Four days of intense action at St Johns DSG in Pietermaritzburg culminated in two fantastic finals played in front of a capacity crowd on Saturday night. In both the men’s and women’s tournaments there is a new name being carved into the trophy after Western Province and Southern Gauteng respectively dethroned the defending champions KZN Raiders.

The Women’s final saw a repeat of the 2018 final as the SPAR KZN Raiders looked to defend a trophy they had won for each of the previous four years. They had secured their place in the final with a thrilling 4-3 win in the KwaZulu Natal derby against Inland earlier in the day. They also reached the half way point in the lead when Jessica Lardant finished from a penalty corner with the last play of a very tentative half of hockey.

They looked to build on that but were met with resolute defence from the Johannesburg side, who last won the trophy in 2013, with Kara Botes particularly impressing alongside her skipper Robyn Johnson. The play was largely happening between the circles but both Petro Stoffberg and Zimi Shange were more than a match for the chances that were created sporadically.

Southerns pulled level when tournaments top scorer, 17-year-old Cloe de Souza, pounced on a lack of defensive awareness to convert. This after a superb double save from Shange in goals. That goal gave Blake Goosen’s ladies the momentum and they continued to take advantage of the situations that arose. They would take the lead through their superb captain Robyn Johnson in the 36th minute and would see a chance to extend the lead through a penalty stroke saved by Shange. In the end they were able to hold out for a famous victory and break the stranglehold of the Raiders.

The individual awards were as follows:

Goalkeeper of the Tournament – Nicole la Fleur (Western Province)
Upcoming star of the Tournament – Kayla de Waal (Western Province)
Player of the Tournament – Amy Greaves (KZN Inland)

In the men’s tournament a first-time winner was going to be awarded as Namibia and Western Province took on each other. Namibia had earlier knocked out the 4-time defending champions the Raiders.

The Western Province men had selected a younger side for this tournament and gave Ross Willis his first go at the men’s side had played with a great self-belief throughout the tournament and started the final in the same way. 16-year-old wonderkid Mustapha Cassiem opened the scoring before Idrees Abdulla and Dayaan Cassiem made it 3-0 before the half-time break. All three goals were hallmarks of great special awareness and indoor hockey upbringing.

Namibia, who are meticulously led by all round nice guy Trevor Cormack, fought back in the way they always do and created a spectacle for the fans when they pulled the score back to 3-2 through Cody van der Merwe and Dakota Hansen. Both teams created chances, but neither was able to make them count and when the final penalty corner was repelled by Western Province they could celebrate their first senior indoor IPT title.

The individual awards were as follows:

Goalkeeper of the Tournament – Anton van Loggerenberg (Western Province)
Upcoming star of the Tournament – Mustapha Cassiem (Western Province)
Player of the Tournament – Dayaan Cassiem (KZN Inland)

In the Women’s B Section Namibia were the champions as they triumphed over North West in the final to secure promotion to the A Section in 2020.

Final Standings – Women’s A Section

  1. Southern Gauteng
  2. SPAR KZN Raiders
  3. KZN Inland
  4. Western Province
  5. SPAR KZN Mynahs
  6. Northern Blues
  7. Mpumalanga
  8. Western Province Peninsula

Final Standings – Women’s B Section

  1. Namibia
  2. North West
  3. KZN Robins
  4. Southern Gauteng Wits
  5. KZN Inland B
  6. Eastern Gauteng

Final Standings – Men

  1. Western Province
  2. Namibia
  3. KZN Raiders
  4. KZN Inland
  5. Southern Gauteng
  6. Northern Blues
  7. Eastern Province
  8. KZN Mynahs
  9. Southern Gauteng Wits
  10. KZN Inland B
  11. Mpumalanga
  12. Eastern Gauteng

The semi-finals took place in each of the three tournaments at the South African Indoor Hockey IPT 2019 in Pietermaritzburg this morning. The battles were intense with no match being decided by more than 2 goals. It was superb.

Women’s B Section

Namibia 4-3 SG Witsies

Namibia were expected to comfortably beat Witsies, as they had already done in the group stages. But Bridget Kee, coach of the Witsies, presented a master class in tactical awareness and the young Wits side matched Namibia blow for blow in an epic. They trailed 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 each time levelling the tie before Kaela Schimming eventually settled the tie for the Namibians.

North West 2-1 KZN Robins

They will be playing North West after the Potchefstroom side overcame a tough test from the KZN Robins. Lize Steyn was the hero capitalising on a Robins error in the 30th minute to take the lead and they never let go after that.

