The final day of the group stage action saw the teams fighting it out for favourable positions ahead of the cross pool knock outs that start on Thursday in Durban!
The day opened up with a low key affair between WP Peninsula and Southern Gauteng with a direct battle for second place in the pool. The battle was one of attrition and almost equivalent to a heavyweight boxing fight as both teams looked to land the knockout punch. The game needed a moment of quality to decide it and it came from Ryan Mann who created a pocket of space on the reverse stick before producing outstanding power to fire the ball home and secure a 1-0 win for Southern Gauteng.
Having needed a late surge to get victory over Southern Gauteng on Tuesday, Western Province would have hoped to have a simpler task against the Northern Blues on Wednesday. They may have felt it could be that way when Niel Raath opened the scoring with a guided effort. But the Blues fought back and levelled through a Guy Morgan rocket. But Devin Stanton’s men will always fight till the end and another late goal, this time by Jacque van Tonder sealed another late victory for the defending champions.
The South African U21 Men managed to leap frog the hosts KZN Raiders by goal difference to the. Top spot of pool B. They did this when the beat Free State 6-2 on Wednesday evening. The youngsters galivanted to a four goal lead as David Thebe, Mustapha Cassiem, Ross Montgomery and Hans Neethling all scored. Cassiem’s was a true rocket reminiscent of his goal against France in the FIH Pro League while Ross Montgomery’s goal looked a little Cassiem like in its finish. Elrich Jacobs pulled two goals back, split by another Montgomery goal before Cassiem finished matters off and secured the top spot with a late penalty corner goal.
KZN Raiders needed to match the goal differential of the SA U21 side to go top and they would have known this at 3-0 up. The hosts secured that lead through a hat-trick of goals from the Guise-Brown family at penalty corner time. Tim with two and Matthew with one. As the Raiders surged forward looking for the goal that would secure a top spot finish, Eastern Province continued to fight and Clayton Saker pulled a late goal back for the Eastern Cape side that ultimately was a consolation for them but also consigned Raiders to second place in the group.
The pick of the four quarter finals is undoubtedly the meeting of the SA U21 side against the Northern Blues who have competed without prize so far in the tournament.
In the B Section SG Witsies continued to stamp their desires on the promotion to the A section with a massive 9-1 win over Border. Four more goals to Julian Hykes stretching his lead at the top of the goal scorers charts. Reza Rosenberg (2), Tyler-Reed Napier, Michael van den Berg and JP Britz added to the score line, while Tertius Leeuw scored the consolation for Border. Byron den Bakker and CJ Mashele were the goal scorers as Mpumalanga secured a narrow 2-0 win over the Northern Cape.
KZN Robins scored first through Matt Smith, but four unanswered goals from SACD (Lwando Saunders, Courtney Halle, Tjoff van Staden & Bavumile Mkhonza) were enough for a comfortable victory. Tyler Tomsett was the star in a 3-0 win for the KZN Mynahs over North West. His brace along with Linda Mthiyane’s strike enough to keep the hosts undefeated.
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Men’s Results – Day 3
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Men’s Final Group Standings
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Men’s Fixtures – 24 August 2023