It was a battle of the giants when the Bingo Spartans met Saints in their first-round clash in the Solo Under-19 Hockey League on Saturday afternoon at Saints ground.
With each team entering the game boasting a winning record, outcome of the game would determine the winner of the first round and the favourite to take the trophy at the end of the second.
The Spartans looked as though they would dominate the match from their third minute goal by prolific striker Abosaide Cadogan, but it was Saints who would come ever so close on two occasions in the first half. Goal line saves by Madison Fernandes and Makeda Harding, however, managed to keep Saints scoreless and give the Spartans a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The Spartans continued to enjoy majority possession in midfield in the second half, and were a more productive side in their forward line than they were in the first half. Midfielder Sarah Klautky scored for Spartans with a powerful shot in the first minute of resumption to nudge the Spartans’ lead to 2-0.
While through Kizia Chinian Saints managed a breakaway goal 11 minutes later, the outcome appeared to be resting in the hands of the Spartans, who seemed increasingly dangerous with every attack.
Klautky scored a second goal for the Spartans in the 33rd minute, and teammate Kirsten Gomes added a double of her own in the closing minutes, to give the Bingo Spartans a comfortable 5-1 victory.
St. Joseph’s versus the GCC Her-ricanes was the other girls’ match of the afternoon. It proved to be a war of attrition, with both teams seeking their first points of the competition. With the game being played mostly at mid-pitch, both sides struggled to put together any meaningful attack, leading to a scoreless first half.
While the second half saw a bit more excitement at the goal ends, it would not be until six minutes from full time that St. Joseph earned a penalty corner that would be converted through the powerful Janelle Frederick. Frederick’s strike was the lone goal of the match, giving St. Joseph a 1-0 victory.
The Bingo Spartans emerged at the top of the pool at the end of the first round with nine points, followed by Saints with six, St. Joseph with three and the GCC Her-ricanes on zero. Matches will continue every weekend at Saints ground until May 20.