A hard-fought win: women’s team follow men’s example at Riverside Hockey Club

2013-09-12 00:00

ANYTHING the men can do … well, so can the women.

This is the scenario at Riverside Hockey Club (RHC) in Durban North as the club’s first women’s team retained the KZN Super League title.

Playing against their Kearsney Hockey Club counterparts, the Riverside outfit had to win to be crowned champions and a 2-1 win sealed the deal. It’s another accolade for hockey in the province, as the club’s first men’s and women’s teams have retained their Super League crowns.

However, it was not all plain sailing for the Riverside women. Collegians had beaten Rovers 6-2, placing all the pressure on Riverside, with only a win against Kearsney enough to secure the title. A win would give Riverside the better goal difference, having been level with Collegians on the log with 13 points.

“It was a close match, but the team pulled through, displaying excellent teamwork and playing with big hearts,” said captain Wendy Snelling.

Both sides took a while to click into gear, but Riverside produced the goods with great passing and fantastic finishing, as Michelle Cogle and Donne Oxenham found goal for a 2-0 advantage at the break.

“Kearsney gave everything throughout the game, pulling a goal back early in the second half, but excellent defence from short corners kept them out,” said Snelling. “We are thrilled with the title and its a credit to the team to see how they pulled together, giving of their best.”

RHC chairperson Wayne Phillips is rightfully a happy man.

“The women’s first team have made us proud, not only with the result, but how they have handled themselves on and off the field throughout the season.

“It’s a first for the club to have the men and women first teams retaining their Super League titles. For the women, it was a brilliant effort, considering they lost last year’s captain, Emma Bray, to injury and then replacement captain Cindy Hack halfway through the season.”

Phillips gave credit to Snelling stepping into the leadership role and team coach Karl Bressler. “They are solid examples of Riverside’s philosophy of pure hockey enjoyment. That can clearly be seen in our results and the commitment of the players this season,” he said.

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