Jan 23, 2024

SA Hockey Women downed by France in third test

The first ever international test series between France and South Africa was brought to life on Monday night when France produced a superb first half to capitalize on a lackluster performance by the South Africans to secure their first win of the series after losing the opening two games.

Dirkie Chamberlain and Rea Phume had left the camp to join the SA Hockey5s team in Oman for the inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup. There was a change to the venue that the French team settled into better.

France was sterling in the first quarter and opened the scoring from a penalty corner. Mathilde Duffrene fired in a low hard flick to the bottom left and Dimba was beaten in goal. France had a few more penalty corners but got the goal they would have felt they deserved at the end of the quarter. Gabrielle Verrier getting ahead of Dimba to divert the ball home.

It would take until the third quarter for the next goal when Paola le Nindre stretched the lead for the visitors. A speculative ball into the circle wasn’t dealt with effectively and the French striker turned and bobbled the ball home.

A penalty stroke converted by Quanita Bobbs re-ignited the spark for the South Africans, but France poured water all over it with the final goal of the game late on. Phillipine Delemazure scoring into an empty net after South Africa had tried to go for the goals.

A disappointing night for the hosts, but with just 24 hours until they play again on Tuesday, there will be a quick opportunity to re-align the squad.

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