An amazing week of hockey concluded with Western Province continuing a tradition in SA Men’s Hockey over the past three years. That tradition is that the champions of the indoor hockey IPT have gone on and won the outdoor tournament too. With Southerns being the favourites on paper it was always going to be a tough challenge for Province, but they showed up in a big way.

Mustapha Cassiem, the PHL Young player of the year, was in sensational form and stepped up to give Province the lead in the 26th minute with a goal finished superbly on the reverse stick. But Southerns are a fantastic team and were desperate to step up from last year’s silver medal and surged straight back up the other end. The pressure resulted in a penalty stroke which Nic Spooner duly stood up to and finished it. That’s back -to-back finals that Spooner has scored in and once more underlines his big match temperament.

Western Province then had their own big match player step up from a penalty stroke and fire passed Rassie Pieterse. That player was 17-year-old Mustapha Cassiem. With a 2-1 lead going into the final quarter Province were dreaming of the trophy.

But those dreams were temporarily doused when Brynn Cleak got on the end of superb Richard Pautz work to level the final. And that ended the goal scoring for the tournament and set up another penalty shootout to decide the title.

Despite his fantastic form throughout the tournament, Rassie Pieterse was unable to deny Ryan Julius and Andrew Hobson and of course it meant that Mustapha Cassiem stood with the opportunity to seal the title. It was an opportunity he would not waste as Western Province sealed a remarkable title and Southerns wait for a title extends by another year.

The Individual Player awards for the tournament were as follows:

Goalkeeper of the tournament – Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng)
Top Goalscorer – Richard Pautz (Southern Gauteng) & Connor Beauchamp (Western Province)
Young Player of the tournament – Dayaan Cassiem (Western Province)
Player of the tournament – Nic Spooner (Southern Gauteng)

SA Men’s Hockey IPT 2019 – Final Placings

A Section

  1. Western Province
  2. Southern Gauteng
  3. Northern Blues
  4. SA U21
  5. KZN Raiders
  6. Eastern Province
  7. SG Witsies
  8. WP Peninsula

B Section

  1. Free State
  2. SACD
  3. KZN Mynahs
  4. SG Nuggets
  5. North West
  6. KZN Inland
  7. Mpumalanga
  8. Northern Cape

Another year of IPT action is coming to an end. After starting with 8 teams in the A Section we are down to just two who will fight it out live on Shoott SA for the title of South African Hockey Champions for 2019. The final is between the Southern Gauteng and Western Province. How did both teams progress this far.

Southern Gauteng

In an almost copy and paste from the women’s tournament, the Lions have been in imperious form throughout the tournament and showed a powerful display from day one. They opened their tournament with a swashbuckling 7-4 win against Eastern Province. Goals came from all over with Richard Pautz particularly impressive. They then won the derby game against Witsies 4-2 with Thabang Modise, Richard Pautz, Chad Futcher and Gareth Heynes netting.

They then secured top spot in a superbly tight encounter with Neville Rothman’s SA U21 side winning 1-0 thanks to Chad Futcher.

In the quarter finals the Lions showed their intent to go one further than the silver medal of 2018 with a 6-1 dismantling of WP Pens. Two more goals for Richard Pautz were supported by Chad Futcher, Gareth Heynes, Nic Spooner and Reza Ronzenberg. The opening quarter blitz was something special.

In the semi-final it was another encounter with SA U21 and although it was a tough test, the Lions were always in control with Heynes, Brynn Cleak, Nic Spooner and Pautz netting in a 4-1 win.

In the final they will be playing…

Western Province

The 2019 Indoor Hockey champions have a chance to make it the double by making the final. After a tough group stage where they lost to the Northern Blues and drew to the KZN Raiders they have come into their own.

They thumped Eastern Province in the Quarter Final with a brilliant 8-1 victory with Connor Beauchamp leading the attack with four goals. Reece Arendse, Musthapha Cassiem, Charlie Bowren and Dayaan Cassiem all got goals as Province sealed a semi-final spot.

