SA men’s hockey bring high-quality action to first Test against Austria

2015-01-06 00:00

THE first Test between a new-look South Africa men’s hockey team and Austria got off to a perfect start at Queensmead in Durban yesterday evening and a 1-1 draw in this exciting encounter has set up the remaining three Tests during the week to bring further high-quality action.

SA dominated the majority of the game and Durban’s Dan Sibbald got the green and gold in front with a sizzling back-stick shot from the top of the strike zone in the 40th minute after the initial assist from debutant Mondli Dlamini.

The Europeans finished strongly and highly experienced Michael Koerter found the equaliser in the 53rd via a penalty corner drag flick.

There was much to enthuse during this high-energy encounter and it was heart-warming to see the slew of SA debutants looking at home in the cut-and-thrust of world-level hockey.

Ross Hetem of Durban had an early chance while Dlamini set up a penalty corner with fellow debutant Andrew Manson in the second quarter that saw drag-flick ace Matt Guise-Brown’s bullet well-saved by ’keeper Mateusz Szymcyk.

There was a torrid battle in the engine room, and here the SA captain Jonty Robinson and centre back Jethro Eustice — two of SA’s most experienced players — were invaluable in providing direction and cohesion to the playing pattern.

It was five minutes toward the end of the third quarter when Dlamini on the right fed Sibbald, who flipped the ball over a defender’s stick, before rifling a reverse-stick blast past that rattled the backboard past replacement ’keeper Michael Maentler (1-0).

As the final quarter of the modern 15-minute chukkas of four began, yet another Durbanite, Mohammed Mea, slipped a through-ball to Southern Gauteng’s Brandon Panther whose rocket shot led to a second SA penalty corner, but successive efforts from the set-piece came to nought, the latter strike flying on the wrong side of the crossbar.

As the vocal crowd sensed an SA victory, Koerter silenced the thought with a penalty corner equaliser seven minutes from time, and two more late chances were foiled by the green and gold defence, the last bringing out a fine diving save from ’keeper Gowan Jones in a one-on-one with Koerter.

REMAINING TESTS

(all at Queensmead)

Today: second Test (6 pm).

Thursday: third Test (6 pm).

Friday: fourth Test (2 pm).

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.