Hockey: Aussies’ best junior side win series, but local lads fight gamely

2011-07-12 00:00

THE three-Test series between the recently selected South African U18 team and the Australian junior team, held last week, ended in a 2-0 win for the Aussies with one Test drawn.

The Australians are recognised as the best junior side to play in South Africa, but the series was closer than the 2-0 loss suggests. The local youngsters gave them a good run for their money.

The first two Tests were ill-tempered affairs as the Aussies were clearly upset by not being in total command and by some of the decisions that went against them.

Australia won the first Test 3-2 after being 2-1 up at the break. The South African youngsters did well to get back to 2-3 after being down 0-2.

Cerezo Comerasamy of Amathole and Stirling High School (Border) scored just before half-time.

In the second half SA stepped up the pace, but it was the Aussies who scored their third goal.

SA’s second and the final goal of the game was scored when a superb square ball from KZN Inland’s Tim Guise-Brown (Maritzburg College) to Amathole’s Ignatius Malgraff (Hudson Park) was hammered in to the net.

The second Test again upset the visitors and another ill-tempered game was eventually won 4-3 by Australia.

Malgraff opened the scoring, but like their senior side the Aussies were most dangerous after conceding a goal. They made no mistake after being awarded a penalty corner. The sides crossed with the score at 1-1.

SA went 2-1 up after Malgraff dispossessed the Aussies and laid off a testing pass for Grant Glutz (Inland and Maritzburg College) who dived to steer in a magnificent goal.

Australia again struck back immediately to equalise and then after a period where play had swung from end to end, scored a goal to put them into the lead for the first time.

Glutz scored his second with a drag flick from a penalty corner to equalise.

A hotly disputed penalty corner was then awarded to the visitors with just three minutes remaining from which Australia scored to win 4-3.

South Africa drew the final Test on Friday 2-2, but had more of the possession.

As the Aussies had won the series they may not have been as focused as they had been in the first two Tests, but it was nevertheless a very good effort by the home boys.

SA led 2-1 at the break after goals by James Drummond and Glutz.

The second half kept the spectators on the edge of their seats, but it was the visitiors that scored the final goal to equaliser.

Considering that the Australians had been together as a team for a longer period and they were described as one of the best schoolboy sides in years, the efforts of the South African youngsters was laudable.

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