Hockey: Raiders’ keepers in top form

2012-05-16 00:00

THE Quadrangular Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at Queensmead Stadium in Durban at the weekend saw some spectacular matches. The KZN Inland men’s team and the KZN Coastal Raiders women’s side emerged as the victors. KZN Inland women’s team did not take part.

After an astonishing preliminary round match in which the Inland men led 8-3 at half-time against Raiders before running out 8-5 victors, the final between the two sides had a lot to live up to, and it didn’t disappoint.

Raiders’ keepers Dave Shagham (first half) and Kai Petty (second half) were in superlative form, particularly in the air, but Inland were the stronger team and ran out 4-3 winners. Umpires Gary Simmonds, the Beijing Olympics official, and the promising Dutchy Olivier had to be on their toes as play flew between the goal zones.

The Raiders, SA Interprovincial Tournament winners for the past three years, were without their five SA stars, but put up a competitive performance.

A superb deflection by Inland’s Sihle Ntuli open the score. Former Inland centre back Karl Oftebro equalised with a penalty corner before a Justin Domleo penalty made it 2-1 to the Maritzburg lads.

Not 10 minutes from half time the underrated Inland striker Gavin Jelley restored the two-goal cushion with a coolly taken shot from field play, underlining the value of not hurrying your shot.

Sean Baxter kept the Raiders in the game with a stunning first-timer inside the six-yard box that tested the quality of the goal nets (3-2).

Matt Coombes was unfortunate not to score for Inland before Jelley proved he is made of steel with another clinical finish.

Oftebro made the final score 4-3 with a PC at the death.

The women’s final saw Raiders win 1-0 through a Karen Bowyer PC in a match they dominated against a spirited North West combination.

There is likely to be an exciting match-up Friday at the Varsity Greenfields Turf in the Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road when PMB Varsity tackle Durban Varsity at 7.30 pm in a KZN Men’s Super League clash.

QUADRANGULAR RESULTS

Men: Raiders 5 Inland 8; Raiders 5 Mynahs 1; North West 2 Inland 8; Raiders 3 North West 1; Inland 3 Mynahs 0; Mynahs 2 North West 3. Final: Inland 4 Raiders 3.

Women: Mynahs 2 North West 3; Mynahs 3 Free State 2; Raiders 7 Free State 0; Mynahs 1 North West 3; Raiders 4 North West 2; Mynahs 2 Free State 0; Raiders 4 Mynahs 1; North West 6 Free State 1. Final: Raiders 1 North West 0.

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