The University of the West Indies (UWI), at Cave Hill, Barbados

The University of the West Indies

at Cave Hill, Barbados

Moving on up!
12/1/2010
SCH Hockey Men Pull Off Emphatic Victory to Secure Promotion
 
After weeks of anticipation brewing inside the SCH camp, the men finally came up against their greatest rivals for the BHF Men’s 1st Division League title, Combermere School Old Scholars (CSOS), on November 20th. This Saturday evening match fixture saw a mixture of youth and experience taking to the field for what was expected to be 70 minutes of intense competition.
 
Although spirits were a little dampened by the rain, the teams’ committed supporters drew their energy from the intensity of the on-field play. Within ten minutes of action, SCH drew first blood when John Warner put one past the CSOS keeper in open play. The passing style and organised team structure of the SCH men continued as they pressed for a second goal. Ten minutes after scoring the first item, Warner struck again for SCH, after some good defensive play and a brilliant pass just inside the 25 from Nevin Roach. CSOS were not completely outplayed however, and were able to slot one home past SCH’s goal keeper Graydon Nicholls, just eight minutes before half-time.
 
With a 2-1 lead at half time, SCH were beaming with confidence but knew they still had to stay focused in order to deny CSOS and secure their 10th victory for the season. As the teams returned to their battle, both certainly with goals in mind, they immediately regained the intensity with which the first half had ended.
 
Two minutes into the second half, a defensive blunder by defender Corey Goddard resulted in CSOS being awarded a penalty, which their veteran forward Paul Pounder made the most of to score the eaqualiser. This did not affect SCH however, as the young men continued their high intensity play, with Kris Holder and Bradley Harris stringing together passes in the midfield to spearhead the attack. SCH won numerous penalty corners, but were unfortunately able to convert any to take the lead. They paid the price for missed opportunities later on when CSOS counter-attacked from SCH’s penalty corner and took advantage of a scrambling defence to secure a one goal advantage.
 
The SCH Hockey Men with their comparative limited experience needed to find a way to consolidate and regain their confidence. With continued support from the sidelines it was apparent that the spirits of the SCH team never fell. The game continued with strong defensive and attacking plays from both sides. Star defender and captain, Shane Lewis, commanded his defence, while Holder, Harris, Warner and Justin Catlin made their presence felt on attack. After a few more unsuccessful penalty corner attempts, the 17-minute deadlock was finally broken in the 58th minute with Warner sending a low shot into the corner of the CSOS goal bar to level the score at 3-3 and bring up his hat-trick.
 
Exhibiting a new found confidence and having the taste of a 10th victory on the tips their tongues, the SCH team fought hard to make the victory a reality. In the penultimate minute of the game SCH created another scoring opportunity in the form of a penalty corner. After the initial shot was saved, Catlin pounced on the rebound and rifled a shot which was heading a bit wide of the goal. Midfielder Harris was able to lunge at the ball and send it into the net to secure the much awaited victory for the SCH team.
 
The victory was secured, the team was jubilant, the supporters were overjoyed and the opponents distraught. The team is now one match away from a perfect record in the 2010 season and will be the Champions of the BHF Division 1 League for 2010. SCH men will also gain promotion to the Premier Division after four years of participating in the national competition.
 
- Gina Belle / Nevin Roach -