Good and bad times in SA hockey

2008-09-19 00:00

THE last round of probably the most exciting KZN Men’s Super League yet takes place tomorrow at Durban’s Queensmead and Riverside Poligras, plus the AB Jackson GreenFields in Pietermaritzburg.

The best game on paper this weekend, under the watchful eye of Gary Simmonds — back from officiating at the Olympics — and fellow umpire Stephen Nel, looks to be that between new champions PMB Varsity and the much-improved Pinetown, at 9.30 am at Queensmead.

Meanwhile, SA hockey is mourning the loss of one of its favourite sons.

Dikarabo “Dika” Matlapeng, a member of the renowned Puk Academy in Potchefstroom, died tragically in a road accident this week.

Just 21 years old, Dika was a key player in the outstanding North West senior and U21 sides as well as the “Puk” university team.

A remarkably popular young man, Dika was variously known by team-mates and opponents as “Hands” and “Ronaldinho” in tribute to a unique skill, as well as “Muscles” in fond reference to his slight stature, the latter feature arguably holding him back from further honours.

“He added so much value and happiness to our lives and will be missed by everyone,” Puk Academy director Paul Revington said yesterday. “Most of all, people at the Academy will never forget the great moments we shared with Dika.

“As his coach, I will miss him terribly. I feel as if I have lost a son and I know that the hockey fraternity have lost a champion.”

FIXTURES

Queensmead: Pinetown vs Pmb Varsity (9.30 am); Kearsney vs Dbn Varsity (11 am).

Riverside: Dbn North II vs Dbn North I (10 am).

ABJ: Pmb Collegians vs Dbn Tech Rovers (11 am).

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