FINAL – North West vs. Namibia

Women’s A Section

SPAR KZN Raiders 4-3 KZN Inland

Arguably one of the best Indoor hockey IPT games in the time I have been following the sport was presented to an excited crowd. 8 times defending champions SPAR KZN Raiders were stunned by the intensity of the hosts and found themselves trailing 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2. They also were indebted to Cheree Greyvenstein who saved a penalty stroke. They levelled three times through Jess O’Connor, Kaz Bowyer and Kelly Reed. With just 3 minutes left on the clock they took the lead through Cindy Hack and managed to hang on until the final whistle.

Western Province 0-1 Southern Gauteng

Southerns managed to set up a repeat of the 2018 final in a defensive masterclass, inspired by their keeper Petro Stoffberg they took their one golden chance through Cloe de Souza. The youngster has managed to score some big goals for Southerns in this tournament to the delight of Blake Goosen. The management of the game from the Southerns defence was greatly marshalled by Kara Botes and Alex Kavanagh as they held on for a 1-0 win.

FINAL: Southern Gauteng vs. SPAR KZN Raiders

Men’s Tournament

Western Province 5-3 KZN Inland

Western Province surprised some, but none more than the hosts as they changed up their game plan to emerge as finalists. Having brought a younger, fresher squad littered with Psi talent, Province have probably exceeded their expectations of the tournament. Having led 4-1 at half-time they consolidated with a solid second half keeping the hosts at bay. For coach Ross Willis it was a superb result in his first IPT as a coach.

KZN Raiders (2) 1-1 (3) Namibia

The shockwaves were felt in the second semi-final as Namibia trailed to a superb Lungani Gabela goal but soaked up the pressure and made some superb last ditch saves from Liam Hermanus on the line. The Raiders tried to see down the clock, but Brynn Cleak stole in to net an equaliser right at the end. The match went to shootouts and after Jarryd Jones fired wide all others scored giving Namibia a historic win that ends 12 years of either Inland or KZN Raiders winning the men’s Indoor IPT.

FINAL – Western Province vs. Namibia

The third day of the 2019 South African Indoor Hockey IPT is moving day, much like the third day of a major golf tournament, you must move yourself into a position so that you put yourself in a position where the trophy is possible. In Indoor IPT terms that the semi-finals. Having looked at the Indoor IPT Women’s A Section Quarter Finals in the previous post, we now look at who are the four semi-finalists in the Women’s B Section and the Men’s Section.

Women’s B Section Semi Finals

11:00 Namibia vs. SG Witsies

The Namibians have raised their game throughout the tournament and the young side representing the African Champions have emerged as the favourites for the B Section. They secured top spot with a dominant 4-0 win over North West in the pool stage and will look to secure their place in the final with a dominant display against Witsies.

13:00 North West vs. KZN Robins

North West were four from four without conceding a goal before they met Namibia in the last pool game and purposes were the favourites for the title. That thought was soon questioned by the dominant display by the Namibians and they will now have to pick themselves up for the semi-final against the Robins, who they beat 1-0 in the pool stage. Their success will hinge largely on the form of the defensive duo of Amore de Wet and Dunell van Taak. The Robins have themselves performed extraordinarily well in the tournament and will no doubt be ready to pounce against the wounded Potchefstroom side.

Men’s Semi-Finals

11:00 Western Province vs. KZN Inland 

Western Province have breathed new life into their IPT with astute selections this year and Ross Willis is winning plaudits with his approach. Their youthful side will be up against one of the most experienced sides in the hosts. Justin Domleo is still the prototype of a perfect indoor hockey star and in Chris McCathie, Keenan du Toit and Matt Fairweather they have superb experience. Western Province are a fantastic team with a superb keeper and the dynamic Cassiem brothers making this look like a game to watch for sure. Its hard to pick a winner, so Ill just enjoy the game!

13:00 KZN Raiders vs. Namibia

The KZN Raiders secured top spot when they overcame Western Province 5-4 in the game of the tournament. The defending champions were pushed and pressured but managed to dig deep and find the answer to some difficult questions. It won’t get easier for them as they take on Namibia, the most cohesive unit at the tournament, who only finished second on goal difference after dismissing the challenge of Southern Gauteng last night. This promises to be a superb game with both teams wielding great coaches, individual match winning stars and a team culture to rival. I can’t wait.

The finals will take place later today and it will be an opportunity for someone to be crowned the champions of South African Indoor Hockey for 2019. All the results will be live here tomorrow!

It was another scorching day in Pietermaritzburg as the women’s A section Quarter Finals were confirmed, while North West and Namibia made their charge in the B section. In the Men’s Tournament Raiders, Namibia, Inland and Western Province maintained their 100% record to sit as front runners for the semi-finals.

