It was a rain filled day 3 of the NORCA Beach Handball Championships but the action would not be stalled as the Trinidad and Tobago Women and Men’s Beach Handball teams took to field for their quarter final and semi-final matches in Saith Park, Chaguanas.
The weather outside was frightful yesterday. Not snow, but the rain coming down in buckets on the sandy beach courts next to the Central Regional Indoor Sporting Complex in Saith Park. The National women’s team would get the softer showers as they played the first quarterfinal game of the day against Dominica.
It was a tightly contested game and a low scoring affair compared to the earlier preliminary matches in days 1 and 2. Dominica opened the scoring early in the first period, but Tiffany Anthony (3 goals) and Lilian Matthews (2 goals) would ensure that the “Trinbago Snipers” would take the first period with a score of 16-11. Lordiah Matthews (2 goals) and Cristine Villafana (1 goal) would round off the scoring
The 2nd game was even closer, with both teams’ defensive units becoming even stingier and the goalies keeping the nets relatively clean, especially Snipers goalie, Whitney George. Her, along with defenders Shanice Allen, Dellice Guada and Amirah John held the Dominican attack to seven points. T&T would advance to the semi-final later in the day with 12-7 2nd period win, thanks goals from Anthony (2 goals) and the Matthews sisters Lilian (3 goals) and Lordiah (1 goal).
They would face a Mexican team that has yet to be defeated in the tournament so far and were coming of a blowout win against Barbados (2-0: 24-3, 21-2).
T&T and Mexico were neck and neck early in the 1st period, with Cristine Villafana taking her turn as the go-to scorer, bagging 4 of T&T’s first 5 goals. However, T&T would miss out on some scoring opportunities and gave up control to the Mexicans would close out first period 26-16. Villafana had 5 goals this period with Anthony scoring 2. Lilian Matthews and Shanice Allen also contributed to the scoring with one each.
The 2nd period looked a lot like the 1st with Mexico getting out to an early lead and never looked back. Lordiah Matthews scored 4 goals in the 2nd with Lilian scoring the last goal of the tournament for the women. Mexico defeated Trinidad and Tobago 23-10 in the 2nd and secured their place in the Finals against the USA who defeated Puerto Rico 2-0 (24-11, 26-12) in their semi-final game.
It was now the men’s turn to take on their Mexican opponents and a chance to avenge their sister team. Both teams would trade scores early on but the Mexican defense would tighten up and the offense would pull away. Mexico would take the period, 18-7. Scoring for Trinidad and Tobago was provided by Dericc Biggart with 2 goals and Stefon Solomon and Hayden Mitchell Jr. each with 1.
The 2nd half Trinidad and Tobago went blow for blow with the Mexicans with Renaldo Scott and Hayden Mitchell Jr. doing the majority of the scoring in the game. Mexico scored a 1 point goal midway through the 2nd period, which helped T&T maintain a 1 point lead until the sound of the whistle. The period ended 18-17 in favor of T&T to force a Shoot-Out. However, it just wasn’t meant to be as T&T failed to convert 2 of their 3 shots, giving Mexico the 6-1 win in the shoot-out. Mexico advances to the final to take on the USA, who defeated Puerto Rico 2-0 (30-9, 24-20).
Both Trinidad and Tobago teams will play a 3rd place play-off today against Puerto Rico, with the women playing first at 4:00 pm and then the men at 4:30 pm.
Other Day 3 Scores:
USA defeated Haiti 2-0 (21-10, 18-4)
Puerto Rico defeated St. Kitts and Nevis 2-0 (11-9, 8-1)
Dominica defeated Barbados 2-0 (26-12, 13-8)
Haiti defeated St. Kitts and Nevis 2-0 (16-14, 30-20)