This is where they produced their performance of the tournament as they stunned the Northern Blues, who had been looking sensational. Andrew Hobson opened the scoring in the 25th minute and despite the best efforts of the Blues it remained 1-0 into the final quarter. As Guy Elliots side looked for the equalizer Denzil Dolleys side gave the perfect response by landing three counter attacking punches. Mustapha Cassiem, Dayaan Cassiem and Keenan Horne landed the punches that would ultimately seal their place in the final and knock the Blues out.

Southerns will be favoured but WP have the x-factor players that can turn a game on its head. Its going to be a humdinger!

The B Section final will be between SA Country Districts and Free State.

After three days of action the tournament has completed its first stage in Bloemfontein, the group stages. With the format being used all teams are still in it with the Quarter Final stage taking place on Thursday. Here is what went down in the men’s A Section group stage.

GROUP A

Northern Blues offered the most value for money for viewers across their three matches. After opening with a thrilling come from behind 3-2 victory against Western Province, they then defeated the defending champions KZN Raiders 2-1 to put their hand up for top spot. They ended up then being stunned 4-3 by Western Province Pens having led 2-1. The defeat proved to not be costly for the Pretoria boys as a draw between WP and Raiders meant that Northern’s sealed top spot in the pool.

With the door having opened for a march on top spot the Raiders and Province played out an exciting 2-2 draw. Taine Paton and Jonty Robinson each scored to level for the defending champions after goals from Keenan Horne and Connor Beauchamp. That result meant the Raiders finished second by virtue of a one goal superior difference over Western Province.

GROUP B

Southern Gauteng underlined why they are favourites for the tournament with a perfect three from three in the group stages. They beat EP 7-4 having led 6-0 at a stage, while they followed that up with a 4-2 win against their “B” side Wits. They completed a perfect group stage in a tough 1-0 win over the SA U21 side thanks to the solitary goal by Chad Futcher.

Second place in the group went to Eastern Province who bounced back from that defeat with two thrilling 3-2 wins. Against SA U21 they trailed 1-0 and 2-1 before Dayne Samboer netted a winner to the delight of the EP community. Having drawn the group game 1-1 with Wits, SA U21 secured third spot in the group and the “easier” quarter final.

QUARTER FINAL LINE UP

Southern Gauteng vs. WP Peninsula
Eastern Province vs. Western Province
SA U21 vs. KZN Raiders
SG Witsies vs. Northern Blues

 

In a fantastic announcement for the South African Hockey Senior Interprovincial tournament getting underway in Bloemfontein on Monday, the host association Free State Hockey Association have announced the on-air media sponsor of OFM.

The agreement will see OFM assist in an on-air and independent printed media campaign over the tournament.  They will also dedicate an event information page on http://www.ofm.co.za until 31 August 2019.

OFM will send have an activation team at the stadium and will have live crossings to the OFM studio on Saturday 31 August 2019. As part of the agreement, OFM will also provide the wonderful Sam Luddidi as MC to do the prize-giving. OFM will also have their sports editor, Morgan Piek, produce audio clips and comments from event organisers in their sport reports.

The SA Hockey Association are excited to welcome OFM on board for the Men’s and Women’s IPT and look forward to a fantastic partnership!

The 2019 South African Hockey Senior Interprovincial tournament gets underway in Bloemfontein at the University of Free State. With the South African sides doing well at the African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 event there is a great bit of momentum going into the tournament. Players who are trying to impress the national coaches will be looking at this as a major opportunity while others will look to cement their spots.

In the Men’s A Section all eyes will be on the defending champions the KZN Raiders who are without their 2018 gold medal coach Sihle Ntuli and both goal scorers in last year’s final are unavailable for them. They have several national players in Jethro Eustice, Jonty Robinson, Matt de Sousa, Taine Paton, Mo Mea, Siya Nolutshungu and Gowan Jones. They are joined in Pool A by the Northern Blues and both Western Province sides with some tantalising match ups.

