Things may not have gone to plan for Western Province hockey in the A-section at this year’s Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals there was some reason for the Cape teams to cheer as WP Peninsula claimed gold in the women’s B-section of the tournament on Saturday.
As expected, the draw worked out in such a way that Pens met KZN Mynahs in the final - played at an alternate venue given the tournament’s expansion to include both men’s and women’s tournaments for the first time - and the result went the Cape side’s way.
The Pens would eventually claim the B-section title with a 2-1 win in a fixture that only really came to life after the halftime break.
The scores remained locked at nil all at the changeover but a Kayde Miller strike from a short corner in the 40th corner handed Pens the lead but the advantage only lasted nine minutes as Mynahs hit back through Stacey Hiron.
But the game was sealed with eight minutes to play as Robyn Pinder converted from a short corner and Pens were able to hang onto their advantage to claim the B-section crown for another year.
That victory made up for the misgivings of the Western Province side assembled for the A-section of the tournament after they failed to progress past the quarterfinal stages.
As far as the rest of the placing in the women’s B-section went, Zimbabwe rounded off a very good tournament with a 4-0 win over KZN Inland to finish third in the B-section. Two goals in the first quarter, one by Michelle Williams and the other by Michelle Mollins, set the tone for Zimbabwe.
Milliams added a second in the 33rd minute before Mollins completed her brace, the result leaving Inland to finish in fourth in the B-section.
As far as the play-off for fifth and sixth went, Mpumalanga made sure that they did enough to finish ahead of the Southern Gauteng Nuggets, coming back from a goal down to eventually end on top at 2-1.
The South Africa Country Districts side were excellent in their quest to avoid the wooden spoon in the women’s B-section by claiming a 5-3 win over Northerns Blues B with two goals inside the first minute of the game setting the tone.
The Tuffy Western Province men’s side got their Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals campaign back to winning ways as they downed a plucky Witsies side 5-2 at the Randburg Hockey Stadium on Friday.
In a strange turn of event for the Province hockey sides neither their men’s or women’s side were able to advance past the quarterfinal stage and instead the men’s side will now go into the play-off for fifth and sixth.
After losing to Northerns in the quarters it was crucial for Province to restore some parity, coming out strongly and openign the scoring in the ninth minute through a well-worked Roagnib Fredericks field goal.
But Witsies cancelled that strike out with a Gerald Mpopo goal in the 18th minute, the result of a good run on the baseline by Kyle Marks to leave the sides 1-1.
Province then extended their lead midway through the second chukka as Pierre de Voux netted and they took that advantage into the break.
There was no real action to speak of in the third chukka until Keenan Horne won a penalty stroke which was duly converted by Lloyd Norris-Jones.
The game sparked to life in the 45th minute as Witsies, who pushed the SA Under-21 side to a shootout in their quarterfinal, pulled one back through a Nic Gonsalves short-corner to cut it to 3-2 but Province were having none of it, winning a short corner after the restart.
The penalty corner attempt was successful with Daniel Bell slotting home a drag-flick to double the advantage at 4-2 and then James Drummond took advantage of some space in the circle to score on the stroke of fulltime.
In some of the other matches played today, WP Peninsula continued their run in the men’s B-section with a 4-1 win over Zimbabwe with three goals in the second half killing off the opposition fightback.
There was a comfortable 5-0 win for the Northerns Blues B side in their game against KZN Inland. Their efforts were made much easier by the fact that Inland had their ranks seriously depleted through injuries and at one stage only had eight players on the field.
In the women’s B-section, Southern Gauteng Nuggets were able to get the better of the SA Country Districts in their play-off game, winning 2-0 in a shootout after the sides were locked at 2-2 at the final hooter.
That result means that they will take on Mpumalanga in the game for fifth position on Saturday after their 2-1 win, which was something of an upset, over Northerns Blue B earlier in the morning.
The picture got a lot clearer with regards to the women’s B-section at the Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals at the Randburg Hockey Stadium on Thursday as KZN Inland, WP Peninsula, Zimbabwe and KZN Mynahs advanced.
For Peninsula and both Kwa-Zulu Natal sides the task was relatively easy with comfortable wins but Zimababwe were made to work hard in their encounter against Northerns Blues B and managed to win by a slim 1-0 margin.
The game, played on the top field, ebbed and flowed and both sides were guilty of squandering chances - especially when it came to their penalty corners - and the sides were locked at nil all at halftime.
The best chance of taking the lead fell to Northerns four minutes after the changeover but a heroic stick save off the line by defender Nicolle Grant cleared danger from the short corner. The deadlock was eventually broken two minutes from time as Kendal Revolta netted a field goal to ensure her side’s progress.