Starting in the Women’s B section it was Shaun Hulley’s North West, the 2017 semi-finalists who have taken charge of the tournament. They did it with two clean sheets in a 2-0 win against SG Witsies and a 3-0 win against the Inland B side. That’s zero goals conceded in the tournament so far for the team only in the B section because they missed the 2018 tournament.

Namibia put their own challenge forward with two wins on the day beating KZN Inland B 5-1 and a solid 9-1 win over Eastern Gauteng. While the Robins will also still have a say in this tournament drawing 3-3 with Witsies after a good 5-1 win over the Eastern Gauteng side.

In the A Section top spot in Pool A was decided by the evening fixture between SPAR KZN Raiders and Western Province after both sides won their morning fixture. Raiders 3-1 against their “B” team the Mynahs, while Province beat Northerns 4-1.

The top of the table clash was a tense affair with Jess O’Connor breaking the deadlock for the Raiders just on the verge of half-time. In the second half the game was made safe by a brace from Cailynn Den Bakker before a late consolation goal for the exciting Kayla de Waal.

Pool B also featured a top spot shootout between Southern Gauteng and KZN Inland after they beat Mpumalanga 5-0 and WP Pens 4-0 respectively.

Lilian du Plessis looked like she wanted to put the game to bed against the hosts with two goals in the opening 8 minutes either side of a goal by Southerns captain Robyn Johnson. Alex Kavanagh was herself having another good game as Southerns held onto the victory to see themselves secure top spot and theoretically the easier quarter final.

Womens Results A Section

#             Date/Time                          Details                                 Scoreline             Venue

1             2019/02/20 14:00            SG v WPP (Pool B)            6 - 1 (2 - 1)          St Johns

2             2019/02/20 16:00            WP v KZNM (Pool A)        3 - 1 (3 - 0)          St Johns

3             2019/02/20 19:00            KZN v NG (Pool A)            3 - 1 (2 - 1)          St Johns

4             2019/02/20 20:00            MPU v KZNI (Pool B)        0 - 3 (0 - 2)          St Johns

5             2019/02/21 08:00            SG v MPU (Pool B)           5 - 0 (1 - 0)          St Johns

6             2019/02/21 09:00            KZN v KZNM (Pool A)       3 - 1 (1 - 0)          St Johns

7             2019/02/21 10:00            KZNI v WPP (Pool B)        4 - 0 (3 - 0)          St Johns

8             2019/02/21 12:00            WP v NG (Pool A)             4 - 1 (2 - 0)          St Johns

9             2019/02/21 15:00            KZNM v NG (Pool A)        3 - 5 (1 - 3)          St Johns

10           2019/02/21 16:00            MPU v WPP (Pool B)       2 - 0 (2 - 0)          St Johns

11           2019/02/21 20:00            KZN v WP (Pool A)            3 - 1 (1 - 0)          St Johns

12           2019/02/21 21:00            SG v KZNI (Pool B)            4 - 0 (3 - 0)          St Johns

Womens Results B Section

#             Date/Time                          Details                                 Scoreline             Venue

1             2019/02/20 15:00            NAM v KZNR (Pool A)      2 - 2 (1 - 0)          St Johns

2             2019/02/20 17:00            SGW v KZNIB (Pool A)     5 - 4 (3 - 2)          St Johns

3             2019/02/20 18:00            EG v NW (Pool A)             0 - 9 (0 - 4)          St Johns

4             2019/02/21 11:00            KZNR v EG (Pool A)          5 - 1 (2 - 1)          St Johns

5             2019/02/21 13:00            NAM v KZNIB (Pool A)     5 - 1 (1 - 0)          St Johns

6             2019/02/21 14:00            SGW v NW (Pool A)         0 - 2 (0 - 1)          St Johns

7             2019/02/21 17:00            EG v NAM (Pool A)           1 - 9 (1 - 6)          St Johns

8             2019/02/21 18:00            SGW v KZNR (Pool A)      3 - 3 (1 - 2)          St Johns

9             2019/02/21 19:00            NW v KZNIB (Pool A)       3 - 0 (0 - 0)          St Johns

 

So, the quarter final line up of the women’s A section are as follows:

#             Date/Time                          Details                                                Venue

13           2019/02/22 11:00            KZN v WPP (Quarter Final)            St Johns

14           2019/02/22 12:00            KZNI v NG (Quarter Final)              St Johns

15           2019/02/22 13:00            WP v MPU (Quarter Final)            St Johns

16           2019/02/22 14:00            SG v KZNM (Quarter Final)            St Johns

 

