Cayman Hockey Club hosted teams from Kingston, Jamaica and Sale, England last weekend in a series of matches.
In the humid conditions at the Camana Bay International School pitch, five matches were hotly contested on Saturday with a more sedate playing schedule on Sunday with just two games.
Saturday’s opening match saw Cayman Ladies take on the combined Sale and Kingston ladies playing under the name “Legless.” With an inexperienced team at this level and fielding several newcomers, Cayman struggled to cause any major concerns to their more experienced opponents.
With both sides adjusting to the conditions, a 1-0 half-time score in favor of Legless was a good effort from Cayman. The second half saw the more powerful Legless ladies add two more goals, both through Sarah Pinches guesting for her old team.
The Cayman men were next up, taking on a Jamaica and newer Cayman XI. In a rather drab game, a solitary goal after 17 minutes by Mark Williams gave Cayman victory.
Mixed hockey was the order of the after lunch activities, with Legless recruiting some Cayman players and taking on a Cayman mixed team.
An early strike by Bunny Remedios gave Legless the lead and it was not until the final minute of the game that a second goal was scored through a penalty flick by the evergreen Terence Choudhury past goalkeeper Shannon Emslie, for a 2-0 Legless victory.
More Legless action continued when they took on a Jamaica mixed side with tiredness definitely showing signs on most players. After a fairly quiet first half, the match came to life after the break when Mary Schwier picked up a rebound and gave Jamaica the lead.
Sarah Pinches came back superbly, scoring an equalizer for Legless. Matt Taber showed fine skills and with time and space had no hesitation in crashing the winning goal past keeper Ivan Burges to give Jamaica a 2-1 victory.
The last game on Saturday saw Cayman’s mixed side taking on a Jamaican mixed team. All the goals game in the first half with Lynette Chi McDanel opening the scoring for Jamaica somewhat against the run of play. This brought Cayman’s flagging limbs to life with Natasha Cilliers crashing the equalizer quickly, to be followed up by Patricia Hildred being denied a goal by an infringement, which resulted in a penalty flick being given. Captain Hildred stepped up and calmly slotted the ball past keeper Emslie, for a 2-1 Cayman win.
Sunday games saw the final between Cayman mixed against Jamaica mixed playing for the Alex Horner Memorial Trophy.
Always a keenly contested match, sadly both teams were not at full strength with home advantage and player availability definitely favoring Cayman.
The first half was all Cayman with considerable pressure but only led to a goal scored by Nigel Bates after seven minutes of play.
With rolling substitutes, captain Mark Williams was able to marshal his team and, leading by example, grabbed a second goal for Cayman with a neat finish. This was very quickly followed by Stuart Pilgrim crashing Cayman’s third goal.
Then to further demoralize Jamaica, a poor Cayman short corner should have been cleared, but was not and Brendan Touhey took full advantage for the final goal for a 4-0 win.
The earlier match on Sunday morning was a mixed pick-up game featuring mostly players not participating in the Alex Horner match. This was hard fought, keeping the umpires on their toes, and a score 2-0 score with goals from Pinches and Hildred was a fair reflection on the game.
The organizers gave thanks to the main umpires, Andrew Eddington and Mike Wynee, committee members, Jacques Scott, Mike’s Ice and Camana Bay.