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Hockey underdogs lose 10-1

27 June 2002

Greg Nicol grabs a hat trick as South Africa blitz Barbados 10-1 in the opening pool 3 match.

Paul Inniss

Barbados goal keeper Paul Inniss had a busy match

It was soon clear that the Caribbean representatives are not going to win hockey gold, but they might well come out top in the popularity stakes.

Mark Murray Barbados goal scorer said: “We’re just sorry that we couldn’t go on and score at least two more goals. We started to frustrate South Africa late in the game but by then it was already 10-1.”

As the South Africans piled up the goals, so the near-capacity crowd swung ever more enthusiastically behind the underdogs to cheer their occasional magic moments.

They particularly liked the way the Barbados players did a lap of honour at the end to return the applause by slapping their sticks in appreciation of the encouragement they had received.

There was a great roar when Mark Murray scored their only goal with a high flick from a short corner after 42 minutes, while Kwame Emmanuel, with his long pony-tailed dreadlocks and tricky dribbling, became an instant star in the eyes of the fans.

None of this stopped the South African goal machine of course.

Justin King had them ahead from a short corner in only the third minute and by half-time Emile Smith, Mike Cullen, Greg Nicol two and Craig Fulton had taken the score to six.

Clyde Abrahams, Mike Cullen, Greg Nicol and Craig Jackson added the second-half goals to emphasise that Australia and New Zealand are not going to have things all their own way in this group.

Kwame Emmanuel said: “We’re a little bit disappointed but it’s good experience. It’s the first time Barbados has played at this level and you can’t expect to come up with a big win. I guess we need to build some more.”

Info News Service/dm/sdb

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