Club hockey: Tempers flare once again

2008-06-10 00:00

THE capital city bore witness to another top-class club hockey game on Sunday.

Maritzburg Varsity shaded reigning champions Durban Tech Rovers 4-3 in the KZN Super League on the AB Jackson GreenFields Turf.

However, hot on the heels of last Sunday’s bitter clash between PMB Varsity and Durban North, the top clash in PMB was yet again marred by player/umpire controversy. And the simmering pot boiled over with Varsity 4-2 up.

The outstanding Gareth Carr set up Michael Botha for what, at first glance, looked to be a perfect Rovers goal. While superb Varsity left half Ayden Shrives was being attended to after he had collapsed in a heap, umpire Kevin Rhodes conferred with colleague Harry Suckert and ruled “no goal”.

Rovers erupted, none more so than Carr, who declared the decision “an absolute joke”. With that, Suckert’s sin-bin yellow card was brandished. Craig Peel allegedly used more colourful language in expressing his dissatisfaction, and Rhodes gave him the same treatment.

With two key Rovers team-mates in the cooler and the score still 4-2, it looked all over. But the Durban side were not done and, nine men or not, conjured up a penalty corner that was buried on the rebound by Tim Drummond.

The final whistle sounded soon after, and Rovers were not happy that what could have been a 4-4 draw ended 4-3 to Varsity.

The umpires said Shrives had been bumped off the ball by Rovers striker Michael Botha, hence the disallowed goal. Varsity player/coach Darryn Gallagher felt the same way, as did Shrives, but Rovers player/coach Mike Cullen saw it differently.

“Both Michael Botha and Ayden were running to meet the ball and it was a 50-50 challenge, to which Mike reacted first as the ball bounced loose,” said Cullen.

There was also some excellent hockey. Gallagher levelled the score after Cullen’s opener, before in-form right half Justin Domleo set up man-of the-match Dalan Phillips to put Varsity 2-1 up at the break.

With 23 minutes left, Carr and Cullen combined for Cameron Mackay to equalise.

Varsity’s Duzo Khanyile then laid off the pass of the match to set up a sliding Daniel Deane and Tommy Hammond made it 4-2 to the home side before the “goal-that-wasn’t” furore.

RESULTS

KZN Super League: PMB Collegians 0 Kearsney 3; PMB Varsity 4 DUT Rovers 3; Durban Varsity 3 Durban North 3; Pinetown 6 Durban North II 1.

* No KZN Midland Women’s Premier League matches.

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