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Sandiford’s TriNation hockey star

EZRA STUART, [email protected]

Sandiford’s TriNation hockey star

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Super sub Shakeira Sandiford had scores of spectators chanting her name after in a magical move Thursday morning at the Wildey Hockey Turf.

The roving defensive player displayed creative goal-scoring skills to earn Barbados a late equaliser and a deserved 1-1 draw with Guyana in their opening match of their Tri-Nation Hockey Series.

The reserve on the Barbados team for next month’s Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia, stepped up with a scintillating run from defence down the right flank.

She skilfully weaved her way past a couple of opposing players while taking the ball to the by-line.

Sandiford then played a delightful cross into the ‘D’ where a diving captain Ayanna Wilson superbly swept the ball into the goal with only two minutes left in the match.

That 58th minute field goal cancelled Guyana’s fortuitous early first quarter goal when Shebeki Baptiste capitalised on a misjudgement of the time remaining to beat goaltender Sheena Nicholls in the 13th minute.

Seemingly thinking the penalty corner horn was the end-of-quarter horn, the Barbados team pushed all players forward for maximum advantage.

After Guyana broke the Barbados corner, a long ball found their unguarded forwards, leaving Nicholls at the mercy of Baptiste, who easily scored.

Thereafter, both sides created and squandered chances with Barbados enjoying the majority of ball possession in the last two quarters.

Barbados’ coach Donovan Smith saluted Sandiford for her “brilliance.”

“She is a good player. She has patience. She still has to grow into the hockey but she is one for the future,” he said.

Smith said the game was a good one for Barbados as the team fine-tune for the CAC Games with the players straying away from the game plan slightly before regrouping.

“I have seen a lot of positives and I am very happy for that and we are going to go stronger into the next game,” Smith said.

That game will be against the third team in the tournament, Trinidad and Tobago at 9 a.m., tomorrow with Smith looking for a positive result.

“We will be looking at more ball possession, more patience and maintaining structure in terms of discipline. Once we have that, we will be good,” he said. (EZS)