After a week of intense hockey action, the final day of the 2018 SA Women’s Hockey IPT, hosted by SPAR KZN Raiders, saw 9 games played across the two divisions to decide the final placing in for this year. Incredibly 6 of the 9 games were decided by showdowns, meaning the final day could very well rather have been called the IPT 2018 Showdownsᵀᴹ. There can be only one place to start however and that is in the final game of the day when Southern Gauteng took on Tuffy Western Province to determine the champion. Southern Gauteng took a lead in the first quarter through their inspirational captain Robyn Johnson but found themselves immediately level in the second quarter through Tarryn Glasby. After the glut of late goals earlier in the day (More about this later), both teams would have been on edge, but they held out to end the day with another showdown. The first three showdowns were converted by Kristen Paton and Robyn Johnson for Southerns, while Glasby finished with professionalism for Tuffy Western Province. From there on out it was the goalkeeper’s game and when Kelsey Bailey was denied by Marlise van Tonder, the Southern Gauteng ladies were jubilant at regaining a title last won in 2015.
In the B Section final the all-conquering Northern Daisies had met their match and with less than a minute on the clock remaining trailed to SACD A through Courtney Abraham’s early goal. But Monique Scheepers had other ideas and levelled the game through a fantastically taken field goal. Northern Daisies then won the showdowns 3-2 to secure promotion to the A Section in 2019.
There were also late goals in the Bronze medal match when Dirkie Chamberlain led North West to a 1-0 victory in the 53rd minute, in the 56th minute of the 5th place playoff when Bianca Wood levelled for SA Invitation Under 21 to take the game to showdowns and in the 55th and 59th minutes of the Relegation game as Mpumalanga took a late lead but were pegged back by Stacey Hiron for the KZN Mynahs to send another game to showdowns. At the end of the tournament, the individual award winners were sponsored by SPAR KZN Raiders (B Section Prizes), Grays Hockey (Top Goalscorer and Goalkeeper A Section) and Tsogo Sun (A Section Players of the Tournament). The winners are as follows:
Grays Goalkeeper of the Tournament - Phumelela Mbande (Northern Blues)
Grays Top Goalscorer - Dirkie Chamberlain (North West)
Tsogo Sun Junior Player of the Tournament - Simone Gouws (SA Invitational U21)
Tsogo Sun Players of the Tournament - Dirkie Chamberlain (North West) & Shelley Jones (SPAR KZN Raiders)
SPAR KZN Hockey Goalkeeper of the Tournament - Callen O'Brien (SG Nuggets)
SPAR KZN Hockey Top Goalscorer - Harriet du Toit (Northern Daisies)
SPAR KZN Hockey Junior Player of the Tournament - Francisca Darkoh (Border)
SPAR KZN Hockey Player of the Tournament - Chrizelle Andries (Northern Daisies)
SA Hockey would like to thank our sponsors for their continued and valuable support: Private Property, Tsogo Sun, Old Mutual, iWyze, Grays, Olympic International, SRSA, Virgin Active, Fox 40, Greenfields and Belgotex Sport.