Dec 16, 2023

Kathea Energy Nkosi Cup 2023 underway with two thrillers

The Kathea Energy Nkosi Cup, a new staple on the indoor hockey calendar, got underway in front of a capacity crowd at Wynberg Military base. What a thriller the opening two games produced as all four nations were represented in the opening exchanges.


The Men’s tournament was ignited with a repeat of the FIH Indoor World Cup Quarter-Final earlier this year. On that occasion the Americans came out on top but Namibia retaining most of their squad and on the back of the tournament victory at the Sultan Nazrin Shah Cup were arguably the favorites.

They added some texture to that substance by scoring the opening goal through Owen Hatton picked up a rebound to roof the ball. USA Would level through the dangerous Aki Kaeppeler before Hermanus would net a stroke to make it 2-1 at the end of the first quarter. No goals were added in the second quarter, and it was the Africans who led 2-1 at the half-time break.

The third quarter well and truly belonged to Namibia who added two more goals to stretch their lead to 4-1. Liam Hermanus and Owen Hatton combined superbly to give Hermanus a tap in for his second to make it 3-1 before Fagan Hanson waited for a bouncing ball of the keeper to tap it home.

USA set up the final quarter superbly when Lassie Nobereit was given space in the middle and dinked it to give him a debut goal. As USA sought another it was JP Britz who fired a characteristically strong finish into the roof to stretch the lead once again for Namibia, while Pat Harris showed his own individual brilliance to make it 5-3. That would be the final score with victory for the Africans in the Kathea Energy Nkosi Cup opener.

Kathea Energy MVP – Owen Hatton (Namibia)


For the first time since their historical run to a World Cup Semi-Final the SPAR South Africa women were in action on their home surface with a wonderful crowd. They renewed rivalries with old friends Ireland in the Kathea Energy Nkosi Cup opener.

South Africa, led out by captain Jamie Southgate, gave a debut cap to Laylaa Davids, her second senior debut in a month having also earned a cap for the outdoor team this month! The first quarter seemed destined to be goalless, but Cailynn den Bakker snuck in front of the keeper took a step away before lifting it into the top corner just as the hooter was about to sound to end the first quarter.

South Africa doubled the lead with good work from Kayla de Waal setting up Edith Molikoe to make it 2-0. Less than 60 seconds later SPAR South Africa were 3-0 up thanks to Bonolo Moabi having received a good ball from Jamie Southgate. Before the half-time break it was 4-0 Jess Lardant firing home from a penalty corner from a slip variation from Malikah Hamza.

To their credit the Irish fought back in the second half scoring early through Mikayla Power who was the quickest to react from her own shot to push it home. Although it was the South Africans who quelled the danger and scored again from Cailynn den Bakker having already hit the post. Malikah Hamza’s shot was saved, and the rebound was powered home by Den Bakker.

Ireland scored their second before the end of the final quarter. Laura Graham the injector snuck in front of the South African line at a penalty corner and tapped home. The Irish set up a tremendous conclusion to the game as they pulled the gap down to 1 with two goals in the one minute. Chloe Brown popped up on the right to tap home the first and immediately a turnover saw Jenna McCarlie score on debut to make it 5-4.

South Africa would hold on and seal a win in the opener, but they were made to work incredibly hard to get the job done.

Kathea Energy MVP – Cailynn den Bakker (SPAR South Africa)

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