Pool B of the A Section is headed up by last years runners-up Southern Gauteng, an incredibly star-studded side. South African Men’s hero Nic Spooner will be looking to add to his goal from last years final, while Colin Fielding’s side is littered with big names including Rassie Pieterse, Brynn Cleak, Gareth Heynes and Owen Mvimbi to name a few. They will take on the SA U21 side, their “B” side Witsies and Eastern Province.

In the Women’s A Section the defending champions Southern Gauteng will once again be heavily favoured. The squad that has been announced features 10 capped outdoor players, including 2019 Premier Hockey League player of the tournament Lisa Deetlefs. They also feature a host of players that won the SA Women’s Indoor IPT earlier this year showing their winning mentality in the squad. They are joined in Group A by SA U21, Northern Blues and Eastern Province.

Last years runners up Western Province will look to go one further this year and will look for Jade Mayne to continue with her fine form shown in the Premier Hockey League. Having Dirkie Chamberlain in their numbers is a great addition for them from last year while the likes of Andrea Leader, Stephanie Botha and Angela Welham will all look to step up for the Cape side. They are grouped in pool B by the hosts Free State, SPAR KZN Raiders and North West.

Eight teams will play out the Men’s B Section tournament while ten will be looking to win the women’s B section with teams looking to win promotion to the A Section.

The A section matches will be streamed live on the Shoott South Africa Facebook pages which is free of charge. 

The fourth edition of the CTM Premier Hockey League gets underway on Thursday at the Randburg Astro with a few tantalising match ups, new look teams and of course some new coaches guiding the various teams. With world class coverage from SuperSport, the CTM PHL promises to raise the game once again.

The opening day offers supporters the tantalising prospect of repeats of the 2019 finals with first the Blyde River Bunters taking on the Madikwe Rangers before the Drakensberg Dragons play the two-time silver medallists the Addo Elephants. The early opportunity for the runners up of 2018 to get one up on their victors of the prior year is the definite highlight of the first day of action.

Another change in 2019 is that the opening weekend sees the double fixtures. With teams needing to hit the ground running it will be imperative for the experienced players to hit the ground running and the unknown factor that comes with the “New Generation” pool of players drafted offers an exciting prospect.

In the men’s tournament the Dragons feature four players from the successful FIH Hockey Series Finals in India and along with the signings of the experienced duo of Ignatius Malgraff and Miguel da Graca on paper they look a very tough team to beat. The Maropeng Cavemen, winners in 2016 and 2017, will look to try and reclaim their crown with addition of Dayaan Cassiem a major boost for them. The Golden Gate Gladiators will once again be the South African U21 side and it will be the first opportunity for Neville Rothman to see how his team will fare.

In the women’s tournament the Blyde River Bunters look a fantastic side already with Phumelela Mbande, Celia Evans, Marizen Marais and Izelle Verster featuring from the most recent Supergroup South Africa squad. With Marcelle Keet in charge they also have a fantastic coach who will look to continue her brilliant start as a head coach last year. The St. Lucia Lakers will be a massive threat with the superb spine of Erin Hunter, Kara Botes, Tegan Fourie, Lilian du Plessis and Quanita Bobbs. While you can also not right off Shaun Hulley’s Orange River Rafters, the 2017 champions, with Cheree Greyvenstein and Dirkie Chamberlain the outstanding names.

The 2019 CTM Premier Hockey league will be played over three weekends culminating in the final taking place on 4 August. For more information on the CTM Premier Hockey League you can follow on the website www.premierhockeyleague.co.za.  

In front of the biggest crowd of the week at the AB Jackson Astro-Turf in Pietermaritzburg, the KZN Raiders came from a goal behind to defeat Southern Gauteng 2-1 in a fantastic display of hockey. The victory for Sihle Ntuli’s men means the province defended their title won last year and, in the process, completed back-to-back indoor and outdoor hockey national titles.

