Both defending champions Western Province (Men) and SPAR KZN Raiders (Women) got their title defenses off to winning starts on the opening day of action at the SA Hockey Indoor IPT, brought to you by SPAR and Tops at SPAR.
With the South African World Cup performances still ringing in the ears of the hockey fans and living in the hopes of players, there was a massive sense of anticipation that was reverberating at Thomas More College.
Mpumalanga continued their search for a maiden semi-final with an enthralling game against the KZN Mynahs. They led the game 4-1 but were pegged back to 4-4 through a Callum Osborne inspired fight back. But Liam Hermanus scored a scintillating goal that ultimately put the game to bed and gave the lowveld side a great opportunity to qualify for the final four.
Western Province trailed to a goal from former teammate Kyle Cameron, but although they toiled for victory were able to get the result to start their title defense on a high note. They were also joined in the victory ring by SPAR KZN Raiders who were comfortable in a 4-0 win over Northern Blues while Spencer Botes led his Southern Gauteng side to comfortable victory against the hard-working SG Witsies.
In the women’s tournament Northern Blues overturned a 1 goal deficit in the Gauteng Derby to romp home to a 4-1 win. All four goal scorers have featured in Indoor World Cup previously underlining the depth of quality at their disposal for this tournament.
The SPAR KZN Raiders also got off to a winning start despite being keenly tested by Mpumalanga while Western Province got the job done against North West after a brace from Sasha Siverstein. In the “B” team battle it was WP Peninsula who got off to a quick start and ultimately never relinquished the lead they generated early on.
On day 2 the women’s group stage will complete while the men will see it as moving day and the opportunity to position and improve ahead of the Semi-Finals.