PMB win battle of the varsities

2008-09-08 00:00

IN a stunning turnaround, Maritzburg Varsity fought back twice from three-goal deficits to eventually emerge 6-5 winners over their Durban counterparts at the AB Jackson GreenFields Turf on Sunday.

Victory means the KZN Men’s Super League club hockey title is almost certain to return to the provincial capital, as the last two matches should see full points coming the way of PMB Varsity, who in any case now have a nigh-impregnable five-point cushion over their second-placed rivals.

The Durban side will be reflecting on what might have been in the two matches against PMB. At Glenwood, the coastal campus led 4-2 with two minutes to go before having to settle for a 4-4 draw.

A mark of winners is how they react to adversity, and at the ABJ it was once again the PMB side that did what needed to be done when it really mattered.

A slow, sloppy start by the home side saw Durban go a remarkable 3-0 up inside 10 minutes in a game they had to win in order to take the title, as PMB Varsity enjoyed a two-point cushion going into the match and a draw would suffice in their case. Kevan Demartinis powered in a penalty-corner dragflick past PMB goalkeeper Sibs Mkhize’s outstretched right leg. Teigan Mulholland scored the second and Mike Wiggett made it three after finishing with skill and control.

The homeboys looked to be down and out, but both wing half Kyle Nipper and centreback Karl Oftebro were on song for PMB and the home side broke their duck though Daniel Deane.

Demartinis restored the three-goal advantage soon after, before Oftebro also got in on the PC dragflick act with a peach into the roof of the net.

Turning around 4-2 up, Durban were within 35 minutes of the title and they went 5-2 ahead after another defensive lapse saw Mulholland pounce. With just 20 minutes left, the prospect of PMB scoring three goals for the necessary draw — never mind four for victory — seemed remote.

But, as if sensing all the season’s hard work was to leave them without their ultimate goal, PMB got into gear and Kegan Walters capitalised from a fine Oftebro overhead. Two goals inside two minutes were next up, as a stunning Nipper run eventually led to Devon van der Merwe’s goal, while superb build-up work saw the scores level at 5-5 when livewire striker Dalan Phillips netted.

Durban were shattered and the skilful Van der Merwe set up a simple tap-in for Duzo Khanyile to net the winner.

SUPER LEAGUE LOG

(Matches played, goal difference, points):

1. Pmb Varsity P12, GD49, 31 points

2. Dbn Varsity P12, GD64, 26 pts

3. Dbn Tech Rovers P12, GD35, 22 pts

4. Dbn North I P11, GD16, 22 pts

5. Pinetown P12, GD-7, 17 pts

6. Kearsney P12, GD-64, 7 pts

7. Pmb Collegians P12, GD-39, 6 pts

8. Dbn North II P11, GD-56, 5 pts.

RESULTS

KZN Men’s Super League: PMB Varsity 6 Durban Varsity 5; PMB Collegians 7 Durban North II 1; Durban North I 4 Kearsney 2; Pinetown 5 Durban Tech Rovers 5.

KZN Midlands Women’s Premier League: Country Districts 7 Collegians B 0; CD 10 Varsity B 0.

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