. Avengers’ Shaquille Callendar scored the only goal of the match in the first minute and from there, the Avengers were able to hold that lead until the final whistle.
On Saturday, in Women’s Division 1 action, Williams Industries Avengers registered an impressive 3-0 win against the northern powerhouses Maple Club, who were unable to find a kitted goalkeeper and had to play with an outfield player in front of goal. National players Cherise Mapp and Tammisha Small led the way for the Avengers, scoring from the field in the 11th and the 45th, while teammate Jessica Browne slipped one home in the 57th. The loss is Maple’s first played defeat of the season.
The Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT) upset the ladies Division 1 “Big 4” when they drew level 2 – 2 with UWI Blackbirds.
BUT, who have yet to register a played win for three points, managed somehow to hold the Cave Hill lasses to a draw. BUT struck first in the first minute through Alanis Clarke. Scholarship player for the Blackbirds and national player Ayanna Wilson took the game in-hand and netted a brace, scoring in the 17th and 24th to give her team the lead.
However BUT found the net again when Kabira Foster equalized in the 27th minute. The second half played out with neither side being able to secure an advantage.
Meanwhile, reminiscent of the past week’s red versus yellow and blue showdown, Saturday’s play ended in yet another disappointing loss for the Combermere School Old Scholars (CSOS) in yellow and blue, this time 2-1 to the Reds from Deacons.
After a lacklustre start by both sides, Deacons opened the scoring in the 13th minute, when a brilliant solo run from former BDF center Curwen Brewster, ended with him fending off challenges to slip a baseline pass across the mouth of goal to an unmarked Ayoub Suttle, who easily converted through the backdoor beating CSOS custodian Clint Small.
Suttle netted again in a similar fashion, this time receiving a “45” slip to the penalty spot, where he lofted his shot to Small’s left side, making the score 2 – 0 in the 29th minute. Suttle, who normally keeps goal for Deacons, proved again that once you are on the field, you can score. CSOS regained some momentum in the second half, eventually scoring late in the 53rd, when an overlapping Christopher Goodluck placed a powerful shot across Deacons’ goalie Dario McClean, pulling one back for CSOS. CSOS had the run of play for the remaining seven minutes but were unable to find the net. The Waterford stick men, who were leading for the first four rounds, now find themselves in fifth place after suffering their fourth straight defeat.
Play continues this coming Saturday and Sunday with matches at the Wildey Hockey Center.