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Perfect run – Barbados’ men’s hockey team unbeaten at CAC Games; advance to semis to play T&T 

By Rawle Toney 

Hunting their first Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games men’s hockey finals appearance since the 2002 games in Puerto Rico, Barbados cruised by Jamaica 4-2 on Sunday in their final group-stage match. 

With this victory, Barbados finished at the top of Pool A, securing the maximum nine points from their three unbeaten games.  

Playing in the Dominican Republic, the Tridents, on their way to picking up their fourth head-to-head win against Jamaica in as many games, got off to a good start through Justin Catlin six minutes into the proceedings. 

However, it took Rashad McCarthy just two minutes later to pull one back for Jamaica. 

Marlon Daniel had an opportunity to give Barbados the advantage before the second period, but his attempt was saved by Jamaica’s goalkeeper, Ajani Burton. 

Nevertheless, Shonkeel Wharton (26′) and Khodi Gibson (28′) scored back-to-back goals for Barbados, displaying their relentless performance in the second period. 

Barbados’ Keenan Knight pulls off a brilliant save against Jamaica at the CAC Games. He has only conceded two goals in the tournament.

Heading into the third quarter with a 3-1 lead, Barbados encountered a resilient Jamaican defence. Despite their own resilience, the Jamaicans prevented the table-toppers from scoring in that period. 

In the 56th minute, Kris Holder continued his exceptional form for Barbados, extending their lead to 4-1. 

Although Shemar Gordon scored a late stroke for Jamaica, it wasn’t enough to secure a victory, resulting in their elimination from the tournament.

In other matches, Trinidad and Tobago defeated the Dominican Republic 9-0, Mexico triumphed over El Salvador with an impressive 11-0 victory, and Cuba emerged victorious against Guyana (5-3).

Barbados will face Trinidad and Tobago, the second-placed team in Pool B, while defending champions Cuba will clash with Mexico in the semifinals scheduled for Tuesday. 

Trinidad and Tobago is the only English-speaking Caribbean team to have won the men’s CAC tournament, achieving victory in 2002 when they defeated Barbados 3-2. 

Barbados has secured the bronze medal twice (1982, 2010) and finished fourth on four occasions (1986, 1993, 1998, 2014).

Apart from the 2002 tournament and the 2010 edition when Mexico emerged as champions, all other championships since 1982 have been won by Cuba.

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