The Northerns Blues women’s team, the 2014 IPT champions, are probably feeling this could be their year again as they beat Wits 3-0 on Wednesday to give themselves a good chance of topping their pool in the Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals at the Randburg Hockey Stadium.
Two wins and a draw in their pool games have left Northerns with seven points and only Tuffy Western Province can catch them, providing they beat the Spar KZN Raiders by three clear goals later on Wednesday.
Northerns came roaring out of the blocks with three goals in the first 12 minutes, but this brilliance did not last, thanks in part to Wits improving greatly over the last three quarters and also due to their own problems at short-corner time, where they earned over a dozen but only converted two of them
Jacinta Jubb is a powerful striker of the ball and she scored both the short-corner goals in the first four minutes to put Northerns 2-0 up, first slotting home from her traditional position at the top of the castle and then taking a few steps right before blasting in again.
A fine strike by Welma Luus produced a field goal from the left side of the D in the 12th minute, but thereafter Northerns wasted numerous short corners, which is going to be a threat to their ambitions if it continues during the tense knockout stages which begin on Thursday.
The other women’s A Section pool is likely to be topped by Southern Gauteng and North-West.
In the women’s B Section, Zimbabwe landed themselves a place in the top two of their pool as they beat SA Country Districts 6-2, Michelle Williams and Nicola Watson both claiming hat-tricks.
KZN Inland drew 3-3 with Northerns B to finish second in Pool B behind KZN Mynahs.
In the men’s B Division, North-West ensured that they will finish in the top two of their pool with a 3-2 win over Eastern Gauteng, while SA Country Districts landed their first win with a 3-0 triumph over KZN Inland, who only arrived in Johannesburg with 11 players.
The ambitions of the Tuffy Western Province men’s side took a knock in the A-section of the Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals as they went down 3-2 to the South Africa Under-21 side at the Randburg Hockey Stadium on Tuesday.
The defending champions had begun their title defence with a comfortable victory on the opening day of the competition but were brought back to earth by the brave youngsters.
Ryan Crowe handed SA Under-21 the lead with through a field goal before Western Province struck back thanks to an Austin Smith drag-flick from a penalty corner.
There was a break in play as a passing thundershower led to a waterlogged astroturf, pushing the remainder of the day’s games back, but play eventually resumed with the sides locked at one-all.
Another field goal, this time by Khumo Mokale, helped SA Under-21 regain the lead before a penalty stroke in the 40th minute from Kyle Lion-Cachet sealed the victory although Western province managed to close the gap with four minutes to play as Smith added another from a short corner.
The Tuffy Western Province women’s side were also left with points to ponder from their game against Northerns Blues with the encounter ending 1-1.
The early exchanges were dominated by Northerns as they created a number of chances and pressured the Western Province defence. Had it not been for Nicole Le Fleur they may have been down a goal earlier with the goalkeeper keeping out a Jacinta Jubb effort from a penalty corner out in the ninth minute.
But Jubb managed to break the deadlock two minutes before halftime with a powerful poke from a short corner hurtling into the backboard.
But the lead was short-lived as Western Province struck back and while both sides fought hard for the lead in the third and fourth quarters the goals never came. It was made worse by the fact that both sides were left to rue a number of missed short corner opportunities.
In the other men’s A-section game that was affected by the cloud burst, Witsies bounced back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Eastern Province.
A Nic Gonsalves brace, the first coming via a field goal in the 19th minute and the second from a brilliantly worked short-corner option in the 22nd, saw Witsies take a 2-0 lead.
The deficit was cut down by a Cody van Wyk field goal but his Eastern Province side were unable to find a way through and suffered their first defeat after beating Northerns on day one.
Free State provided some anxious times early on for the KZN Raiders in their men’s A Section match at the Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals on Tuesday, but it was only a moment of brevity as the KwaZulu-Natalians roared to a 6-1 victory in the end.
Free State started strongly and so nearly claimed the first goal when Dylan Swanepoel rocketed a short-corner drag-flick off the post in the second minute. But gradually the competitiveness of the Free Staters waned and the KZN Raiders in the end put together a very good performance to bounce back from their 1-1 draw with the SA U21s on the opening day.
They opened the scoring in the eighth minute when a fine cross by Mohammed Mea was expertly met and deflected into goal by Travis Hardnick.
The rest of the first half went well for KZN as they added two more impressive goals.
Stephen Wiggett showed the talents of an ace goal-poacher as he seemed to have so much time to rob the ball off a defender’s stick and slam it into the goal all in one stroke for the Raiders’ second goal, and Jethro Eustice, who did invaluable work in midfield, then flicked home well from a short-corner to make it 3-0 after 20 minutes.
Daniel Sibbald was inches away from scoring the goal of the tournament thus far when his reverse-sticks shot came off the post, the international having started the move just outside his own 25 with a superb run.
But the third quarter was a better one for Free State as they pulled a goal back through Darren Kamfer, before normal service was resumed in the final quarter and KZN Raiders scored three more goals.
Ross Hetem set up and finished the first with a fine overhead across the circle to Jarryd Jones, who cut back and then passed back to Hetem, who slotted home a good reverse-sticks finish.
Jones scored the last goal on the final hooter, with a slap high into the net after a short-corner, with Wiggett getting his second goal five minutes earlier with a well-struck angled shot.
In earlier games in the women’s B Section, there were comfortable wins for defending champions WP Peninsula, Zimbabwe and Northerns B.
Nicole Bartsch scored twice for Peninsula as they beat SA Country Districts 8-1, as did Michelle Williams for Zimbabwe in their 4-1 win over Mpumalanga.
Northerns B gained some consolation for their 7-1 hammering at the hands of the KZN Mynahs on the first day as they beat Southern Gauteng Nuggets 3-0.
Last year’s finalists Tuffy Western Province and Southern Gauteng showed that they have the framework for success again, but need to brush up on their finishing, as they began the Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals with comfortable victories on the first day at the Randburg Hockey Stadium on Monday.
The South African Hockey Association (SAHA), together with title sponsor Greenfields, are proud to announce that the Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals is set to get underway from the 25 to 30 April 2016.
The South African Hockey Association today announced the national indoor teams for men and women following the 2016 Indoor National Inter Provincial Tournaments of 13-15 October.
The National Indoor Womens team is set to travel to Swakopmund, Namibia for a 5 match Test Series taking place from 24-27 November, whilst the National Indoor Men will be hosted at the annual PSI National Tournament and will face an All Stars International Invitational side from 10-14 December.
The teams are:
SA Ladies Indoor Team.
- Cindy HackKZN
- Eloise WaltersKZN
- Hanli HattinghWP
- Heather Mc EwanWP
- Jessica O ConnorKZN
- Kara StellaKZN
- Kelly MadsenKZN
- Natasha RootenbergWP
- Nicole De VriesWP
- Nicole La FleurWP
- Shelly HiggoKZN
- Stephanie BaxterNW
SA Mens Indoor Team
- Matthew BeckerWP
- Richard CurtisKZN
- Matthew FairweatherKZN
- Justin DomleoKZN
- Robin JonesKZN
- Mohamed MeaKZN
- Wade PatonWP
- Jethro EusticeSG
- Keagan RobinsonSG
- Reeza RosenbergSG
- Ryan JuliusWP
- Rusten AbrahamsSG