Two of the quarterfinals went the distance and proceeded all the way to a shootout while the other two were comfortably one on another great day of hockey action in KwaZulu Natal.
The KZN Raiders were pushed all the way by WP Peninsula in a pulsating battle. Matt Guise-Brown continued his fine form with another goal from the penalty corner, this one almost more about power than placement. The younger Guise-Brown followed suite and put one foot into the semi-final when he doubled the lead with 10 minutes remaining. But Pens produced a rousing fight back. Aiden Tun pulled one back after a great run down the left found him open in the middle and his placement was perfect. He would add his second and level the match in the 54th with a sublime deflection from a penalty corner. Despite the best efforts of both teams, the game went to a shootout. The hero was undoubtedly Raider’s keeper Taine Bird who kept all four out superbly leaving Lungani Gabela the chance to seal the Semi-Final spot, which he duly obliged with.
Western Province was determined not to face any hiccup and stormed into a lead that they would only add to without relinquishing. Keenan Horne scored as early as the second minute and goals were added in the opening quarter by Jacque van Tonder and Matt de Sousa. Despite a goalless second quarter, the defending champions added to the scoring like a metronome. Van Tonder added to his tally and Dayaan Cassiem made it 5 to the disappointment of the Central union. The final quarter saw further goals added by Luthando Jonas, Ryan Julius and Peter Jarvis ending a resounding and dominant 8-0 victory for the tournament favorites.
Southern Gauteng came up against an Eastern Province side determined to challenge and cause problems for them. And for 38 minutes the plan worked to perfection as they frustrated a Southerns side lacking imagination. But Chad Futcher utilized perfect placement to break the deadlock. Having finally broken through Southerns would add a second through Brandon Panther just a few minutes later with a devastating penalty stroke. But the best would well and truly be saved for last. Superb quick thinking and hands from Gerald Mpopo found Ross Breytenbach in the middle who faded to the right and finished off a wonderful team goal to seal Southerns place in the Semi-Finals.
Northern Blues had endured a frustrating tournament of near misses so far, but they came fired up to a game against the South African U21 side. But they couldn’t have asked for a worse start as U21 captain Mustapha Cassiem netted twice in the opening quarter for a 2-0 lead. The first through a well finished penalty corner, the second from a trademark penalty stroke finish. But credit must go to the Northern Blues as they refused to be denied a chance to compete. Brad Sherwood, who has scored the African Cup winning goal, showed his prowess by pulling not only one goal back, but restoring parity. In a reverse order, the first a stroke and the second from a penalty corner. Like the earlier game, this too was to be decided by a shootout. Rogan Stirk the hero for the SA U21 side denying two opportunities and allowing his team to progress to the semi-finals.
In the B Section semi-final places were also up for grabs. North West secured a remarkable shootout victory over KZN Robins. They relied on Keanan Wax completing his hat-trick in the last play of the game to send it to shootouts where Wax scored the winner in sudden death. Courtney Halle was the star as his double helped lead SACD to a 4-1 win over Mpumalanga. Witsies secured a good win against Northern Cape but a 4-0 thanks to four second half goals. The KZN Mynahs were too good for Border securing a 6-1 win led by a double for Tyler Tomsett.
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Men’s A Section Quarter-Final Results
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Men’s B Section Quarter-Final Results
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Men’s Fixtures – 25 August 2023