Free State beat spirited KZN Inland women

2013-04-30 00:00

COACH Sihle Ntuli’s Kwazulu-Natal Inland team were beaten 4-0 by favourites Free State, who led 3-0 at half-time, on day two of the South African U21 Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at Queensmead stadium in Durban yesterday.

It was a key match in Pool B as Free State, last year’s finalists, were hurting from a disappointing defeat to arch-rivals Northern Blues on day one, while Inland were buoyed by their exciting 4-3 win over Western Province Peninsula.

Free State started fluidly, controlling the ball, using space effectively and forcing Inland on to the defensive. The South Africa women’s hockey team players, Izelle Lategan and Tanya Britz, were particularly dangerous when in possession and Inland keeper Saskia Cressey was called on to make two early saves.

In the eighth minute, the first penalty corner (PC) came and went as Inland defended tenaciously before Britz used a smidgin of space along the left-hand baseline to set up a chance that went astray.

Opportunities continued to pop up as Free State began stringing the passes together and Inland simply could not break out of defence. The breakthrough came midway through the first half, from Free State’s second PC, when the girls from Bloemfontein moved the ball left and then right, Shevaun Botha’s shot-pass deflected in by Nicole Walraven from close (1-0).

Inland responded well, manoeuvring their way upfield, but as the clock ticked toward the half-hour mark, Free State broke away and Line Malan drew Cressey before laying off for Maria Wessels to finish (2-0).

Inland kept working hard, right midfielder Kirsty Camons prominent in both attack and defence, but Free State always had the edge and Marizen Marais set up the finish for Britz after Cressey had made a save moments earlier (3-0).

Turning around 3-0 to the good, Free State were fortunate not to concede a goal soon after the restart after good work down the right by Inland striker Vicki Jonker.

Despite the spirited display by the KZN Inland girls in the second half, the star-studded Free State side regained control eventually for Lategan to add the fourth and final goal.

At the U21 men’s event in Pretoria, coach Fabian Gregory’s KZN Inland line-up made it two wins from two starts when they beat WP Peninsula 4-2 after leading 2-1 at half time. Striker Damian Kimfley netted a hat-trick with the other Inland goal going to Dumi Mncwango.

RESULTS

Women: North West 5 Namibia 0; WP 3 Northern Blues 1; EP 6 Eastern Gauteng 0; WP Peninsula 7 Wits (Gauteng) 0; Free State 4 KZN Inland 0; Southern Gauteng 4 KZN Coastal Raiders 1

Men: Southern Gauteng 12 Eastern Gauteng 0; WP 13 Namibia 0; Free State 1 EP 0; KZN Inland 4 WP Peninsula 2; KZN Coastal Raiders 5 Wits (Gauteng) 0; Northern Blues 4 North West 3.

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