September 5, 2007

22nd Banks International Hockey Festival
August 19-25, 2007 - Bridgetown, Barbados

The 22nd edition of the Banks International Hockey Festival (August 19-25, 2007), the jewel in the crown of the Barbados Hockey Federation, produced a satisfyingly high quality of play with local teams carrying off the four titles.

2007 Banks International Festival
2007 Banks International Festival
2007 Banks International Festival
2007 Banks International Festival
2007 Banks International Festival 2007 Banks International Festival
All pictures by Craig Cozier

Dominion, boasting a number of Barbados representatives, toasted their fourth menís crown in the last five years with a 3-2 victory over Grasshappers, a well-oiled unit from the Netherlands.

Rohan ďTenoĒ Thomas, who now spends much of his time in England representing Harrogate in the National League North, inspired the win with three drag flick penalty corner conversions.

A Badd Connection landed the womenís competition with an entertaining 3-2 victory over the multi-cultural Old Gold Roosters in the final. Roosters, locally-based but with players from Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, England, United States and Ireland in their line-up, came up just short against a speedy ABC side, led by national cap Patrina Brathwaite.

The mixed title went to Remnants, their ninth success in the past decade, as they halted Dominonís hopes of a double with a 4-2 win in that final.

The veterans division was won by All Stars, who needed penalty strokes to defeat New York Islanders, an American team with a distinctly Caribbean flavour, in the final.

The week-long tournament began back in 1986 and has attracted visitors from nearly 20 countries over the past two decades. The 2007 version attracted 49 teams, with six from the United Kingdom, two from the United States and one each from Trinidad & Tobago, Germany and the Netherlands.

Many of the teams were privileged to play at the famous Kensington Oval, home of cricketís World Cup final in April. The spanking new facility housed two, beautifully manicured grass fields. The other venues were the islandís only Astroturf facility, at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex, which hosted group matches as well as all the semi-finals and finals, and Banks Brewery, a grass field at the sponsorís facility.

2007 Banks International Festival
Picture by Craig Cozier

Next yearís tournament runs from August 17-23, 2008. Check for detail.