Womens B Section Fixtures – 22 February

#             Date/Time                          Details                                 Venue

10           2019/02/22 08:00            NW v KZNR (Pool A)        St Johns

11           2019/02/22 09:00            EG v KZNIB (Pool A)         St Johns

12           2019/02/22 10:00            SGW v NAM (Pool A)       St Johns

13           2019/02/22 16:00            NAM v NW (Pool A)         St Johns

14           2019/02/22 17:00            EG v SGW (Pool A)           St Johns

15           2019/02/22 18:00            KZNR v KZNIB (Pool A)    St Johns

In the Men’s tournament it was the KZN Raiders who put their hand up highest in Pool A with a good 6-2 win over the Mynahs before running riot in a 12-0 win against KZN Inland B Side, including four goals from Keagan Robinson, back from his knee injury.

Closely behind them was Western Province who had a comfortable 6-1 win in the opening game against Witsies before having to work for a 3-2 win against a well-coached Northern Blues. Mustapha Cassiem was the hero with a final minute winner completing his brace!

In Pool B it’s a sprint for top spot between the hosts and Namibia. Namibia were in a bullish mood in the morning winning 8-1 against EP and consolidated it with a 4-1 win over Mpumalanga in the afternoon game. They sit second on goal difference to the hosts to won 4-1 against Mpumalanga and put 10 past Eastern Gauteng. Ayden Shrives and Justin Domleo both earning hat-tricks.

Tomorrow will be the final two group games before the final and semi-finals take place on Saturday.

Mens IPT Results

#             Date/Time                          Details                                 Scoreline             Venue

1             2019/02/20 15:00            WP v KZNIB (Pool A)        5 - 3 (2 - 1)          GHS

2             2019/02/20 16:00            MPU v EP (Pool B)            3 - 4 (1 - 0)          GHS

3             2019/02/20 17:00            KZNC v SGW (Pool A)      5 - 3 (3 - 2)          GHS

4             2019/02/20 18:00            NAM v EG (Pool B)           6 - 2 (3 - 2)          GHS

5             2019/02/20 19:00            NG v KZNM (Pool A)        2 - 0 (1 - 0)          GHS

6             2019/02/20 20:00            SG v KZNI (Pool B)            2 - 4 (1 - 2)          GHS

7             2019/02/21 08:00            WP v SGW (Pool A)          6 - 1 (2 - 0)          GHS

8             2019/02/21 09:00            NAM v EP (Pool B)           8 - 2 (6 - 1)          GHS

9             2019/02/21 10:00            SG v EG (Pool B)                5 - 0 (1 - 0)          GHS

10           2019/02/21 11:00            NG v KZNIB (Pool A)        8 - 1 (6 - 1)          GHS

11           2019/02/21 12:00            KZNC v KZNM (Pool A)    6 - 2 (4 - 0)          GHS

12           2019/02/21 13:00            MPU v KZNI (Pool B)        1 - 4 (1 - 2)          GHS

13           2019/02/21 15:00            SG v EP (Pool B)                8 - 7 (3 - 2)          GHS

14           2019/02/21 16:00            KZNC v KZNIB (Pool A)    12 - 0 (6 - 0)        GHS

15           2019/02/21 17:00            NAM v MPU (Pool B)       4 - 1 (2 - 1)          GHS

16           2019/02/21 18:00            KZNM v SGW (Pool A)     5 - 2 (3 - 0)          GHS

17           2019/02/21 19:00            NG v WP (Pool A)             2 - 3 (1 - 1)          GHS

18           2019/02/21 20:00            EG v KZNI (Pool B)            0 - 10 (0 - 4)        GHS

Mens Fixtures (22 February)

#             Date/Time                          Details                                 Venue

19           2019/02/22 08:00            KZNM v KZNIB (Pool A)   St John's

20           2019/02/22 09:00            SG v MPU (Pool B)           St.John's

21           2019/02/22 10:00            NG v SGW (Pool A)           St John's

22           2019/02/22 11:00            EG v EP (Pool B)                St John's

23           2019/02/22 12:00            KZNC v WP (Pool A)         St.John's

24           2019/02/22 13:00            NAM v KZNI (Pool B)       St John's

25           2019/02/22 15:00            SGW v KZNIB (Pool A)     GHS

26           2019/02/22 16:00            MPU v EG (Pool B)           GHS

27           2019/02/22 17:00            WP v KZNM (Pool A)        GHS

28           2019/02/22 18:00            SG v NAM (Pool B)           GHS

29           2019/02/22 19:00            NG v KZNC (Pool A)          GHS

30           2019/02/22 20:00            KZNI v EP (Pool B)            GHS

The 2019 Indoor IPT got underway in blistering hot Pietermaritzburg on Wednesday, just four months after the completion of the 2018 Indoor IPT. The change is a positive one that sees the tournament played during the various indoor hockey seasons so raises the quality. Another positive is that there are a remarkable 14 teams in the women’s competition, highlighting the excitement and interest in the game of indoor hockey in South Africa.

