Western Province continued their domination of the South African Hockey landscape with a third consecutive IPT Title after a tough battle with the South Africa Under 21 men at Riverside Sports.
With the Western Province team loaded with star quality in the likes of Connor Beauchamp, Sam Mvimbi, Keenan Horne, Ryan Julius and Dayaan Cassiem, the final had been eagerly awaited as it offered a glimpse into the future and present of South African hockey. It also offered the highly rare opportunity to witness two of South African Hockey’s stars the Cassiem brothers play against each other.
It was Olympian Keenan Horne, a man with more than 100 international caps, who opened the scoring for the defending champions. Horne was awake to a possible advantage being blown by umpire Ayden Shrives and finished into the bottom right corner while the defense had been caught napping.
The battle continued to be a war of attrition with that moniker of “next goal wins” feeling like it would carry a degree of weight. But it was wait instead as the game inched into its final 5 minutes it looked like Western Province had finally secured the title with the next goal. National captain Dayaan Cassiem was left unmarked in the circle and received the ball from Idrees Abdulla with his back to goal before firing home into the bottom corner. A goal that had unbridaled joy etched on the older brothers face.
Fawaaz Kahder made it interesting with a late deflected goal from a penalty corner as SA U21 pushed to restore the game, but it wasn’t to be and Western Province seal a third consecutive title and their dominance in the game continues unabated.
It was a bronze medal confirmed for Southern Gauteng in a 4-2 win against the Raiders. But with 6 minutes remaining they were trailing 2-1. Dalpiarro Langford and Chad Futcher grabbed them over the line for the dirty gold. WP Pens needed a shootout after a 3-3 draw to finish in fifth place over Eastern Province. While Northern Blues hung onto their A Section status at the expense of Free State with Guy Morgan netting four goals.
There was joy for SG Witsies as a year later they rejoined the A Section with a 2-0 win over KZN Mynahs in the final. Travis Krumples and Julian Hykes combined their differing levels of experience to secure a win and a spot in the A Section in 2024. SACD earned bronze with a 4-1 win over North West. KZN Robins triumphed 3-1 over Border in the fifth place playoff while 7th place went to Northern Cape after a 3-2 win over Mpumalanga.
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Results – 26 August 2023
7th Playoff – Free State 0-5 Northern Blues
5th Playoff – WP Peninsula (2) 3-3 (1) Eastern Province
Bronze – KZN Raiders 2-4 Southern Gauteng
Final – Western Province 2-1 South Africa U21
7th Playoff – Northern Cape 3-2 Mpumalanga
5th Playoff – KZN Robins 3-1 Border
Bronze – SACD 4-1 North West
Final – SG Witsies 2-0 KZN Mynahs
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Individual Awards
Goalkeeper of the Tournament – Gowan Jones (KZN Raiders)
Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament – Mustapha Cassiem (South Africa U21)
Junior Player of the Tournament – Fawaaz Kahder (South Africa U21)
Player of the Tournament – Mustapha Cassiem (South Africa U21)
Women’s Final Umpires – Ayden Shrives, Darren Hubach & Peter Caulder (Reserve)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament – Thomas Minnie (North West)
Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament – Julian Hykes (SG Witsies)
Player of the Tournament – Julian Hykes (SG Witsies)
Women’s Final Umpires – Brian Riddle, AB Groener & Jordan Fitzhenry (Reserve)