The game started in the warm winter sun with Southern Gauteng looking fired up and ready to win the title. They created the first big chance of the game as they broke from defence and skipper Miguel da Graca hit the most delightful diagonal through ball to set up Nic Spooner in a one-on-one with Gowan Jones. The Southerns hot shot, who plays his club hockey in Germany, took a touch, lined up his shot and slid it into the bottom corner. The composure in the finish brought the Gauteng fans to their feet.

Southerns defence was the hallmark to their great week and once establishing a lead they would be difficult side to break down, needing either an error by Southerns or a moment of magic from the Raiders. Fortunately for the crowd it was a moment of magic as Clinton Panther, a former IPT winner with Southerns, produced a breath-taking run down the line laying the ball off for Matt de Sousa who set up Cameron Mackay. Mackay had a lot to do still but finished outstanding well from a tight angle.

The second half saw both teams looking to gain the lead with chances spurned on both ends, but the defining moment arrived in the 46th minute when national skipper Tim Drummond set up Bili Ntuli, despite the attention of three Southern Gauteng defenders. Ntuli finished with a strike worthy of winning a championship and that’s exactly what it did, sealing the title for the KZN Raiders.

The B Section produced an outstanding final of its own as the Northern Cape side took an early 3-0 lead through Severiano Kock and a brace from Lyndon Fredericks. They then went defensive in restricting SA Country Districts to just two goals to bag a historic title for themselves.

The Bronze medal was won by Southern Gauteng Witsies, who came from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to Kingsley Botes and Thabang Modise, while Western Province secured fifth spot with a 3-1 victory over SA Invitational U21.

The individual awards of the B section were announced after the final with Darren Kamfer (SACD) named as player of the tournament and Macheke Fanelo (SACD) won the goalkeeper of the tournament. In the A Section the prize winners were Jarred Cass (SAU21) – young player of the tournament, Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng) – goalkeeper of the tournament and Mo Mea (KZN Raiders) – player of the tournament.

For many of the players the eye will now turn to the upcoming PHL tournament, which starts next week, while the greater world cup squad announcement will also be released shortly.

Day 7 Final Results

A Section Final
Southern Gauteng 1-2 KZN Raiders

A Section Playoffs
3/4 – SG Witsies 2-1 Northerns Blues
5/6 – Western Province 3-1 SA Invitational U21
7/8 – Eastern Province 6-1 WP Peninsula
9/10 – Free State 0-1 North West
11/12 – SG Nuggets (1)2-2(3) KZN Mynahs

B Section Final
Northern Cape “B” 3-2 SA Country Districts

B Section Playoffs
3/4 – Northern Daisies 1-2 KZN Inland
5/6 – Mpumalanga 5-1 Northern Cape “A”

After 6 days and 36 matches we are left with the final two contesting the Gold medal match. The defending champions the KZN Raiders will take on Southern Gauteng to decide who reigns supreme in SA Men’s Hockey.

The Raiders won their way to the final with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Southern Gauteng Witsies. Witsies would have looked to maintain a tight back wall to start the game, but it took Raiders just 7 minutes before International Taine Paton finished spun and fired the tomahawk into the bottom corner. A period of domination then followed with Raiders unable to create too many goal scoring chances although they were bossing the possession.

As the minutes ticked by the Raiders continued in their possession bossing and were left disappointed when umpire Peter Wright ruled off a goal for the strike being outside the D. It took a view reviews on the Video Analysis computer after the game to decide that it was the right call, much to the relief of Wright. Raiders did gain their second early in the second quarter when Andrew Manson finished superbly after great work by Bili Ntuli.