And that’s where we will start. The women’s A section got underway with a solid 3-0 win for the hosts against Mpumalanga. They are being coached by Eloise Walters, the South African international is currently injured, but they were led superbly by Amy Greaves in a comfortable display.

The SPAR KZN Raiders, the defending champions, were tested brilliantly by the Northern Blues, inspired by the return of Celia Evans. The Raiders though were at the best as Calvin Price’s team got the victory with goals from Kelly Reed, Jess Lardant and a superb goal set up by Jess O’Connor and finished by SA Captain Cindy Hack. 3-1 the final score.

Western Province, led by the promising AJ Spieringshoek, were workmanlike in a good opening victory against the KZN Mynahs. The extremely exciting Kayla de Waal getting 2 of the goals for the Cape side in a 3-1 win.

Southern Gauteng themselves made their mark with their intention to improve on their silver medal from last year and inspired by 17-year-old Cloe de Souza’s hat-trick secured a 6-1 win over the Western Province Pens.

In the B Section the KZN Robins and Namibia played out a pulsating 2-2 draw, North West made their intentions for promotion clear wit ha walloping of Eastern Gauteng and Witsies stole a sensational 5-4 win against Inland B.

In the men’s section Western Province got a good victory for coach Ross Willis to start their campaign, 5-3 against KZN Inland B. There were five different goal scorers for WP including both Cassiem brothers who both received awards in the recent Hockey 24 Seven Indoor Hockey Awards.

Arguably the game of the day came in the least high profile one as Mpumalanga led EP 3-2 into the final minute, but Ignatius Malgraff, known more for his outdoor play, popped up with a double to see them home 4-3.

The defending champions the KZN Raiders were not at their best, missing Greg Last, but did thanks to Jarryd Jones hat-trick, to see off the threat of SG Witsies. The game was poised at 3-3 at half time before Jones and Eustice took the champs home.

Namibia, who are superbly coached by Trevor Cormack, were inspired by Brynn Cleak in their comfortable 6-2 win against Eastern Gauteng, although they were given a fright by going 2-0 down to early goals by Bradley Nunn and Kyle Cameron.

Bradley Sherwood and Adriaan Odendaal will the scorers as David Joshua’s Northerns overcame a spirited performance by the KZN Mynahs in a 2-0 win.

The final match of the day had blockbuster written over it as Southern Gauteng, silver medallists from the last couple of years, took on the hosts. South African world cup skipper Matt Fairweather was the star for the hosts netting all four in thrilling 4-2 win and a massive statement that the last winners before the current Raiders run are keen to make a challenge for the title.  

The Indoor Hockey IPT has been moved from October to February from 2019. The move makes sense as the IPT now takes place at a time when indoor is played across the country and importantly the globe, meaning the tournament taking place will bring an added element of form that is possibly lacking. The move also offers an added incentive to coaching teams who would have seen their opponents just a couple of months ago.

With the superb success of SPAR South Africa Women’s Indoor Hockey team in Europe and the continued growth of Psi, interest in indoor hockey is at an all time high and is echoed through the entries to the tournament. There are 14 Women’s teams, incredibly up from 8 just 16 months ago, while the men see a full 12 teams invited.

Starting off with the women’s section, the number of teams sees the tournament split into A and B Sections. The A Section features the top 8 sides from the IPT in October 2018, while the B Section features the remaining four sides along with the African Champions Namibia and 2017 IPT finalists North West.

The SPAR KZN Raiders will once again wear the favourites tag as they feature 7 of the players that were part of the SPAR South Africa European Tour including national skipper Cindy Hack, the exciting Jess Lardant and the superb Cheree Greyvenstein. They are likely to face a tough challenge from the hosts who will be led by Amy Greaves, fresh from her 50th SA Indoor cap and Edith Molikoe, one of the standout players of 2018.

Southern Gauteng will once again prove to be a to a tough opponent mixing the experience of Robyn Johnson, Petro Stoffberg and Kara Botes with the youthful brilliance of Cloe de Souza and Lethabo Nkoe. Western Province have also selected one of their most exciting squads in the past few years with the likes of Ammaarah Hendricks, Kayla de Waal and Angela Welhelm selected alongside national stars Jamie Southgate and Andrea Leader.   

