The stage is set for an exciting finals day of the 2019 BiiG Hockey Champions Trophy, being played at the Wildey, St Michael Hockey Turf next weekend.
Now in its second year, the premier independence hockey event features the island’s top hockey players and clubs in one final test for the season.
As part of the Barbados Independence Invitational Games, or BiiG, hosted by the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA), the Barbados Hockey Federation (BHF) reintroduced its former Champion of Champions season opener clash, but in a post-season tournament format that includes the current Division 1 League champions and Knockout Cup winners, alongside a Combined Clubs squad and a Barbados Under-21 Junior National Development team.
Qualifying for the men’s event, were the 2019 Division 1 League champions UWI Blackbirds and 2019 Knockout Cup winners All Stars. In the women’s event, Combermere School Old Scholars (CSOS) were the only qualified regular club side, having won both the Women’s Division 1 League title and the Knockout Cup.
In the surprising upset of the men’s tournament, neither of the 2019 club champions will feature in Sunday’s final. UWI Blackbirds HC, the 2019 League champions and the All Stars Club, the 2019 Knockout Cup winners, both failed to find enough points to qualify for the finals after finishing the round-robin stage in third and fourth respectively.
Barbados Juniors, the tournament underdogs in the men’s category, leaped over both club champions with a shocking 1 – 0 win over the All Stars, in a hard fought match where Juniors’ captain Reshawn Greenidge, managed to score the only goal of the match in the 28th minute, besting All Stars’ custodian and senior national goalkeeper Andre Boyce in the process.
The win propelled the U21 side into the men’s final with four points from a maximum of nine. They will face Combined Clubs 2019, who cruised to the final by picking up the maximum of 9 points. UWI Blackbirds ended their campaign on two points from two drawn matches, while All Stars finished up with one point.
In the women’s competition, double-crown champions Combermere School Old Scholars (CSOS) are set to meet Combined Clubs 2019, after the combined ladies side edged out Barbados Juniors 3 – 0 on Sunday to book their place. CSOS moved ahead into the final with the maximum of six points and Combined Clubs 2019 will join them with three points. The U21 ladies failed to pick up any points, but gave a strong showing to the fans over the course of the event.
The finals take place at the Wildey Hockey Turf on Sunday, November 24, with the women’s event touching off at 2:30 p.m., while the men take the field at 4 p.m.