Belgium's men's hockey team won a thrilling match against its South African counterpart in the Cape Town Summer Series.

Belgium - Olympic silver medallist - won the battle 3-2 when Loick Luypaert scored with 30 seconds left.

The halftime score was 1-1.  Gauthier Boccard and Luypaert scored Belgium’s first two goals. Boccard scored a field goal in the 8th minute and in the 44th minute Luypaert gave the visitors the lead with a penalty stroke.

Daniel Bell equalised for South Africa in the 20th minute. And then captain Tim Drummond did the same with two minutes left.

“This was a very positive result for us. Matching up to the Rio Olympic silver medallists was a great challenge to which the boys did themselves proud. We know we are trying to be more consistent in our play for longer periods of the match and this consistency is what we are hoping to achieve in our second game against Belgium,” said captain Tim Drummond after the match.

“The more this squad plays together the better we become as a team because we understand what each other are thinking on the field. So Wednesday evening is another excellent opportunity for us to get a positive result against one of the world’s best hockey playing nations.” 

South Africa takes on Belgium again on Wednesday.

The Belgium women’s hockey team won its first match against South Africa in the Cape Town Summer Series.

Belgium’s Anne-Sophie Weyns scored the winning goal in the 54th minute.  South Africa did get opportunities to not only draw the game, but also get a win with four penalty corners in the last 3 minutes. Belgium’s goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghe denied the home team though with great work in the goal box.

The first chukka was like a war of attrition between the two sides with all the action taking place in the midfield and the goalkeepers rarely getting something to do. Both teams stepped it up in the second chukka, but it was the visitors that took control of the game in the third and final chukkas.

In the final minutes of the last quarter South Africa through everything they had at Belgium. Especially after Weyns scored the goal, but the ball just did not hit the back of the goal box.

Belgium is 14th on the world rankings and South Africa 13th.

The next match for the SA women in the series is Friday at 18:00 against Belgium. It is also the last match in the Summer Series. 

It was a somewhat disappointed South Africa men’s hockey team that left the field after the 4-7 loss to Belgium.

It was the penultimate match for the SA men in the Cape Town Summer Series.

Jonty Robinson got the scoreboard going with a penalty in the 10th minute to put the home team in the lead.

With less than a minute left in the first chukka Belgium got the goal back when Amaury Keusters found the back of the net. The South Africans would have been disappointed with this goal, because it was so close to the end of the chukka.

A blitzkrieg of three goals in three minutes took the wind a bit out of the South African sails in the second quarter. Maxime Plennevaux, Loïck Luypaert and Alexandre de Paeuw all got their names on the scorecard. The score was 4-1 at halftime.

The third chukka belonged completely to Belgium and South Africa’s goalkeeper Gowan Jones with the help of especially Daniel Bell, Rhett Halkett and captain Tim Drummond had to defend wave after wave of Belgium attacks. Two more goals were scored. Captain Thomas Briels and Plennevaux added to the scoreline.

With the start of the last chukka the score was 6-2 for Belgium after Bili Ntuli scored SA’s second goal mere seconds before the whistle blew. In the last quarter Dimitri Cuvelier added another goal for Belgium. In the last three minutes Brandon Panther and Drummond scored for South Africa to give the crowd something to cheer about again.

Belgium has a deadly counter-attack and they play with so much control. Especially when they were on the attack. It looks like they have all the time in the world. That is in contrast with South Africa who looked rushed.

Once again the South African youngsters showed promise though. Ntuli had some brilliant moments and Ryan Julius is so quick that it sometimes looked like the Belgium players were standing still when they tried to follow him. Daniel Bell was great on the defence for the home team.

Earlier China won its match against Belgium. China’s women were 2-1 winners in a very tight match. Qianqian Boa scored the winning goal for China in the 60th minute after the scores were tide 1-1 at halftime. Bingfeng Gu scored the first goal of the match and Belgium’s Lisa Scheerlinck equalised the score in the 27th minute.

The next match in the Summer Series is on Thursday at 16:00 when the South African men will be in action for the last time in the series – the third and last match against Belgium. The series comes to an end on Friday when the SA women play against Belgium at 18:00.

The South African men’s hockey team lost the third and final test match against Holland in the Cape Town Summer Series, but the players will do themselves a favour if they rather just focus on the first 30 minutes because it was in this half that the team showed what they are capable off.