It means that Zimbabwe will meet Mynahs in Friday’s semifinal after the KZN outfit claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Mpumalanga earlier in the morning.
For Pens, the road to the semifinal in the B-section was slightly easier as they swept past Southern Gauteng Nuggets with an emphatic 7-0 victory.
First half goals from Aimee Pote, who netted twice, and captain Rosanne Lombard had them up 3-0 at halftime and the Cape side hammered home their advantage after the break.
Danielle Cairns netted a field goal in the 34th minute before Kayde Miller followed up four minutes later with another score from open play.
A strike from a penalty corner by Gabriella de Kock extended the lead and the rout was completed in the 50th minute as Pote rounded off her hat-trick.
In the day’s first game, KZN Inland ran out 4-1 winners over SA Country Districts.
They opened the scoring in the third minute through Tiffany Jones and then doubled up soon after as Stefania Collette netted before SACD pulled one back in the 22nd minute through Marelie Devereux.
The gap was extended to two goals a minute later as Amy Greaves slotted home to make it 3-1 and then Silindile Mbhele added a strike of her own in the 29th minute from a well-worked penalty corner that saw her sneak in a deflection on the back post.
The scoreline didn’t change for the next half hour although SACD pressed hard they couldn’t find a way through a resolute Inland defence.
The South Africa U21 men’s and women’s hockey teams have been named to compete in the Junior World Cup Africa Qualifier tournaments in Windhoek, Namibia from March 18 to 28.
Both SA U21 men’s team head coach Garreth Ewing and SA U21 women’s head coach Patrick Tshutshani said the door was still open for players who didn’t make the 18-player cut, as the Junior World Cup re-selection awaits later next year, should the SA teams qualify through the Africa continent event.
“Congratulations to the players who have made the team, the whole squad competed hard for a place and it was a difficult decision to narrow it down to the final 18,” said Ewing.
“There are players that I believe are unlucky not to make the team and I expect them to come back strongly to challenge for a place in the Junior World Cup side.”
The SA men’s and women’s teams need to qualify for the JWC "finals" at the Windhoek event.
“I'm satisfied with the process we followed and I believe we have selected the strongest possible team at this stage,” said Ewing. “Thank you to the selection convenor and my fellow selectors for their input.”
"Earning qualification for the Junior World Cup is our next challenge, and the team will be working very hard to prepare over the next three months.
“This is a talented team and I am confident they will do the country proud,” Ewing added.
Tshutshani said he would like to thank the 36 players who attended the national U21 selection camp for this JWC Africa Qualifier tournament.
“The selection process was tough but exciting as numerous players put their hands up and challenged for a spot in the final team of 18 players,” said Tshutshani. “However the door is still open to those players who have not made the African Qualifier as there are opportunities to still make the [JWC] final team.
"I am pleased with the team chosen to represent South Africa in March in Namibia. We are still in the early phases of our preparation. The next couple of months are key to our quest in securing a spot in Namibia for the Junior World Cup.
“I would also like to thank the selection committee, the management team and Menlo Park for accommodating us during the camp,” Tshutshani added.
SA U21 TEAMS
Men: Robert McKinley, Jacques Bleekers, Ryan Julius, Matt de Sousa, Charlie Bowren, Alex Stewart, Ryan Crowe, Nqobile Ntuli (Western Province); Siya Nolutshungu, Jayson Reed (KZN Coastal); Kyle Lion-Cachet, Walter Pfaff (Southern Gauteng); Courtney Hallé, Tyson Dlungwana, Ndoduzo Lembethe, Tevin Kok, Amkelwa Letuka (KZN Inland); Khumo Mokale (Northern Blues).
Women: Alegra Dijkstra, Priscilla Esterhuyze, Tarryn Glasby (Western Province); Amy Etherington, Marguerite van Wyk, Marlise van Tonder, Natalie Esteves, Sulize de Klerk (Northern Blues); Antonette Louw, Shidre-Lee Simmonds (Free State); Carmen Smith, Cheneal Raubenheimer, Kristen Paton, Marizen Marais (Southern Gauteng); Nicky Veto, Sandy Tabata, Zimasa Dunywa (Eastern Province); Tegan Fourie (KZN Coastal).
at UKZN Westville
Victory was especially sweet for the Spar South Africa women’s indoor hockey team when they overturned a shock defeat to Namibia in the last round-robin match Thursday night to storm back with a 6-0 victory after leading 4-0 at half-time in Friday’s Spar Four Nations final.
