The second night of the Old Mutual iWYZE International School Series offered as much excitement as the opening night with more frenetic play and superb crowd support in Pietermaritzburg. Once again, the games were streamed on YouTube, with the likes of Cindy Hack and Jethro Eustice on commentary rounded off the product fantastically.
Boys | South Africa 4-4 Australia
The opening game of the series produced a pulsating 3-3 draw, where both teams felt they could be more clinical and take advantage of circle entries throughout the game. It was a less frenetic start this time round as both teams felt out the action tentatively in the early exchanges. The game ignited in the 19th minute when the superb Craig Marais gave the Australians the lead with a goal that came out of nowhere, showing his clinical ability. The goal spurred South Africa into action and Cody Posthumus hit the post from a penalty corner, the resultant melee produced another penalty corner which was eventually put away by Luke Wynford after a goal mouth scramble. Three minutes later it was Samuel Bell who scored with a simple effort from a PC, which would have disappointed the SA team with its soft nature. It took only two minutes though before Cody Posthumus levelled for the host team again with a superb drag flick. South Africa then took the lead through another goal mouth scramble and it was Angelo Walstroom who converted. 3-2 at half time.
A more technical astute second half saw Australia level through a Ky Willott penalty stroke in the 40th minute, South Africa though took the lead again through a Peter Jarvis deflection. But for the second game in a row South Africa did not protect their lead giving away another debatable penalty stroke, which I think the umpire got spot on, which Ky Willott converted to secure a second draw and keep the series very much in the balance for the final match.
SA Boys Team – Taine Bird, Suubi Sekawabe, Andre Bradford, Jared Campbell, Mpumelelo Maphumulo, Luke Wynford, Idrees Abdulla, Teven Petersen, Cody Posthumus, Peter Jarvis, Angelo Walstroom, Marvin Simons, Matt Dewar (c), Ivann van der Merwe, Joshua Findlay, Steven Conway, Niel Raath & Sihle Ngcongo
Girls | South Africa 3-1 Australia It was a far more conservative game to start when the girl’s sides played in the later game and took a full 29 minutes before the opening goal of the game when Kayla de Waal capitalised for the South Africans on the profligacy of the Australians. It was a brilliant finish by de Waal to give the South Africans the lead.
The score remained the same until the second half and Australia were delighted when Ruby Harris levelled from a field goal in the 58th minute to set up a superb finish to the match. With just 10 minutes remaining it was over to the player of the match from the opening game, Bianca Woods, to separate the two sides with a great finish after Laila Williams fantastic skills set up the goal.
As Australia pushed to level the game and keep the series alive it left gaps at the back and Edith Molikoe, who has just been selected for the SA Indoor side to play in Zimbabwe, converted a late goal with the reverse strike to seal the match and a historic first series for the South Africans over the Australians.
SA Girls Team – Mishka Ellis, Jacolene Mclaren, Ammaarah Hendricks (c), Edith Molikoe, Angela Welham, Carienke Jacobs, Kayla de Waal, India Hardie, Thati Zulu, Bianca Wood, Francisca Darkoh, Zimkhita Smayile, Laila Williams, Samantha Smuts, Julia Hoal, Jean-Leigh du Toit & Elita van Staden
Tonight will be the final match of the series with the boy’s game at 18:40 and the girls at 17:00. You can watch the matches live on YouTube.