There will also be an element of intrigue within the Northern Blues featuring hockey icon Kim Hubach and the return from injury of Celia Evans. It promises to be a superb tournament.

The B section will see an extremely young Namibian side led by Jerrica Cormack try to develop the next group of players, and North West looking to get themselves back into the A Section after not competing in the 2018 Indoor IPT.

In the mens tournament the KZN Raiders will be looking to complete yet another defence of the trophy and their aims will be helped by the return of Keagan Robinson and Jethro Eustice, as well as Ryan Hack in the coaching team. Namibia will be a tough opponent as the well-coached side of Trevor Cormack play with a high intensity that is difficult to match. Keep an eye out for Cody van der Merwe, Liam Hermanus and Dakota Hansen.

The hosts have secured the services of indoor hockey legends Chris McCathie and Justin Domleo which will likely lead them to be more competitive, while any side coached by David Joshua like the Northern Blues are going to be difficult side to beat.

Southern Gauteng will be looking to overcome their run of successive silver medals and will look to the flamboyant style of the likes of Delpiaro Langford, Marvin Simons and Rusten Abrahams.

The action takes place at Pietermaritzburg Girls High School and St. Johns in Pietermaritzburg. The tournament starts on Wednesday and the finals will take place on Saturday night. You can view the fixtures below with daily updates posted here. 

Click here for the fixtures >>> FIXTURES

 

For the fourth time in succession the SPAR KZN Raiders are the champions of women’s indoor hockey in South Africa. They earned the title through a show of supreme dominance throughout the week and although they were gainfully tested in the final against Pietie Coetzee’s Southern Gauteng, the weight of pressure paid off and earned the team the gold.

They did not have it all their own way as Calvin “Chicken” Price’s team were asked some difficult questions by Southern Gauteng. They were asked to stop a hard-working Lilian du Plessis, a goal hungry ex-Raider Kara Botes, a new international star Alex Kavanagh and to find a way past goalkeeper extraordinaire Namibian Petro Stoffberg. For much of the opening half those questions were asked, but on the verge of half-time they finally found an answer. A beautiful team move involving Jessica O’Connor, Tegan Fourie and Shelley Higgo saw the ball worked through to Kelly Reed and the South African ace fired the defending champions into the lead.

Karen Bowyer, the Mynah promoted to the Raiders on the back of Botes move to Johannesburg, was then the benefactor of a rare error from Stoffberg, who had already pulled off three or four high quality saves, and scored just her second goal of the tournament. Although that was a sucker punch for the Johannesburg ladies they refused to give up and having soaked up more pressure they pushed forward, and Ashleigh Redhead pulled a goal back. For the tactical approach to the game it was a goal well deserved and set up a tense final 9 minutes.

But this is where the Raiders showed their class. They managed the clock creating a few chances and limiting Southerns to small chances that Cheree Greyvenstein would save easily. The game was then put to bed in the 37th minute when Shelley Higgo was the benefactor of a goal mouth scramble the game was over.

Elsewhere in the tournament it was the KZN Inland women who stole a dramatic bronze medal with a penalty shootout victory over Western Province. This after equalising with 6 seconds left on the clock. The KZN Mynahs confirmed a back-to-back 5th place finish with a 4-3 win over WP Disa’s. Mpumalanga sealed their highest finish at 7. The remaining places were WP Peninsula (8th), Northern Blues (9th), Free State (10th), SG Witsies (11th) & Eastern Gauteng (12th).

The goalkeeper of the tournament was awarded to Petro Stoffberg (Southern Gauteng) and the player of the tournament was Jessica O’Connor (SPAR KZN Raiders).

It was as hot as I have experienced in Cape Town today and the action on the pitch did nothing to cool the arena down. In a day of 22 games I pick out five of my favourite ones on a thrilling day of action at the Velodrome.

Mens IPT 2018 – Northern Blues 6-6 Namibia

Namibia were sensational in opening an early 4-0 lead through Neethling, Finch, Cleak and Martins and they looked to be cruising to a second win of the tournament. But closing in on half time Lamprecht and Paulo pulled two goals back to wrestle the momentum. Namibia struck first in the second half through Neethling before three goals in two minutes pulled the game level. Lamprecht, Paulo and Forbes the scorers. Ernest Jacobs then scored a rare goal to give Namibia the lead but Janse levelled again for the Blues. Namibia then won a penalty stroke with 8 seconds left of the match, but Martins flick was saved by Champion to keep it level.

