SA women seal series win over Canadians

2008-02-26 00:00

CANADA were on the receiving end of a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the South Africa women’s hockey team in the third and final Test of the Spar series in Pretoria on Sunday.

The result gave South Africa a 2-0 series win, with the first Test a 1-1 draw and the second Test being a 2-1 win for the Spar SA team.

The half-time score on Sunday at the Absa Tshwane University of Technology Hockey Stadium was 2-0 with goals from Kathleen Taylor and captain Marsha Marescia.

While Canada pulled one back in the second half via the stick of Kim Buker, SA added two more through Vida Ryan and Lesle-Ann George.

“I am pleased with the growth of the team over the course of the series and the year,” SA coach Jenny King told The Witness afterwards.

“Defensively we are a lot stronger than we were a month ago. We have also worked hard on our midfield, which is hugely improved and is providing a good platform for attack and controlling possession, although there were three very good chances in the first half that weren’t converted.”

She said that in terms of converting opportunities, the second half was more impressive.

The SA players who have shown the greatest growth are central defenders Taryn Hosking and Cindy Brown, who King said are “a lot more confident”.

“Kathleen Taylor is another who is reaching her potential,” King said.

Of the younger players, Durban’s Kelly Madsen — daughter of legendary former SA striker Trevor — got a reasonable amount of game time.

“Canada are the right opponents to bring on the youngsters, and Kelly is sure to grow as a player over the next 18 to 24 months,” said King.

The week-long Spar Cup round-robin tournament began at the Randburg Hockey Stadium yesterday, when SA met unknown quantities Russia, who they last played eight years ago.

Russia host an Olympic qualifier tournament in Kazan from April 19 to 27, while Canada host a similar Olympic qualifier in Vancouver from April 26 to May 4, so both countries have much to play for, as do the already qualified and Beijing Olympics-bound SA side.

SA TEAM

Mariette Rix (WP), Sanani Mangisa (Nor), Cindy Brown (WP), Taryn Hosking (WP), Vidette Ryan (WP), Lenise Marais (WP), Lisa Deetlefs (SG), Kim Hubach (Nor), Fiona Butler (SG), Marsha Marescia (SG), Lesle-Ann George (NW), Tarryn Bright (WP), Kate Hector (WP), Kelly Madsen (KZN), Henna du Buisson (WP), Kathleen Taylor (WP), Vida Ryan (WP), Farah Fredericks (WP).

FIXTURES

(Round-robin, all at 4 pm unless stated):

Today — Canada vs Russia; Tomorrow — SA vs Canada; Thursday — SA vs Russia; Friday — Canada vs Russia; Saturday — SA vs Canada (3 pm).

•Jonathan Cook will be covering the Spar Cup hockey tournament for The Witness and Weekend Witness from Randburg.

•This reported was inadvertently omitted from yesterday’s Witness. Apologies to the hockey fraternity.

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