The Northerns Blues women’s team, the 2014 IPT champions, are probably feeling this could be their year again as they beat Wits 3-0 on Wednesday to give themselves a good chance of topping their pool in the Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals at the Randburg Hockey Stadium.
Two wins and a draw in their pool games have left Northerns with seven points and only Tuffy Western Province can catch them, providing they beat the Spar KZN Raiders by three clear goals later on Wednesday.
Northerns came roaring out of the blocks with three goals in the first 12 minutes, but this brilliance did not last, thanks in part to Wits improving greatly over the last three quarters and also due to their own problems at short-corner time, where they earned over a dozen but only converted two of them
Jacinta Jubb is a powerful striker of the ball and she scored both the short-corner goals in the first four minutes to put Northerns 2-0 up, first slotting home from her traditional position at the top of the castle and then taking a few steps right before blasting in again.
A fine strike by Welma Luus produced a field goal from the left side of the D in the 12th minute, but thereafter Northerns wasted numerous short corners, which is going to be a threat to their ambitions if it continues during the tense knockout stages which begin on Thursday.
The other women’s A Section pool is likely to be topped by Southern Gauteng and North-West.
In the women’s B Section, Zimbabwe landed themselves a place in the top two of their pool as they beat SA Country Districts 6-2, Michelle Williams and Nicola Watson both claiming hat-tricks.
KZN Inland drew 3-3 with Northerns B to finish second in Pool B behind KZN Mynahs.
In the men’s B Division, North-West ensured that they will finish in the top two of their pool with a 3-2 win over Eastern Gauteng, while SA Country Districts landed their first win with a 3-0 triumph over KZN Inland, who only arrived in Johannesburg with 11 players.