North West U21 women claim inter-provincial hockey trophy in victory over Western Province

2010-05-03 00:00

NORTH West were full value for their 4-2 win over Western Pro­vince in the final of the SA U21 Women’s Inter-provincial Hockey Tournament (IPT), at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf on Saturday afternoon.

Indeed, the final scoreline could have been greater as captain Loreen Irvine’s side created numerous goal-scoring opportunities, although WP didn’t give up without a fight.

NW opened the scoring midway through the first half with a field goal from Lizahn Bredenhann before Michelle Dias made it 2-0 from a penalty corner, only for WP captain Nicola Walters to pull one back with a penalty corner.

Coach Jade Hearn’s WP team held North West to a 2-1 score until 10 minutes before full time.

However, Sheldon Rostron’s North West combination banged in two goals in the last 10 through an Irvine penalty corner and a field goal from Charlize van der Linde to extend their lead to 4-1. It was at the death that WP vice-captain Candice Manuel made the scoreline a bit more respectable.

Former GHS schoolgirl Celia Evans was outstanding at IPT and a major factor in North West’s eventual success.

Free State’s Hettie Oosthuizen was far and away the tournament’s leading goal scorer with 14 in all, the striker netting 11 field goals and three from penalty corners. Her pace, positioning, skill on the ball and finishing was only challenged by the outstanding North West striker, Sulette Damons, who scored seven goals — four from field play — in a side far better balanced in terms of quality forwards, which provided her with more layoff options in the attacking circle.

Just 117 goals were scored at IPT from a total of 36 matches — an average of just over three per game — which indicates the relative dearth of quality finishers at this level in South Africa.

Penalty corners were generally poorly executed on attack and badly defended as well, with some goals coming from a comedy of errors rather than quality corner skills. Also, the lack of drag-flickers — only Southern Gauteng’s Bernadette Coston had anything approaching a drag-flick — is a huge problem in women’s hockey.

Host province KZN Inland — disappointing in this tournament — trailed WP Peninsula until six mi­nutes into the second half before coming out 3-2 winners for ninth place in the 12-team IPT, thanks to a brace from St Anne’s schoolgirl Rachel Froneman and a goal via the stick of last year’s GHS captain Julia Hudson.

In Potchefstroom, WP beat Free State 3-0 to win the men’s title, while KZN Inland avoided last place with a 3-2 win over WP Peninsula.

RESULTS

Women — (11/12) Wits 1 Namibia 0; (9/10) KZN Inland 3 WP Peninsula 2; (7/8) KZN Coastal 5 EP 2; (5/6) Free State 4 Northerns 2; (3/4) Southern Gauteng 2 SA U18 0; (1/2) North West 4 WP 2.

Men — (11/12) KZN Inland 3 Border 1; (9/10) Wits 6 North West 4; (7/8) EP 3 KZN Coastal 1; (5/6) Pens 4 Northerns 3; (3/4) Southern Gauteng 3 SA U18 0; (1/2) WP 3 Free State 0.

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