Deacons’ men displaying their winning silverware. (Picture courtesy BHF)
The final whistle of the 2018 Scrimfest Hockey Tournament blew Sunday night to the delight of Deacons’ players and fans, signalling the capture of their fourth Scrimfest title. They are now the most decorated team in the history of the competition.
The final contest in the men’s division saw Deacons come up against two-time finalists Pulse, whose constituent members are primarily Under-21 junior national hopefuls. On Friday night Pulse dismissed the highly favoured Zionites in their semi-final match, while Deacons edged out UWI Blackbirds 1-0.
Deacons, boasting a roster of senior national experience, played an entertaining and masterful game against Pulse, controlling the match throughout to emerge 2-0 winners.
From the touch-off, Pulse played an uncharacteristic defensive style, allowing Deacons to switch the ball comfortably around the back, attack freely up the flanks and use cross-field passing options.
Deacons capitalised quickly on these freedoms, with the first goal coming from Trinidad and Tobago national Dominic Young in the seventh minute, when he made the most of a circle entry from a deep pass, exploiting a defensive blunder by Pulse and beating custodian Dario Greenidge with skilful placement.
Five minutes later, Young bested Greenidge again, his acute shot giving Deacons a 2-0 lead and registering his third consecutive goal in two matches.
The second half produced a more vibrant Pulse team, who created chances from the likes of James Gooding, Akobe Aymes and Shaile Babb, but none of their efforts proved effective against the Deacons defence, marshalled by tournament MVP Shakeel Wharton and custodian Andre Boyce.
Earlier in the women’s final, TT Squad FC, founded and captained by national player Tammisha Small, defeated Combermere School Old Scholars 2-0 to capture the women’s title.
Scoring for TT Squad were national players Patrina Brathwaite in the first and Charlia Warner-Franklyn in the 33rd. Warner-Franklyn was named female MVP.
In other matches, Zionites captured the men’s bronze medal edging out UWI Blackbirds 1-0, while UWI Blackbirds demolished UWI 6-2 for the women’s bronze.
Special awards saw Greenidge (Pulse) and Sheena Nichols (TT Squad) named as best goalkeepers, while Akeem Rudder (UWI Blackbirds), Keisha Boyce (CSOS) and Jada Prescod (CSOS) captured most goals for men and women, respectively, with Rudder netting 10 goals and Boyce and Prescod getting six goals each.
Now in its tenth year, Scrimfest has become a popular out-of-season tournament on the local hockey calendar. (PR)