Not the prettiest hockey

2008-05-19 00:00

The hockey on day two of IPT, to be brutally honest, was fairly aimless stuff from a spectator point of view, as lopsided results in any sport are not attractive propositions.

There was also frustration for the SA-laden IPT champions Western Province, who battled to get any momentum going against KZN Midlands. With 12 SA players in their side and the restrictions imposed by Spar SA coach Jenny King on their participation in terms of minutes on the park, no sooner had WP got things going than players had to be pulled off.

Western Province skipper and Spar SA vice-captain Kate Hector said afterwards that the national team must come first with their heavy schedule ahead of August’s Beijing Olympics in mind, but argued that a province like hers might have split the 12 with their B side Peninsula to achieve a more equitable solution.

"We didn’t play with the pace we did [on day one] against the SA juniors, but to come away with a 5-0 win is good enough with our national players limited to the equivalent of five matches [out of seven]. It was particularly disappointing at set-pieces with the regulars off the pitch," Hector said.

WP coach Wayne Denne was philosophical: "The girls are achieving the various little goals I’ve set them and with that focus they are growing as a team".

Midlands captain Lyndall Robertson was pleased with her team. "Province are such a well-structured side, so we went in with a positive attitude and showed discipline in defence."

Indeed, Midlands had held the score to 3-0 until WP (through Hector) added a brace in the final four minutes.

Midlands coach Gareth Carr, who has impressed with his approach to this IPT assignment, said the aim of the side was to limit the damage against the champions as goal difference might play a big role in determining who makes the fifth-to-eight place playoffs – a realistic goal for the province.

"It wasn’t pretty. We probably had 25% of the possession, but we played well as a group. Wits on Tuesday [today] is a winnable match for us."

Last year’s finalists Southern Gauteng had another easy win, and captain of province and country Marsha Marescia said the side is beginning to gel. "Our build-up was disjointed initially, but gradually we are establishing a pattern. Our coach [former Spar SA captain Lindsey Wright] is getting us to concentrate on technical and tactical aspects of our play and it will come in handy when we meet North West, who are a very fit side, while Northerns are always tough."

The undisputed player of the day was Western Province’s Kathleen Taylor, who is so beautifully balanced on the ball. Today should see some better-balance fixtures with Midlands meeting Witwatersrand, Southerns vs Northerns and KZN Raiders against SA U21.

Day 2 Results

North West (2) 2 (Chene Henderson, Kristen Kriel) WP Peninsula (1) 1 (Elzanne Jacobs); Northerns Blues (2) 5 (Nicolene Terblanche, Tarryn Moses 2, Karen Vorster, Mignon Gardner) Mpumalanga 0; WP (2) 5 (Kathleen Taylor, Farah Fredericks, Alice de Waal, Kate Hector 2) KZN Midlands 0; Southern Gauteng (3) 6 (Tsoanelo Pholo 3, Louise Coertzen, Tanith Drake, Bernadette Coston) KZN Mynahs 0; SA U21 (2) 4 (Ncedisa Magwentshu, Catherine McNulty, Sulette Damons, Loreen Irvine) Wits (0) 1 (Sylvia Horstmann); KZN Raiders (2) 4 (Catherine Morris, Kerry Gaze 3) Boland 0.

Day 3 Fixtures

Midlands vs Witwatersrand (8.30 am); KZN Mynahs vs North West (10.10 am); Pens vs Mpumalanga (11.50 am); WP vs Boland (13.50 pm); Southern Gauteng vs Northerns (15.30 pm); KZN Raiders vs SA U21.

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