BY ROMULUS HUTA
IN PORT VILA, VANUATU
THE Solomon Islands national men’s and women’s hockey teams have finished on the third place of the Oceania qualification for the World Hockey Series which was concluded in Vanuatu on Saturday.
This follows the victories recorded over Tonga in each of the third and fourth play-offs of the men’s and women’s divisions, respectively.
The final play-offs on Saturday wrapped things up in the five-day event held at the Wan SmolBag Stadium in Port Vila.
In the men’s competition, Solomon Islands ended the play-off for third and fourth with a 4-0 thrashing of Tonga.
Paul Brown opened scoring for Solomon Islands in the first period before Captain John Wesley increased the lead to 2-0 in the second period.
Things turn sweeter for Solomon Islands in the final period when two goals via Ralph Masae and Paul Luiramo sealed the 4-0 victory before the fulltime buzzer.
In the women’s play-off for third and fourth, the national women representatives defeated Tonga with a 4-1 victory.
A double from Jeremie Oliver and one each to Claudia Votu and Hilda Kabini ensured Solomon Islands collected a win in their final match.
President of Solomon Islands Hockey Federation (SIHF) Nihal Seneviratne congratulated both teams for the third place finish.
Meanwhile, Vanuatu won the men’s while Fiji won the women’s competition.
The victories enabled Vanuatu men and Fiji women to qualify onto the next stage of the World Hockey Series which also doubles as the Oceania qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.