Two weeks ago, if you had told me that after ten matches of indoor hockey the two South African sides would not have tasted defeat against their higher ranked Swiss opposition, I would have challenged you to renew your prescription.
Of course, I’m not saying that we couldn’t win, but just that it the nature of the game would prove that to be unlikely. Instead as we sit here both the men and women have won four of the five tests with a draw in the other. The BlitzStoks got their most comfortable win with a 4-2 win, while the women were unable to win for the first time in the series with a 1-1 draw.
The SA Indoor ladies, superbly sponsored by SPAR, have been immense throughout the series, but when they went 1-0 up through inspirational captain Cindy Hack you would have strongly suspected that they would be able to hold on for a fifth consecutive victory in the series. But the Swiss have played better hockey at Sunningdale and emerged with a leveller through Tamara Trosch in the 34th minute.
Although the South African squad will be happy with the way the series has gone, their consistent excellence over the past 3 years has meant that they will be looking for nothing less than victory in the final game of the series.
While the SA Women were largely considered to have a shout in the series, the BlitzStoks were not expected to. They were hopeful of sneaking a win or two in the series and they did that in Durban, but since coming to Cape Town they have picked up the gears and have produced not just one, but two outstanding performances on the very big Sunningdale court.
Mustapha Cassiem managed his fourth and fifth international goals in the last quarter to turn a 2-2 draw into a 4-2 win. In just two test matches the 17-year-old has already announced himself on the international indoor stage louder than Hugh Bladen after a night of beers.
Kyle Esau also made it two goals in his two appearances while new captain Jethro Eustice had earlier opened the scoring. With the series already resulting in the most successful series in BlitzStoks history, it will be considered a massive success regardless of the result. Of course, David Joshua will be looking for nothing short of a win!