The crowd may have expected a massive fight back from Wits, who definitely were better in the second half, but their fans had to wait till the last minute of the game for Kyle-Lion Cachet to fire into the bottom corner and spring a spark of hope that was quickly doused by Damian Kimfley firing in past Brett Walraven who was playing kicking back after the withdrawal of Gary Cooper.

In the second semi-final the game was ultimately decided on a massive swing at a pivotal moment. Southern Gauteng's Matt Brown had already given the favourites the lead, but Northerns Blues were presented with an opportunity to equalise when they were awarded a stroke. Rassie Pieterse however came up tops as he stuck out his long legs to get a toe to the ball. Southerns broke up the field in the next play and scored through experienced Tommy Hammond to not just take the wind out of the Northerns sails but drag a knife right through the centre of them.

Although Northerns never stopped running at their Gauteng neighbours, including a superb break led by Tevin Kok, they could not take advantage of their chances. Southerns on the other hand were superb as Courtney Halle, one of the first picks in the 2018 PHL Draft, made it 3-0 and Julian Hykes, who is in some great form, made it 4-0 after one of those trademark runs from skipper Miguel da Graca.

It’s all set for a classic final between the two best teams in the county. It hits off at 17:00 tonight.

In the days other games, a Rhett Halket Penalty stroke gave Tuffy Western Province a 4-3 win over Pens, Eastern Province were given an 8-minute burst split over half-time losing 4-1 to the SA Invitational U21 side, Gertjie Lamprecht earned North West a 2-0 win against the Mynahs and the Nuggets went down 4-3 in a hectic match with Free State. 

In the B Section, the drama came down to the wire as three teams finished tied on 12 points. Northern Cape B (The older generation of players) beat the younger ones 18-2 to secure a spot in the final. They will be joined by SACD who lost 2-1 to Northern Daisies but qualified by a 1 goal better differential in goal difference!

Day 6 Results – A Section

1-4 Semi Finals
Southern Gauteng 4-0 Northern Blues
KZN Raider 3-1 SG Witsies

5-8 Playoffs
Tuffy Western Province 4-3 WP Peninsula
SA Invitational U21 4-1 Eastern Province

9-12 Playoffs
Free State 4-3 SG Nuggets
North West 2-0 KZN Mynahs

Day 6 Results – B Section

Northern Cape A 2-18 Northern Cape B
Mpumalanga 1-8 KZN Inland
SACD 1-2 Northerns Daisies

 

The final day of the group stages took place at the AB Jackson Astro Turf in Pietermaritzburg today with all eyes on the big matchup between Tuffy Western Province and the KZN Raiders. It was a cooler evening on the astro as temperatures dropped, but the action more than made up for it as tensions reached a peak.

The opening quarter was a tentative affair but with some massive tackles, some incredibly physical, as Tuffy Western Province had the best chance of the half through Ryan Julius. The indoor and outdoor national player was not able to beat Gowan Jones in goal with his reverse stick strike. The Raiders started the second quarter with renewed purpose and probably should have had the lead through national captain Tim Drummond. Raiders were in the ascendancy winning three penalty corners in the quarter with Bili Ntuli finishing brilliantly after Greg Lasts effort was saved. 1-0 it remained until half-time.

In the third quarter it was continued pressure from the Raiders limiting the opportunities for Tuffy Western Province, with Keenan Horne looking the most likely to create something, but ultimately Jethro Eustice, Greg Last and Tim Drummond were brilliant in marshalling the defence. It remained 1-0 at the end of the third quarter.

The final quarter started in much the same way and after a superb through ball by Ntuli set up Taine Paton for a big opportunity that was fantastically saved with the helmet by Anton van Loggerenberg, the increased pressure eventually told for Raiders. They finished off a superb team goal with a mature dink by Dan Sibbald to make it 2-0.