Holland won 5-1. For the first 30 minutes the South Africans did exactly what their captain Tim Drummond wanted from them though – they defended strong and was much more aggressive on the attack.

The local team’s radar was a bit off, with many shots at goal going wide. The positive aspect is that they created chances and played positive hockey. In the second half Drummond and his men mostly defended after the visitors scored with 30 seconds left before halftime.

The Dutch goals were scored by captain Bob de Voogd, Glenn Schuurman, Rik van Kan, Jip Janssen and Thierry Brinkman.

South Africa’s goal came late in the match courtesy of a penalty corner converted by Daniel Bell.

Holland is 3rd on the world rankings and South Africa 15th. It was Jonty Robinson’s 100th game for his country while youngster Siyavuya Nolutshungu made his debut for South Africa.

The next matches in the series are on Monday when both South African teams take on Belgium. The women will get the action going at 18:00 and the men will play at 20:00. The series comes to an end on Friday. 

The South African Women’s hockey team delivered one of its best performances ever to beat China 4-2 in the Cape Town Summer Series.

Goals from Lisa-Marie Deetlefs (2), Bernadette Coston and Candice Manuel secured a convincing win for the South Africans. The team really needed a good result after the disappointing performance against Chile last week and losing 2-5 in the second match against China.

South Africa started the match like a house on fire with a goal by Deetlefs in the first minute. The score was tied at 1-1 after the first quarter and at halftime. With the start of the last quarter the scores was still tied with two goals a piece after another goal from a penalty corner by Deetlefs.

When Coston got a goal with 8 minutes left the crowd started to believe that they are going to see an upset. China kept the pressure on the South African defence, but captain Nicolene Terblanche lead by example to keep China a begging. Local player Manuel had the supporters out of their seats when she got the goal with one minute left that made sure South Africa wins the match.

This was the performance local supporters were looking for since the start of the Summer Series. Fans got to see glimpses in the first week, but except for the first match against Chile – who is 23rd on the world rankings – the results haven’t been going the South Africans way. This time around the players did not only create chances, but converted the aggressive play into penalty corners and goals. Three of the four goals came from penalty corners.

The defence was also strong and no silly mistakes were made or easy goals conceded. The fact that the team has been training together for a few weeks now showed. 

China’s goals were both scored by the captain Qianqain Boa. China is 8th on the world rankings and SA 14th. 

The next matches in the series are on Monday when both South African teams take on Belgium. The women will get the action going at 18:00 and the men will play at 20:00. The series comes to an end on Friday. 

Keeping the bigger picture in mind and giving promising youngsters the opportunity to play international hockey is the main focus for the South African men’s hockey team in the current Cape Town Summer Series.

South Africa is playing against Holland and Belgium in this series and all matches are played at Hartleyvale. Holland is the third best team in the world, played in the World Cup final in 2014 and finished fourth at the Rio Olympic Games. Belgium is fourth on the world rankings and won the silver medal in Rio. South Africa is currently 15th on the world rankings after not playing international hockey for almost a year. The last time they played against international opposition was during last year’s Summer Series.

The big tournament of this season is the World League during July. This tournament is a World Cup qualifying event. According to Tim Drummond, captain of the men’s team, that is what they are working towards and that the Summer Series is vital in preparation for World League.

In the first two matches of the Summer Series against the Dutch the South African showed some promise, but conceded 13 goals and scored only 3.

“Sunday is a very important game for our squad. It's another opportunity to play one of the top hockey nations in the world which is an incredible chance for us to see if we have grown in our abilities as a collective and individually over the series,” said Drummond.

“We have emphasised our defensive structure as we have conceded a lot of goals, but for me, I would like us to be more positive in our actions to create more scoring opportunities.”

South Africa has chosen a very young squad for the Summer Series with various players from the SA u21 team that finished 10th at the recent World Cup; the best ever showing by a South African u21 team at a Junior World Cup. Some of these players include the captain Alex Stewart, Ryan Julius and Bili Ntuli (who captain the SA u19 team at the Youth Olympics a few years ago where they finished fourth). The 18-year-old Dayaan Cassiem from Bishops also made his debut in this series and Andrew Hobson who matriculated from Paul Roos Gymnasium last year is also in the squad.