Mens IPT 2018 – KZN Raiders 5-3 Northern Blues

Having witnessed the Blues earlier draw with Namibia the Raiders knew they needed a win to set up a favourable quarter final. Keegan Hezlett, Jonty Robinson and Greg Last set up a fantastic first half but the Blues again fought back, through a Lamprecht double and another Steven Paulo goal. But the Raiders made sure of the win thanks to South African World Cup Star Jarryd Jones and Keegan Hezlett to win a tight game.

Women’s IPT 2018 – Western Province 1-1 WP Peninsula

In the classic “A” team takes on “B” team battle, the hosts derby lived up to expectation. The match was a tactical affair with Kaitlyn Byrne the absolute star for Pens denying chances regularly with class. Gillian Hermanus, Namibian World Cup Star, scored early for Province but the “B” side levelled on the stroke of half time as Rozanne Compion scored from open play. Although they had to defend gainfully the Pens were full value for their draw.

Women’s IPT 2018 – Northern Blues 2-4 SG Witsies

Northerns look a far better team than 12 months ago as Celia Evans works her magic as a coach, they also ran into a first half 2-1 lead thanks to Roxanne Paans. But an inspired performance by Lethabo Nkoe with a second half hat-trick made it a fantastic day for Blake Goosen and his team.

Women’s IPT 2018 – Mpumalanga 3-1 SG Witsies

Southerns followed up that dramatic victory with a historic defeat as Mpumalanga tasted victory for the first time ever over Witsies. The first goal of the game only came in the 31st minute through Jonker and Mpumalanga then got a second through Davey. Atkins pulled one back for Witsies, but the icing was put on the cake for Mpumalanga when Dunell van Taak punished a loose ball.

Among the other results were another two convincing wins for SPAR KZN Raiders in defence of the SA Indoor Women’s IPT title, Pietie Coetzee’s Southern Gauteng made their own shout too with a fantastic two victories and KZN Inland made it three out of three as well.

In the Men’s tournament Namibia, Southerns and Western Province remain undefeated after their three games.

SA Mens IPT 2018 | Day 2 Results

Western Province 14-2 Mpumalanga
KZN Raiders 4-0 WP Peninsula
Northern Blues 6-6 Namibia
Southern Gauteng 11-5 Eastern Gauteng
Mpumalanga 1-10 PSI WP Invitational
KZN Raiders 5-3 Northern Blues
KZN Mynahs 3-9 Namibia
Southern Gauteng 16-0 Mpumalanga
Northern Blues 9-3 WP Peninsula
Western Province 9-3 PSI WP Invitational

SA Women’s IPT 2018 | Day 2 Results

Southern Gauteng 11-0 Free State
KZN Inland 6-0 Mpumalanga
Western Province 1-1 WP Peninsula
Northern Blues 2-4 SG Witsies
SPAR KZN Raiders 24-1 Eastern Gauteng
KZN Mynahs 4-0 WP Disa’s
Mpumalanga 3-1 SG Witsies
KZN Inlands 4-2 WP Peninsula
SPAR KZN Raiders 12-0 WP Disa’s
KZN Mynahs 1-9 Southern Gauteng
Eastern Gauteng 1-8 Free State
Western Province 8-0 Northern Blues

Photo - Cindy Hack - Facebook

The opening day of the 2018 IPT saw a remarkable 119 goals scored across 12 games at an average of just under 10 goals a game. Incredibly 10 different players bagged themselves hat-tricks on an opening day that featured four shut outs as well. It was another day advertising how entertaining the sport of indoor hockey can be as an average of a goal every four minutes offered the spectators at the Belville Velodrome some great excitement.

The most score-full game of the day was an absolute classic as the defending champions the KZN Raiders Men were stunned 9-7 by Namibia in a game of high octane hockey. At half-time the score was 3-2, but there were few signs of what was to come in an explosive second half. 6 goals in 7 second half minutes saw Namibia surge to a 9-4 lead before a late fight back from the defending champions set up an unlikely finish, unfortunately for the Raiders that was how it stayed.

There were 14 goals in one of the women’s games as the SPAR KZN Raiders scored all of them in a dominant display from the defending champions. 8 different players on the score sheet against Free State to put a big marker down as the favourites once again.

The KZN Mynahs, KZN Inland and Southern Gauteng women were all dismissive of their opposition winning comfortably with clean sheets against Eastern Gauteng, Witsies and WP Disas respectively, while there was a tight win for home team Western Province over Mpumalanga and a Northern Blues got Celia Evans her first win as a coach over Pens.

The KZN Mynahs men and the Northern Blues produced arguably the game of the day with Steven Paulo the star for the Pretoria side in a dramatic 5-4 win. Having trailed 4-2 with 6 minutes remaining the Mynahs pulled level only and with all the momentum on their side would have been confident of sneaking the win, but they didn’t as Paulo popped up with the winner, his third, in the final minute of the game.

