The return of Super League proves to be a much-needed remedy for local clubs

2010-06-11 00:00

THE re-introduction of KZN Super League is already having a marked influence on KZN Inland’s premier club teams.

The cut-and-thrust, competitive nature of matches, in which even the easier encounters require acute attention to detail, is lifting the performance of the Maritzburg sides from a team and individual perspective.

Durban Varsity’s men are finding this out, in that despite shading PMB Varsity last week in an umpire-marred match, they still trail the log leaders by a massive goal difference of 17 due to their not beating the weaker sides with the same degree of conviction as their counterparts up the N3.

The insanity of no inter-city league last season hurt Inland badly at provincial level, where the ridiculously easy games endured by Varsity men’s provincial-laden squad meant key moments at the interprovincial tournament on the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf went awry.

Such is the cut-throat nature of the truncated IPT, which is now only played over five days instead of the six or seven in the past in a dubious attempt to save money — at the expense of the players’ and their teams’ chances — means every match, indeed every play, could mean the difference between a semi-final — and a shot at the title — or Nowhere Ville.

And so it proved for Inland, where a critical pool match against eventual champions KZN Coastal went south on a single play at the end, which it can be strongly argued was attempted because the player concerned had grown complacent due to the pathetically easy club league matches he had been playing in.

The full detail cannot be outlined in a newspaper article with understandably limited word space, but suffice to say that it is not beyond the bounds of possibility the play would not have been considered had the individual been exposed to high-level club hockey in 2009.

Thankfully sanity prevailed and this year’s Super League is seeing a revitalisation of both player and team in the men’s and women’s sections at Varsity and PMB Collegians.

PMB Varsity’s men pulled off an excellent 8-2 drubbing of fourth-placed Pinetown; Collegians’ men drilled hapless Toti 10-1; the Varsity ladies hammered their Durban counterparts 8-2; and Collegians’ girls slapped five past Rovers II.

The point must be made that Durban clubs are in the top range in South Africa, borne out by their men winning IPT at the ABJ last year and their ladies coming second in Pretoria. Inland’s men ended fifth and the ladies seventh.

Hence, PMB Varsity’s top spot on the eight-team Super League log at just about the halfway stage, Collegians’ sixth place; and their ladies’ third position on the fairer sex’s table with Varsity’s girls lying fifth is a significant achievement.

And the logical conclusion is that if, as anticipated, the same effort and accuracy goes into the Inland provincial sides for this year’s IPT’s, the two Inland squads will do markedly better in the final analysis.

A couple of comments this week by the respective Inland clubs’ players and coaches confirm the newfound enthusiasm.

Collegians women’s Lyndal Thompson said: “The girls were superbly destructive in creating and finishing attacking moves, they allowed the ball to do the work and as a result the finishing touches were very classy. From playing more hockey in Durban, we are growing as a team and playing better every weekend.”

Collegians men’s Leo Quayle: “It was a fruitful weekend, and a particularly pleasing team effort with Grant Christie’s fantastic solo goal the individual highlight. We are now aiming for a top-four finish.”

Varsity women’s coach Duzo Khanyile: “The UKZN derby saw PMB put their chances away. There was some fine individual skill from Sara Holland [four goals] and Odie Swart [a brace]. Durban blew their opportunities, and the big first-leg win gives us the advantage over our Howard campus rivals.”

RESULTS

Super League - Men: Ptn 2 PVar 8; Riverside I 14 Rov 3; Toti 1 PColl 10; R’side II 1 DVar 6.

Women: R’side II 0 DColl 5; DVar 2 PVar 8; R’side I 1 Rov I 2; Rov II 0 PColl 5.

Inland Premier – Women: Country Districts 3 Coll B 0; Standard A 0 Coll A 14. Inland Challenge – Men: CD 1 Var II 2.

FIXTURES

Sunday: Super League – Men: DVar v Rov (Queensmead 8 am); PVar v R’side II (Q 12.30); Toti v Ptn (Q 2 pm); R’side I v PColl (R’side 2 pm).

Women: PVar v R’side II (Q 9.30); Rov I v DColl (Q 11 am); Rov II v DVar (Q 3.30 pm); R’side I v PColl (R’side 12.30).

Inland Prem League: mid-season break due the eight IPT’s in PMB and elsewhere this month.

PMB Varsity mini-hockey: Contact Reggie Smith at smithreg@ukzn.ac.za or 082 578 0840.

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.