Riverside win in exciting draw

2013-07-16 00:00

THE Wanderers Jockeys (Gauteng) needed to beat Riverside with a bonus point to win the Riverside Elite Club Challenge in Durban North on Sunday or the hockey title would go to the hosts.

Riverside needed only to draw. After six minutes, the Johannesburg lads were 2-0 up and on course to meet that steep task.

Double Olympian umpire Gary Simmonds awarded a penalty stroke five minutes into the game that was converted by Migs da Graca.

Then a minute later, top combination play at close quarters between Jet Eustice, Terence Kidd and Mike Heyink saw the latter tap in goal No 2 for Wanderers.

The game was well and truly on, and the shock kick-started Riverside into action with a Karl Oftebro penalty corner in the eighth minute.

Umpire Warren Love awarded Riverside a penalty stroke and Wade Paton made no mistake for 2-2, four goals in the opening 11 minutes.

Player of the Tournament Gowan Jones pulled off a couple of great saves in the Riverside goals, as the pressure was piled on to the home side’s defence.

Then Mondli Dlamini came inches wide at the other end as the tempo reached a new level.

A spell of almost total Wanderers’ dominance followed with Gowan Jones pulling out four saves from the top drawer.

Another shot hit the post, while at the end of half-time Riverside’s Sean Baxter hit a screamer that deserved a goal.

At 2-2 on half-time, there was still everything to play for after the break. Jones continued to deny Wanderers and his immense value was vindicated in the 43rd minute, when the home club got up at the other end and Oftebro let loose a penalty corner hand grenade to put the locals 3-2 up.

However, Wanderers were unrelenting and despite Jones’s presence, the breakthrough came when James du Plessis beat him with a smart goalshot on the backhand for 3-3 in the 49th minute.

Two minutes later, Sheldon Jenkins nudged Riverside 4-3 ahead.

Chances continued to crop up at either end of a pulsating game that had the big crowd gripped.

Richard Curtis in the Wanderers goal reeled off two successive saves from an Oftebro penalty ­corner, before Terence Kidd stepped up to beat Jones at the second attempt for 4-4 in the 64th minute.

With 10 seconds left, Ricky West saved on the goal line for Wanderers to end the most pulsating match and tournament between the three provincial champions. The 4-4 draw ensured the inaugural Riverside Elite Clubs Challenge went to Riverside, who picked up R5 000.

RESULTS

Friday: Riverside 5 UP-Tuks 2; Western Province Cricket Club Badgers 2 Wanderers Jockeys 3.

Saturday: Tuks 3 Wanderers 2; Riverside 2 WPCC 2.

Sunday: WPCC 3 Tuks 2; Riverside 4 Wanderers 4.

Player of Tourney: Gowan Jones (Riverside).

Joint top goalscorers awards (three goals): Karl Oftebro (Riverside); Miguel da Graca (Wanderers); Richard Pautz (UP-Tuks); Wade Paton (Riverside)

Final placings:

1 Riverside

2 Wanderers Jockeys

3 WPCC Badgers

4 UP-Tuks.

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