It was a pulsating second day of action at the SA Hockey IPT at Riverside Hockey Club. Three incredibly tight battles were fought with Eastern Province the only A Section side to win by more than one goal.
Northern Blues got off to a sensational start with a goal in the opening minute when quick thinking from Tyson Dlungwana found Pierre Bothma open on the back post who finished low and hard on the reverse stick. WP Peninsula fought back and levelled matters in the 43rd minute through Caleb Oliphant in a quick counter attacking move. It looked even better for the Cape side when they took the lead on the verge of the third quarter break. Brett Horn finishing off an opportunistic chance on the dive. Former U21 captain Guy Morgan restored parity with a brilliant drag flick. As the Blues pushed forward for the winner it was Peninsula who got the final laugh. Josh Koff reacted quickly to a save and fired home the winner.
Southern Gauteng took a lead against the defending champions through Olympian Dan Bell with a perfectly executed penalty corner. The two sides traded penalty strokes as Sam Mvimbi levelled for Province only for Brandon Panther to re-establish the one goal lead. With just two minutes left on the clock the defending champions were forced to dig deep as they were facing a defeat. But big moments are made for big players and Connor Beauchamp fired home two late and perfect penalty corners to secure a win for the champions.
Matt Guise-Brown got himself onto the score sheet again as the KZN Raiders opened the scoring against the SA U21 side towards the end of the opening quarter with a low powerful penalty corner. Viwe Mbata levelled matters for Guy Elliotts team though with a reactive goal. Hans Neethling put the U21’s in the lead in the second half with a scrappy penalty corner that would have disappointed the Raiders defense. This time the Raiders levelled when Kewan Harries took the rebound and smashed it home superbly to seal a draw in a replay of the 2022 Semi-Final.
Eastern Province was hardly troubled as they put a goal past Free State in each of the four quarters. Ignatius Malgraff opened the scoring in the first quarter before fellow national player Clayton Saker doubled the lead. Winray Christoffels made it 3-0 before Malgraff doubled his tally and consigned the central union to consecutive defeats.
In the Men’s B Section Julian Hykes smashed home a hat-trick to continue Witsies charge for promotion. The one-sided affair against SACD ended 6-0 with Dechlan Bennett, Tristan le Forestier and JP Britz adding the Hykes goals. KZN Mynahs stormed into a four-goal lead through Ryan Bradfield, Linda Mthiyane and Dylan Ferreira (2). Brannon Gertze pulled one goal back before Mynahs extended the lead again through Tyler Tomssett. Katlego Moleli would score a late consolation goal for Northern Cape.
North West were too good for Mpumalanga winning 7-2. Mohale Thekiso (2), Blaine Grey, Jamie Seale, Caydin Spadonie (2) and Nico Neethling all on the score sheet for the Potch lads, while Mbulelo Ncube and CJ Mashele netted for Mpumalanga.
Both teams came from behind in a great 2-2 draw between KZN Robins and Border. Borders goal through Tertius Louw and Jason van Zyl while both Robins goals were scored by Chase Kelly
The group stage completes on Wednesday in KZN as teams vie for favourable positions ahead of the quarter finals.
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Men’s Results – Day 2
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Men’s Standings – Day 2
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Men’s Fixtures – 23 August 2023