Earlier in the day Southern Gauteng and Witsies both completed 100% group stage efforts with victories over SA Invitational U21 and Northerns Blues respectively. Southerns were tested by Garreth Ewings men far more than they would have liked but picked up a narrow 3-2 win through Nic Spooner, Courtney Halle and Namibian Brynn Cleak. Witsies were full value for their 2-1 win taking an early 2-0 lead through a Kyle Lion-Cachet brace. And despite conceding from Tim Guise-Brown, they managed to see out the pressure and set up a semi-final meeting with the Raiders

Southern Gauteng Nuggets produced an improved display that will raise hopes that they can avoid relegation despite a 4-2 defeat to North West. Free State also secured their first victory of the tournament when they overcame the Mynahs early in the day.  

In the B Section the Northern Daisies were belligerent in dismissing Northern Cape A, KZN Inlands were defeated easily by Northern Cape B and SA Country Districts produced a superb display in a 5-1 win against Mpumalanga

Day 5 Results – A Section

SG Nuggets 2-4 North West
Free State 4-1 KZN Mynahs
Eastern Province 1-1 WP Peninsula
Southern Gauteng 3-2 SA Invitational U21
SG Witsies 2-1 Northern Blues
KZN Raiders 2-0 Tuffy Western Province

A Section Crossovers

1-4 Semi Finals
Southern Gauteng vs. Northern Blues
KZN Raider vs. SG Witsies

5-8 Playoffs
Tuffy Western Province vs. WP Peninsula
SA Invitational U21 vs. Eastern Province

9-12 Playoffs
Free State vs. SG Nuggets
North West vs. KZN Mynahs

Day 5 Results – B Section

Northerns Daisies 11-0 Northern Cape A
KZN Inland 2-7 Northern Cape B
SA Country Districts 5-1 Mpumalanga

 

In today’s headline game the defending champions Kwazulu Natal Raiders took on the 2016 champions Southern Gauteng in a battle for supremacy in Group A. Southerns were playing on the back of their victory against Tuffy Western Province and knew that a draw would likely be enough to secure their spot in the final four, while the Raiders were keen to get the win to relieve the pressure on a final day meeting with Tuffy Western Province.

The match was always expected to be a tight affair featuring two of South Africa’s best goalkeepers in Gowan Jones and Rassie Pieterse, while the defences boasted a collection of International players. The game played out in the expected way with the cagey affair not producing any goals in the first half.  Eventually though it was Southerns who broke the deadlock as Nic Spooner when he punished the Raiders with a penalty stroke. Southerns would further enforce the advantage when Julian Hykes, who has more than 100 caps for South Africa, made it 2-0 on the whistle of the third quarter.

Try as they might the Raiders could not break through the defensive wall in the fourth quarter until the 58th minute when another international veteran Jonty Robinson pounced to set up a nervy end. The result remained, and it sets up a “Quarter-Final tomorrow when Tuffy Western Province play the KZN Raiders for a place in final four of the A Section.

Northern Blues secured their place in the final four with a workman-like 4-1 victory over Free State with Tevin Kok scoring the pick of the bunch, while Witsies had a tough encounter with Eastern Province that they emerged victorious from securing a 2-1 win and a place in the final four when Kingsley Botes scored the decider in the 58th minute.

In the B Section the SA Country Districts cemented their place as favourites when they convincingly beat Northern Cape B 8-4. It was an impressive attacking display as SACD netted at least one goal in each quarter to set themselves clear at the top. It was also an impressive day for KZN Inland who defeated Northern Cape A convincingly to reignite their campaign in the B Section.

Day 4 Results – A Section

SA Invitaitonal U21 3-2 North West
SG Witsies 2-1 Eastern Province
Tuffy Western Province 11-2 SG Nuggets
Northerns Blues 4-1 Free State
WP Peninsula 3-1 KZN Mynahs
KZN Raiders 1-2 Southern Gauteng

Day 4 Results – B Section

KZN Inland 7-1 Northern Cape A
Northern Blues 3-0 Mpumalanga
SA Country Districts 8-4 Northern Cape B