Paragon women and Petrotrin men will begin defence of their respective Open Division titles when the tenth annual Ventures Hockey Club's Invitational International Indoor Hockey Tournament flicks off at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, O'Connor Street, from noon today.
The Colin Thompson-coached Paragon, featuring the national senior women’s quartet of Avion Ashton, Alanna Lewis, Zene Henry and Kristin Thompson women will begin their defence against visiting USA club Edge (Fear None I), coached by former national women’s team coach, Kelvin “Koo” Nancoo from 1.40 pm.
Paragon will also face Fear None II at 7 pm tonight before meeting Notre Dame which features four national players in Blair Wynne, Kayla Brathwaite, Stephanie Whiteman and Arielle Du Quesnay, and host club Ventures I and Ventures II, respectively, at the end of which the top four teams will advance to the semifinals, and hence the championship and third place matches.
The Ventures I squad retains its core of seasoned campaigners inclusive of current and former national players Amanda George, Yesenia Luces, Cristina Abreu, Kristin Abreu, Arielle Williams and Arielle Cowie and will get the tournament off and running against its fellow clubmates Ventures II from noon.
Among the men, reigning two-time national indoor champion Petrotrin, led by experienced core of present and past national standouts in Dwain Quan Chan, Atiba Whittington, Solomon Eccles, Nicholas Triston Grant, Ron Alexander and Wayne Legerton, will start as favourites to repeat last year’s success.
However, they will face a strong test from recent Shandy Carib Magnolias Indoor Festival winner Notre Dame and runner-up Paragon as well as Defence Force and Queen’s Park, all including national players on their line-ups.
Tonight, in their opener men’s Pool A opener, the Oilmen face long-time rival, Queen’s Park from 8.30 pm while the Dames and Malvern are also in the group.
Pool B features two matches today, with Defence Force meeting Paragon from 4.40 pm and Fatima versus Defence Force at 9.20 pm.
The teams in the men’s Pool A will play one round of matches after which the top two qualify for the semifinal, whereas in Pool B, the three teams will play each other twice before the top two advances.
In the Veterans, national champions Queen’s Park and current title-holder Defence Force are joint favourites and will knock sticks in their opener from 12.50 pm today in the six-team pool which also involves Corona Fatima, Notre Dame, Malvern and visiting St Martin.
The teams in the Open Divisions are competing for a top prize of US$1,000 each, plus a trophy and hampers, while there will also be individual awards for the “Most Valuable Player,” “Goalkeeper of the Tournament” and “Most Goals” in each category.
TOURNAMENT GROUPINGS AND FIXTURES
Pool A: Petrotrin, Queen’s Park, Notre Dame, Malvern,
Pool B: Defence Force, Fatima, Paragon
Ventures 1, Ventures II, Fear None I, Fear None II, Notre Dame, Paragon
Veterans: Queen’s Park, Defence Force, Fatima, St Martin, Malvern, Notre Dame
Ventures I vs Ventures II, 12 noon
Paragon vs Fear None I, 1.40 pm
Notre Dame vs Fear None II, 3.10 pm
Fear None I vs Ventures I, 5.30 pm
Fear None II vs Paragon, 7 pm
Men: Pool B:
Defence Force vs Paragon, 4.40 pm
Defence Force vs Fatima, 9.20 pm
Men: Pool A:
Petrotrin vs Queen’s Park, 8.30 pm
Queen’s Park vs Defence Force, 12.50 pm
Malvern vs Fatima, 2.30 pm
Notre Dame vs St Martin, 3.50 pm
Fatima vs Queen’s Park, 6.20 pm
Defence Force vs Notre Dame,
Ventures I vs Fear None II, 12 noon
Ventures II vs Fear None I, 2.30 pm
Fear None II vs Ventures II, 4.40 pm
Fear None I vs Notre Dame, 7 pm
Men: Pool A:
Notre Dame vs Malvern, 1.40 pm
Petrotrin vs Notre Dame, 6.20 pm
Fatima vs Paragon, 3.50 pm
Defence Force vs Fatima, 8.30 pm
St Martin vs Malvern, 12.50 pm
Defence Force vs Fatima, 3.10 pm
Queen’s Park vs St Martin, 5.30 pm
Notre Dame vs Malvern, 7.40 pm