The South African Hockey Senior Interprovincial tournament (IPT) gets underway in Durban North on Monday. The last IPT before an Olympic Games is always a little bit extra feisty as players look to get their names on to the selectors lists and work towards potentially earning themselves a shot at qualifying for and attending the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
In the women’s tournament the defending champions the Northern Blues will once again feature the bulk of the team that were triumphant in the 2022 tournament. Edith Molikoe the 2022 Player of the Tournament, will look to lead the team to a back-to-back championship run. With the likes of Jean-Leigh du Toit, Hanrie Louw, Celia Seerane and Tegan Fourie in their numbers, coach Inky Zondi will be looking for a big tournament from the team.
Western Province were the beaten finalists in 2022 and they have a brilliant tactician in Justin Grundlingh in charge. It’s a team that packs firepower with South African starts Onthatile Zulu and Erin Christie playing for the Cape side for the first time. Quanita Bobbs, Tarryn Lombard, Stephanie Botha and Kayla de Waal add to the star power of a team who would love to lift a trophy that has narrowly evaded them in the past.
The South Africa U21 side will also be gearing up for their foray at the FIH Junior World Cup in Santiago in Chile later this year. Cerian Fourie, Tamlyn Kock, Taheera Augousti and Ntsopa Mokoena will all look to help Lenise Marais team cause a couple of upsets and go further than their semi-final in 2022.
The hosts SPAR KZN Raiders haven’t won the tournament since 2017 and would love to make home ground advantage count. They will be able to count on recruit Kristen Paton in their quest for the title along with former tournament top goal scorer Malikah Hamza and Lilian du Plessis both able to trouble the opposition defense.
Southern Gauteng, Free State and SG Witsies make up the team who retained their A Section status in 2022, while North West replace Eastern Province who were relegated in 2022.
The B Section will see 10 teams compete for the title and a space in the A Section in 2024. In Pool A Eastern Province are joined by Eastern Gauteng and their U21 side as well as Mpumalanga and WP Peninsula.
Pool B will see Border, KZN Mynahs, KZN Robins, Northern Cape and SACD battle it out. The top two in each pool will secure a spot in the semi-finals.
SA Hockey Women’s IPT – Fixtures – 21 August 202
SA Hockey Women’s IPT – Recent Winners
2017 – SPAR KZN Raiders
2018 – Southern Gauteng
2019 – Northern Blues
2021 – Southern Gauteng
2022 – Northern Blues