Sticks came out to soothe heads

Playing hockey in blazing sunshine on Boxing Day is not everyone’s idea of festive fun but it certainly helped clear a few hangovers and burned off plenty of calories from inflated waistlines.

The Captains team ably lead by Barry Craine narrowly lost to the Vice Presidents (Nigel Bates) X1 3-2 in the traditional Cayman Hockey Club Boxing Day game at the Cayman International School field in Camana Bay.

In the opening minutes, captain Bates had two good chances to score. One attempt was controversially disallowed as he took out the goalkeeper, Ivan Burges, and the other was totally missed.

After those early scares, the Captains X1 settled down and created a couple of chances, which young debutant goalkeeper Iain Robertson dealt with admirably.

After about 25 minutes play, the speed of Mark Williams and Gisela Gamba finally created an opening for the unmarked Simon Barwick who seized on the chance to score the opening goal for the Vice Presidents.

Then young Jack Barwick found himself in open space and also took his chance with a neat finish to make the score 2-0 just before half time.

The second half saw sustained pressure from the Captains XI and several chances were missed before eventually Ryan Williams from a short corner play flicked in a unstoppable shot.

With time running out, the evergreen Nigel Bates finally got a goal with a neat flick, to pull one back for his side.

Literally the last action of the game saw Stuart Pilgrim smash home a second goal for Captains to make the final score 3-2 to the Vice Presidents X1.

Players who really got into the great spirit of the game included Andrew Edgington, Simon Garnet, David Shanahan and Simon Palmer. Paula Daniels and Gamba wore festive season hats to emphasize the fun part of the action.

Burges played a blinder, as usual, providing inspiration for his son Adam who was in the out field.

The local hockey scene is thriving and a tour to Panama is planned and a six-a-side tournament is also to be held early next year.

They continue to play on Tuesdays at Cayman Prep School, Smith Road, from 5 p.m. and on Saturdays at the Cayman International School, Camana Bay, starting at 6 p.m.

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