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.
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…
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.