Blackbirds Narrowly Defeated In Premier Division Debut
Blackbirds found victory in their 2-1 loss
The Hockey Blackbirds (men) finally got their first well deserved taste of Premier Division hockey, when they faced Combermere School Old Scholars (CSOS) over the weekend. 

Starting without Captain Shane Lewis, veteran midfielder Bradley Harris and prolific goal scorer John Warner, the guys had some problems settling into the match for much of the first half. Nevin Roach, who showed up to play after much pleading from his teammates, could not bring organization to his defense and the team suffered as a result, as CSOS got their first item few minutes into the match.
Lewis, Harris and Warner arrived sometime after the Blackbirds conceded the first goal, however the tone of the match did not change much as the guys were caught chasing CSOS, who enjoyed 70% of the ball possession according to the newly hired UWI Blackbirds statistician. Right midfielder and national player Kris Holder, tried to bring about some cohesiveness on attack, but the Blackbirds could not peck through CSOS’s defense entirely.
Twelve minutes before the half-time interval, the Blackbirds were dealt another blow after a miss-clearance by Roach turned out to be a gift for CSOS striker Gregory Puckerin. The young lads went into the half time break down 2-0, but after a much needed team talk with Coach Colin Elcock, returned to the pitch with much improvement.
The Blackbirds tightened up on defense, foiling any attack thrown at their nest. Ball possession increased, and the young lads began to pressure CSOS. Fifteen minutes after the restart, Holder linked up with Warner, who slid in on the left side to send a low reverse stick shot into the goal, making the score 2-1. The guys saw a couple of wasted opportunities, but continued to knock on the CSOS door.
Ten minutes after registering their first goal, the UWI hockey players crafted another brilliant attacking play to split the CSOS defense wide open. This was arguably the best opportunity for the remainder of the match, but an equalizer for the Blackbirds was not meant to be, as Kevin Belle played the ‘hero’ role, shooting just wide, instead of making the extra pass which would have resulted in a definite goal.
Neither team caused a change to the score sheet in the remaining minutes of the match. The Blackbirds found victory in their 2-1 loss, giving a respectable showing in the debut in the Premier Division.
 - Nevin Roach -