WP’s Badgers take elite hockey title

2014-06-30 00:00

THE classy Western Province Cricket Club Badgers won the 2014 Greenfields Riverside Elite Challenge at ­Riverside Sports in Durban North yesterday with host club Riverside second, Kearsney HC third and Southern Gauteng champions Wanderers Chariots fourth.

Badgers had secured the title with one match to play after notching up a 5-2 win over host club and defending champions Riverside on Saturday and a decisive 7-3 defeat of Southern Gauteng club champions Wanderers Chariots on Friday.

The Badgers’ 3-2 defeat of the spirited Kearsney HC outfit in the late game yesterday was immaterial, but a mark of their class, as the Capetonians had to deal with another outstanding performance by the Botha’s Hill-based club’s SA indoor international goalkeeper Chris McCathie.

Badgers, with a 100% win record, ended on 11 log points from their three matches in this three-day round robin competition, including two bonus points for scoring four goals or more in two matches, while Riverside were runners-up on four points, Kearsney HC third on three points and Chariots fourth on one point.

In yesterday’s early match, Badgers beat Kearsney HC 3-2 after the scores were level 1-1 at half-time. Top tournament goalscorer and Olympic Games and World Cup striker Lloyd Norris-Jones made it five goals in three matches in scoring the Badgers’ third and final goal with the others going to double Olympian Andrew Cronje and Cobus Jonker.

The player of the tournament, Norris-Jones’s club, provincial and national team-mate Wade Paton, put in another quality performance that underlined his class. Consistency is what makes Paton the player he is.

Kearsney’s goals came from the stick of SA indoor international Gavin Jelley, the Maritzburg College teacher, and Troy Marais.

Riverside, as they were in their 3-0 half-time lead on Friday against Kearsney, were well on top in the first half against the Chariots but again fell away in the second half to draw 2-2 on Sunday. The two stunning Riverside first-half goals went to Olympics, World Cup and Commonwealth Games team-mates Tim Drummond and Taine Paton, while the Wanderers Chariots scored in the second half via a field goal from SA striker Miguel da Graca and a penalty corner strike by SA-capped defender Ricky West.

In the absence of an official national club championship, this tournament is growing from strength to strength and next year’s event promises to be even better.


Friday — Riverside 3 Kearsney 1; Western Province CC Badgers 7 Wanderers Chariots 3.

Saturday — Wanderers Chariots 2 Kearsney 3; Riverside 2 Western Province CC Badgers 5.

Sunday — Kearsney 2 WPCC Badgers 3; Riverside 2 Wanderers Chariots 2.

• The SA U18 Boys’ Inter-provincial hockey tournament starts at Maritzburg College today as does the SA U18 Girls’ at Kearsney College.

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