KZN Inland’s focus turns to upcoming national tournaments

2009-08-05 00:00

IN the focus match of KZN Inland Premier League women’s hockey at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf over the weekend, Collegians A pretty much clinched the 2009 title with a 2-0 win over arch-rivals Varsity A, thanks to a brace of first-half goals from Robyn Pearson.

Earlier in the week, Collegians A beat the exciting young GHS Old Girls’ A team 3-1. The experienced Lyndal Robertson scored twice and the equally seasoned English import, Marie-Laure Johnson, got the other goal for Collegians, while former provincial forward, Lauren Flint, replied for Old Girls.

On Sunday, Varsity A beat Collegians B 10-1, Lou Miskey (3) and Michelle Henwood (2) doing most of the damage to the Red and Blacks’ net and backboard. On Saturday, Standard A beat Collegians B 1-0 with Kate Foster bagging the winner.

For the KZN Inland team, the Spar Women’s Interprovincial Tournament, to take place at the splendid Tshwane University of Technology Hockey Stadium in Pretoria from August 25 to 29, is three weeks away, so the focus of the province’s top players must be on being in peak form come their opening match.

In men’s Premier League, champions Varsity I beat Varsity II 15-0, Gavin Jelley — a striker with a sharp eye for the box — grabbing six goals and Kegan Walters a hat-trick.

An idea to make the KZN Inland Men’s Premier League more competitive and attempt to level the playing fields with runaway winners Varsity I, would be to assign a paid player/coach/director of hockey to each of Standard, Collegians and Olympics. That person would be accountable for the quality of first team practices, the performances of the first team and the general efficiency of “his” club.

Thinking laterally, imagine Olympian Tommy Hammond running Olympics, Kegan Walters in charge of Standard and Devon van der Merwe in charge of operation at Collegians?

They would attract players, as well as revive the interest of disillusioned older players who are still easily capable of playing premier division hockey.

It’s just 12 days to the long-awaited National Men’s Interprovincial Tournament, which takes place at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf and Maritzburg College’s Pape’s Astro from August 17 to 22.

A total of 18 provincial teams will be converging on the KZN capital, along with umpires, coaches, managers, national selectors, SA administrators and sundry other officials — that’s over 400 people to add value to Pietermaritzburg’s tourist spend over a seven-day period, before you begin to count the travelling supporters.

It is now up to the Msunduzi Municipality to come to the party and ensure that the AB Jackson facilities are in first-class condition and the “look” of PMB’s premier hockey venue is spick and span.

RESULTS:

KZN Inland Women’s Premier League: Collegians A 2 Varsity A 0; Standard A 1 Collegians B 0; Varsity A 10 Collegians B 1; Collegians A 3 GHS Old Girls’ A 1.

Men’s Premier League: Varsity I 15 Varsity II 0.

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