“We have a good balance of experience and youth and it's important the younger members play with freedom and play the type hockey which earned them a place in this team. We will be pushing hard for the last game and showing plenty more desire as a squad to get a win against the Dutch on Sunday!” Drummond added.

Sunday’s match is at 18:00. It will be the last game against the Dutch before the matches against Belgium starts.

Both national teams of South Africa will be disappointed with the amount of goals they conceded in their matches on Wednesday in the Cape Town Summer Series.

The South African men lost 7-1 to the Netherlands.

Bili Ntuli almost scored in the first minute of the match, but while the crowd were still wondering about how awesome that goal would have been, the visitors all too soon were leading 2-0. 

The crowd were on their feet again when captain Tim Drummond scored from a penalty corner to make the score 1-2.

Milan van Baal (2), Rik van Kan, Bjorn Kellerman, Mirco Pruijser and Bram van Groesen (2) scored Holland’s goals. Max Caldas’ team played with lots of confidence and structure. They made it all look so easy. This was in contrast to the South Africans who struggled to find rhythm and get going in the attack. They had to defend for most of the match. The players were clearly frustrated and obviously disappointed.

Earlier in the evening the South African women’s team fought a good fight against China. The visiting team won 5-2, but at halftime the score was 1-1 and with only one chukka to go it was 3-2.

There was some discussion between players and umpires after China’s second goal, but no change to the decision was made. South Africa strike back immediately though with a superb goal from Sulette Damons to deal in the best possible way with the disappointment. SA’s first goal was scored from a great turnover. Candice Manuel hit the back of the goal-box.

China’s goals were scored by Bingfeng Gu, Lihua Goa, Xiaoxue Zhang, Xiaomei Sun and Ming Xiao Song.

South Africa will be disappointed with the score-line and the fact that they conceded some soft goals in that final chukka. All in all, Sheldon Rostron’s team did much more right that wrong. They got penalty corners and forced China into a few mistakes. Now the players need to focus on that finishing touches that will turn good play into better opportunities and goals.     

It was a big milestone day for Lillan du Plessis who played in her 100th match for South Africa.

The next matches in the series are tomorrow at 18:00 when the SA women take on Chile. This match is followed by what could be an epic clash between Belgium and the Netherlands. It should be a cracking game between the silver medallists from Rio and third best team in the world. It will be Belgium first game in the Summer Series    

The South African women’s team will head into the rest of 2017 without the calming, stabilising presence of one of their greatest goalkeepers, as Sanani Mangisa announced her retirement from international hockey on Tuesday, 24th January 2017.

The 29-year-old Mangisa is into her 10th year of representing South Africa and has decided the time is right for her to concentrate on her career in the sports industry and helping to create opportunities, similar to the ones she enjoyed, for the next generation.

“I always love the freshness and optimism that comes with a new year and it is with that same freshness and optimism that I have decided to retire from international hockey. On 30th December 2006, I made my debut in Stellenbosch as a young 19-year-old and 10 years on it has been an immense honour to represent South Africa at the highest level.

“However, it’s time for me to focus on some passion projects, making sure other young players have the same opportunities I did and a job that I am enjoying. Hockey chose me and I will forever be grateful,” Mangisa said.

Mangisa thanked the South African Hockey Association (SAHA) and all other stakeholders in the game who have supported her in the last decade.

“Thank you to SAHA for all the opportunities they allowed me to represent my country and wear the Green and Gold. Thank you to the different team-mates I have played with over the years - we shared a common goal and always worked hard towards achieving it. Also, thank you to the coaches and trainers who always challenged me to be better. 

“Thanks too to all the different sponsors, you believed in a girl, long before I believed in myself, and to the media - journalists and broadcasters - that feature hockey, I have to thank you specifically for working endlessly to highlight our sport. I hope everyone keeps supporting women’s sport not just because it’s women’s sport, but because we are breaking moulds and doing some really exciting stuff.

“Furthermore to my family, you have always been the grounding factor. Your support has been immense. Enkosi,” Mangisa said.

