There was little room to move for tournament outsiders Ghana on the second day of World League action at Hartleyvale in Cape Town Tuesday night and the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team came away with a 6-0 win after leading 4-0 at the break, Dirkie Chamberlain netting a hat-trick, world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee bagging a brace including her 250th in 255 Tests, and Bernie Coston nailing the other.
The match was pre-empted by the handing over of a bouquet of flowers to SA captain Marsha Marescia, who was playing her 300th Test match.
The scoring was opened when Chamberlain founds tons of space to pick her spot past goalkeeper Grace Mensah in the fifth minute.
Coetzee edged one closer to the magical 250-mark when she slotted the first SA penalty corner two minutes later to take her tally to 249. Then a third SA goal came from their second PC shortly after – and this time it was Tarryn Bright who powered her hit from the top of the strike zone to the far post and Chamberlain deflected past the keeper (3-0).
Ghana’s Elizabeth Opoku and Monica Swell-Grant gave the SA defence an awkward moment or two during this encounter and they deserved a goal, but the girls in green and gold dominated for 90% of this clash. With seven minutes to half-time Mensah thwarted what looked to be Coetzee’s 250th with a great glove save to her right.
But another goal had to come and Coston made it 4-0 five minutes from the interval after an SA penalty corner had initially gone wrong.
Turning around 4-0 up, good SA build-up along the right in the 43rd minute led to a fizzing reverse-stick shot by Coetzee which Mensah saved, only for Chamberlain to pick up the rebound and slam into the backboard for her hat-trick (5-0).
The gutsy Ghanaians played with sheer courage and determination, Coetzee many times denied and frustrated more than once. Chamberlain enjoyed a productive game and not only in front of goal – her workrate on and off the ball was impressive.
The true test for SA, of course, will come in the form of Belgium, who beat the South Africans 4-0 in a Test series the week before, in Thursday’s 7 pm match.World League Round 2 Match Schedule and Results at the Hartleyvale: Mon, 21 Jan: Azerbaijan 4-0 Ghana Mon, 21 Jan: Belgium 8-0 Austria Tues, 22 Jan: Azerbaijan 2-1 Austria Tues, 22 Jan: South Africa 6-0 Ghana Thurs, 24 Jan 5 pm: Austria vs Ghana Thurs, 24 Jan 7 pm: South Africa vs Belgium Sat, 26 Jan 4 pm: Belgium vs Ghana Sat, 26 Jan 6 pm: South Africa vs Azerbaijan Sun, 27 Jan 4 pm: Belgium vs Azerbaijan Sun, 27 Jan 6 pm: South Africa vs Austria The Investec South Africa Women’s Hockey Squad: Quanita Bobbs (Western Province) Tarryn Bright (Western Province) Jade Mayne (Western Province) Shelley Russell (Western Province) Dirkie Chamberlain (Northern Blues) Phume Mbande (Northern Blues) Nicolene Terblanche (Northern Blues) Pietie Coetzee (Southern Gauteng) Marcia Marescia (Captain) (Southern Gauteng) Bernie Coston (Southern Gauteng) Lisa Deetlefs (Southern Gauteng) Lilian du Plessis (Southern Gauteng) Sanani Mangisa (Southern Gauteng) Sulette Damons (North West) Marcelle Keet (Amathole/Border) Izelle Lategan (Free State) Kelly Madsen (KZN Coastal Raiders) Lenise Marais (KZN Coastal Raiders) The Preceding Investec SA v Belgium Series in Cape Town: Jan 14: SA 1-2 Belgium Jan 16: SA 0-2 Belgium Jan 17: SA 1-2 Belgium Jan 19: SA 3-2 Belgium
Unofficial Internationals: Tues, 29 Jan 6 pm: South Africa vs Australia Thurs, 31 Jan 6 pm: England vs Australia Thurs, 31 Jan 8 pm: South Africa vs Holland Saturday, 2 Feb 6 pm: Holland vs Australia Saturday, 2 Feb 8 pm: South Africa vs England Investec Challenge: Mon, 4 Feb 6 pm: Holland vs Australia Mon, 4 Feb 8 pm: South Africa vs England Tues, 5 Feb 6 pm: Holland vs England Tues, 5 Feb 8 pm: South Africa vs Australia Thurs, 7 Feb 6 pm: England vs Australia Thurs, 7 Feb 8 pm: South Africa v s Holland Sat, 9 Feb 3 pm: Semi-Final 1 Sat, 9 Feb 5 pm: Semi-Final 2 Sun, 10 Feb 3 pm: Bronze Medal Match Sun, 10 Feb 5 pm: Gold Medal Match