SAHA MEDIA RELEASE
The South African Hockey Association confirms that the SA Women's and Men's National Hockey teams will not be going to the Rio Olympic Games, this after the IOC reviewed the International Hockey Federation’s appeal submitted on behalf of SAHA and found in favour of the national olympic committee of South Africa – SASCOC.
at UKZN Westville
The Spar SA women’s indoor hockey team started like a house on fire to lead 4-0 in the first quarter but had to take heavy pressure from the USA in the second half before coming away with a 4-3 victory on day one of the Spar Four Nations tournament here last night.
A bumper December lies in wait for South Africa’s sports lovers as no less than 17 indoor hockey Test and international matches will be played in Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
The matches coincide with the ninth edition of the hugely popular Nolands Pro Series indoor (PSi) Nationals, which features age-group teams from franchises across the country and Namibia battling it out for title honours.
The flagship SA men’s and women’s national indoor hockey teams will be in action.
First up, the SA women’s team will take on Namibia in a five-Test series during which the first three Test matches will take place on December 10, and 11 (double header)in Pietermaritzburg, to coincide with the PSi Nationals U14 competition in the KZN capital.
The fourth and fifth Tests (another double header) are at Danville Park Girls School (in the morning) and the UKZN Westville campus (in the evening).
Thereafter, the girls in green and gold cross swords with Australia, the USA and Namibia in the SPAR Four Nations, all eight Test matches at the UKZN Westville campus in Durban.
These matches coincide with the PSi U16 and U18 Nationals in Durban, as does the four-match Denbeys Indoor Series between South Africa and the star-studded PSi International All Stars. The men’s series will include three matches at UKZN Westville campus and one in Pietermaritzburg.
The U11 and U12 PSi Nationals took place in early July and if the standard of play was anything to go by, the crowds are guaranteed great entertainment next month in KwaZulu-Natal when the U13, U14, U16 and U18 boys and girls teams take on the best that their peers across the country have to offer.
Aside from the senior players, those set to benefit the most from watching the men’s and women’s internationals in action will be the boys and girls taking part in PSI Nationals.
Pro Series indoor brand manager Bruce Jacobs said Wednesday that the senior series will bring the sport of indoor hockey into the spotlight in South Africa.
“PSi feels that this senior series will really leverage not only the SA players’ profile but the indoor hockey sports code in our country.
“We want to show our PSi kids that there are role models in indoor hockey to look up to,” said Jacobs, who captained South Africa’s men’s outdoor team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
“PSi anticipates that watching these fine players will give them something to aspire to, such as representing their country at the likes of an Indoor Hockey World Cup.”
There is no entry fee for the SA/Namibia women’s series. The ticket price for the Spar Four Nations women’s tournament is R20 for the general public, as is the men’s series between SA and the International All Stars.
South Africa vs Namibia five-Test series
1st Test: Thurs, 10 Dec (6pm, St Anne’s DSG)
2nd Test: Fri, 11 Dec (10am, St Anne’s)
3rd Test: Fri, 11 Dec (7pm, St Anne’s)
4th Test: Sat, 12 Dec (10am, Danville Park Girls School)
5th Test: Sat, 12 Dec (8.15pm, UKZN Westville campus)
SPAR Four Nations
(SA, Australia, USA, Namibia; all at UKZN Westville)
Tues, 15 Dec: Australia vs Namibia (7pm); SA vs USA (8.25pm)
Wed, 16 Dec: USA vs Namibia (7pm); SA vs Australia (8.15pm)
Thurs, 17 Dec: Australia vs USA (7pm); SA vs Namibia (8.15pm)
Fri, 18 Dec - 3rd/4th Playoff (8.15am); Final (9.30am)
* Food and beverages, prize giveaways, Fan Zone.
Denbeys Indoor Series
(SA men vs Denbeys International All Stars)
Thurs, 10 Dec (7pm, UKZN Westville)
Fri, 11 Dec (7pm UKZN Westville
Sat, 12 Dec (7pm, St Anne’s DSG)
Sun, 13 Dec (7pm, UKZN Westville)
South African Hockey offers its condolences to the Beling family and the Border hockey community on the passing of Greg Beling.
Greg was part of the SA Women's team in 2013 when he suffered a heart attack and was in a coma for many months thereafter. His passing will be a great loss to South African and Border hockey.
Defending champions Western Province Cricket Club Badgers overcame the threat of underdogs Kearsney Hockey Club to win the Greenfields Elite Club Challenge final 3-0 after leading 1-0 at half-time at Riverside Sports in Durban North Sunday.