The Umtata-born Mangisa leaves the game with rich memories as one of South Africa’s most decorated goalkeepers, having earned 112 international caps and appearing in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, as well as the 2014 World Cup and the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She also represented South Africa at the 2007 Indoor World Cup and played locally for the KZN Midlands Schools, the University of Pretoria and Northerns, before moving to the Wanderers Hockey Club and her current provincial home being Southern Gauteng.

Marissa Langeni, the CEO of SAHA, paid tribute to Mangisa. “We have followed Sanani’s progress over the years and she has truly been a remarkable player, doing an amazing job in goal for South Africa. She enjoyed so many highlights on the field, but she was also a great ambassador for South African hockey. As Sanani likes to say, “I’m just a girl from Mthatha”, I’d like to add she’s just a girl from Mthatha with 112 caps for South Africa who through her own story inspired a new generation of fans for the game.  We wish her all the best,” Langeni said.

In the first few matches in the Cape Town Summer Series the South African hockey teams have shown some good intent and promise.

All the matches in the series are played at Hartleyvale.

The series started last Friday when the South African women played against Chile and got a 3-0 victory, they followed that up with a good showing against China despite losing 2-3. It could have easy been an even closer game with the home team having chances to close the gap.

Various players – Jessica O’Connor, Stephanie Baxter and Kate Koenig - made their international debut for South Africa.

On Sunday the China won a scrappy match against Chile with 2-1.

The score-line of the South African men against the Netherlands is not a fair reflection on the game itself. According to the men’s captain Tim Drummond his team played a competitive match against the third best team in the world. South Africa is currently in 15th place on the world rankings. At one stage the gap was only one goal.

Dayaan Cassiem made his international debut for the men’s team against the Dutch. He is only 18 years old.

Both Belgium’s men and women teams will join the action in the upcoming matches.

For the South African teams this series is a vital part of their build-up to the World League-tournament later in the year. The World League will be a qualifying tournament for next year’s Hockey World Cup.

Results thus far: WOMEN - South Africa 3, Chile 0; China 3, South Africa 2; China 2, Chile 1. MEN – Holland 6, South Africa 2.

Upcoming fixtures: 25 JANUARY – China v SA (w); SA v Holland; 26 JANUARY – SA v Chile (w), Holland v Belgium; 28 JANUARY – China v Chile (w); 29 JANUARY – Belgium v Chile (w), SA v China (w), SA v Holland; 30 JANUARY – SA v Belgium (w); SA v Belgium (m); 1 FEBRUARY – China v Belgium (w), SA v Belgium (m); 2 FEBRUARY – SA v Belgium (m), Belgium v China; 3 FEBRUARY – SA v Belgium (w).

The score of 2-6 does not do justice to the efforts of the South African men's hockey team against the Netherlands in their first match of the Summer Series.

This is the first time in 12 months that the South Africans played international hockey. Holland was fourth at the Olympics and is currently third on the world rankings.

South Africa had good moments and if the players could have managed to sustain this good constructive place for longer periods of time, the score could have been much different. With six minutes remaining the score was 4-2. The last time these two teams played the Dutch won with almost two handfuls of goals.

“It was a positive match for us if you take into consideration that is has been 12 months since our last international series. We did ourselves a good service against a world-class team and played a competitive match. We did let ourselves down with regards to discipline, but it is something we can rectify and comeback better from,” said SA captain Tim Drummond.

The halftime score was 2-0 for the visitors after goals from Thierry Brinkman and Mirco Pruijser. Both goals were scored in the second quarter. The first half was largely dominated by the Netherlands. There were moments of good play by the South Africans, but they could not, like the Netherlands apply it continuously for long periods of time.

Holland's first goal had become after more than three minutes of continual attacks and pressure on the South African defence in the goal circle. The second goal came just a few minutes later.

The home team scored a minute after the start of the third quarter. Jonty Robinson’s goal narrowed the gap to a single goal. Tristan Allegra scored soon after though from a penalty corner to stretch the Dutch lead again. The crowd was on their feet in the 37th minute when Gareth Heyns hit the back of the net for South Africa’s second goal.

The final quarter, however, again belonged to the Netherlands with goals from Bob de Voogd, Jip Janssen and Pruijser.

Drummond and his team would be concerned about the amount of penalty corners they conceded. “It was far too many for sure, but once again we will get better.”

The next match in the series is Wednesday when the South African women's team play against China and the men take on the Netherlands again.