At the end of this week it should come as no surprise to see the final of the Spar women’s Inter-Provincial hockey tournament contested by archrivals Southern Gauteng and
The old firm of South African hockey have been in domineering form and unless there are a few major upsets the two juggernaughts are set for a collision course of epic proportions.
Both provinces are undefeated and top the A Division standings with six points each.
In yesterday’s fixtures Southerns started slowly against a spirited Midlands XI, but as the game went on they eased into the fixture like a slow poison to end as comfortable 3-0 victors, while Province beat a motivated KZN Raiders team 3-1.
Southerns captain Marsha Marescia acknowledged that her charges were out of touch but promised, “We are going to rise to the occasion when we play Province. They have a lot of good individuals across the team. It’s going to be a good game of hockey and the team with the most heart will win.”
Her counterpart Kate Hector was also not happy with Province’s substandard performance but declared that the hosts would come out firing against Southerns this evening.
“You never want to lose and Southerns will be determined to beat us,” said Hector.
“We know it’s important to keep the momentum going and don’t want to drop any points. It’s always a crunch game against Southerns and it’s going to be real battle out there.”
Province has a stellar lineup laden with internationals and really are in a class of their own.
The likes of Kate Hector and Tarryn Hosking have cemented their places in the national team and with the likes of goal poacher extraordinaire Henna du Buissen and dynamic Shelly Russell, they complete a quartet that could steer any province to glory.
Then throw in the solid Mariette Rix in goals, Lenise Marais, Cindy Brown, Kathleen Taylor and Tarryn Bright and you have a pretty imposing outfit.
However, don’t write Southerns off, should the sides meet in a one off high stakes game of poker.
The team from Johannesburg possess the silky skilled Marescia and tough as nails Lindsay Wright (nee Carlisle) in defence, along with seasoned internationals Sharne Baily (nee Wehmeyer) and Fiona Butler.
But, perhaps their trump card is coach Adrian Carolan.
You’d be hard pressed to find a more technically astute mentor at the tourney and Carolan does assist Jen King in the SA side, so he knows the Province players probably better than they know themselves.
Tonight should be a precursor to the final, when WP and Southerns showdown in the round robin stages, and it will be interesting if the provinces come out full guns a blazing or keep a few of their strategies under wraps for the big one on Saturday.