Day 2 promises more action as team’s jostle for position and an advantageous group position for the cross-pool playoffs later in the week.

SA IPT 2018 | Womens Day 1 Results

Northern Blues 4-1 WP Peninsula
Southern Gauteng 10-0 WP Disa’s
KZN Inland 7-0 SG Witsies
KZN Mynahs 8-0 Eastern Gauteng
SPAR KZN Raiders 14-0 Free State
Western Province 5-2 Mpumalanga

SA IPT 2018 | Mens Day 1 Results

PSI WP Invitational 5-3 Eastern Gauteng
KZN Mynahs 4-5 Northern Blues
KZN Raiders 7-9 Namibia
Southern Gauteng 8-5 PSI WP Invitational
KZN Mynahs 5-7 WP Peninsula
Western Province 4-1 Eastern Gauteng

The outdoor club season has winded down across South Africa and attention has shifted back to indoor hockey as the provincial sides prepare to face off for a battle of supremacy. The Belville Velodrome, which hosted the 2016 edition, will once again play host to 22 teams playing off over four days for the title of South African Men’s or Women’s indoor champions.

We start with the girls, with indoor hockey on a high following the 3-0 series victory against African Champions Namibia, taking the run to 25 undefeated matches in a row. The 12-team’s taking part of in the Women’s tournament will all be looking to try and stop the imperious SPAR KZN Raiders who have won the last 7 titles in a row. They have the two most capped indoor players in Africa in Jessica O’Connor and Cindy Hack and complete the line-up with 6 further South African players, including the player of the series from the recent SPAR Series Jessica Lardant, and Namibian superstar Kiana Cormack. On paper they will be the team to beat once again.

Southern Gauteng will be optimistic about their opportunity to dethrone the Raiders as they will offer a first Gauteng selection at nationals to the brilliant Kara Botes, while Lilian du Plessis, Alex Kavanagh and Robyn Johnson were all part of the most recent national squad. In Namibian Petro Stoffberg they have a shot stopper that can decide matches.

The KZN Inland challenge also looks to be a good one after their runner-up finish in 2017. They have the abilities of Amore de Wet and sensational youngster Edith Molikoe along with goal scoring machine Eloise Walters and Amy Greaves filling the squad. Keagan Walters is also a passionate coach who manages to get the best out of his teams so will be looking to time the run perfectly again.

You also can’t discount the abilities of Western Province playing at home, they are a much-changed team from the impressive 2017 team but in Gillian Hermanus, Jamie Southgate and Jessica Glass they have great experience and talent. They also have a superb keeper in Nicole la Fleur who always saves her best for the biggest games.

Women’s IPT 2018 – Groups

Group A

 

Group B

Southern Gauteng

 

Northern Blues

WP Disa’s

 

WP Peninsula

KZN Mynahs

 

KZN Inland

Eastern Gauteng

 

SG Witsies

Western Province

 

SPAR KZN Raiders

Mpumalanga

 

Free State

 

In the men’s tournament it will be a case of rebuilding the confidence after the disappointment of the indoor hockey world cup. All eyes will obviously look to the KZN Raiders once again, but it will be a much different side that Cameron Mackay presides over. There are a host of changes and playing away from home the Raiders will be up against it. Jonty Robinson, Jarryd Jones and Greg Last will be integral for the defending champions.

Southern Gauteng will be looking to go a step further this year after back-to-back silver medals. They have lethal goal-scoring talent in Chad Futcher and Julian Hykes, while the experience of Reza Rosenberg and Kyle Marks will be of incredible importance. Can they step up to challenge the other sides?

Dale Isaac will lead the challenge for last year’s bronze medallists, who will be looking to at least get into the title match this time around as hosts. They once again have a host of new caps, so the challenge will be a tough one, but the likes of Jacki Mohlaba, Andrew Winter and Anton van Loggerenberg are all capable of producing moments of magic.

The men will also have to deal with the challenge of Namibia, who have been invited to take part once again. Trevor Cormack has continued his blend of selection bringing DJ Strauss, Brynn Cleak and Siyabonga Martins all selected along with the young stars in Cody van der Merwe, Liam Hermanus and Nico Neethling. They will be a fantastic test for everyone they play against and will add a great quality to the tournament.

Mens IPT 2018 – Groups

Group A

 

Group B

KZN Mynahs

 

PSI WP Invitational

Northern Blues

 

Eastern Gauteng

KZN Raiders

 

Southern Gauteng

Namibia

 

Western Province

WP Peninsula

 

Mpumalanga