The 2022 year of indoor hockey reached its conclusion in Cape Town on Tuesday night when the South African Hockey Indoor Men and Women completed their test series with Namibia and Ireland respectively. Both teams will be pleased to have ended the year on a high with all eyes turning to the World Cup in Pretoria in February
The SA Hockey Indoor Women had played a tight and almost titanic series with Ireland that ultimately went the distance as the teams took to the sixth test with South Africa leading the series just 1-0. In a series that saw Chloe Brown and the Irish team enhance their growing indoor hockey reputation, the European nation were desperate to get one victory over the line in front of a capacity crowd in Wynberg.
Ireland had a perfect start to the game when they scored a rebound through Orla Patton and it was a lead that they held for a significant amount of time, and it was a fairly even game at the half-time break. With five minutes remaining the South Africans was still trailing when they won a penalty corner and captain Jess O’Connor pulled level through a semi-wrap from the shot.
The game was waiting for a hero and on her 50th Cap Edith Molikoe took the opportunity to break and finish to give the hosts the win and confirm the series for South Africa
The SA Hockey Indoor Men had already sealed the series and the game saw them celebrate Justin Domleo become the most capped player in SA Hockey Indoor Men’s history.
Namibia started superbly through goals from Fagan Hansen and Liam Hermanus. But in truth it was one way traffic after that South Africa methodically and consistently netted and smashed. The hosts pulled the first one back through Dayaan Cassiem after his brother pulled off the steal just before the end of the quarter. He scored an even better equalizer just before half time on the reverse stick and the hosts then led before the break when scrum cap wearing Dan Sibbald produced a superb run and finish and 3-2 at the break.
Chad Futcher got in on the action to make it 4 and 5-2 with one penalty corner and one field goal. Dayaan Cassiem got a hat-trick just before the third quarter break with a shot so fierce it pierced the net!
Lungani Gabela got his goal in the final quarter before a late goal from Mustapha Cassiem kept his scoring streak of having scored in every test, he has played alive. Incredible.
South Africa win the series 3-0 and all eyes will now turn to Pretoria.