In a match of many opportunities, the world’s number one-ranked Holland, the reigning Olympic champions, beat the competitive Investec South Africa women’s hockey team 2-0 after leading 1-0 at half-time at Hartleyvale Stadium on Thursday night.
In the early match world number six Australia came back from a goal down to beat world number four England 3-1.
Both unofficial international matches were played in preparation for the prestigious Investec Challenge, which kicks off at Hartleyvale on Monday.
SA, the world’s 11th-ranked team, started well when the Western Province trio of Tarryn Bright, Jade Mayne and Shelley Russell put together a neat move as early as the second minute but the final blow went wide of the post.
The South Africans then won two penalty corners in succession with the latter effort seeing the ball struck powerfully but on the wrong side of the post.
At the other end outstanding SA goalkeeper Sanani Mangisa cleared with confidence before being forced into making two brilliant interventions. The Dutch began transferring the ball with assurance and Ellen Hoog made no mistake inside the six-yard box to open the scoring.
The big question was whether SA would be able to reproduce another upset after they had got the better of Australia to the tune of 4-0 on Monday.
Four minutes after the changeover, Russell’s pace and control down the right set up a gilt-edged chance that was not converted and SA were undone midway through the second stanza by an own goal.
The Olympic champions were value for their win.
In the opening match Nicola White of England got on the scoresheet inside the first four minutes when she buried a penalty corner rebound in emphatic fashion. Australia equalised through Kellie White after she received the ball in space.
In the second half, Australia’s White made it 2-1 to the 2012 Champions Challenge winners and Fiona Boyce’s goal ensured a two-goal cushion that stayed firm to the final whistle.
Saturday’s final round of internationals before the Investec Challenge will see SA tackling England at 4 pm on Saturday and Holland taking on Australia at 6 pm, both at Hartleyvale, the venue of the Investec Challenge next week.
Unofficial Internationals: Tues, 29 Jan 6 pm: South Africa 4-0 Australia Thurs, 31 Jan 6 pm: England 1-3 Australia Thurs, 31 Jan 8 pm: South Africa 0-2 Holland Saturday, 2 Feb 6 pm: Holland vs Australia Saturday, 2 Feb 8 pm: South Africa vs England Match Schedule for the Upcoming 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 Investec SA women’s team: 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) Marsha Marescia (capt) (Southern Gauteng) Bernie Coston (Southern Gauteng) Lisa Deetlefs (Southern Gauteng) Lilian du Plessis (Southern Gauteng) Sanani Mangisa (Southern Gauteng) Christine Roos (Southern Gauteng) Sulette Damons (North West) Celia Evans (North West) Marcelle Keet (Amathole/Border) Izelle Lategan (Free State) Tanya Britz (Free State) Kelly Madsen (KZN Coastal Raiders) Lenise Marais (KZN Coastal Raiders) The Preceding FIH 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 2-1 Ghana Thurs, 24 Jan 7 pm: South Africa 3-2 Belgium Sat, 26 Jan 4 pm: Belgium 7-1 Ghana Sat, 26 Jan 6 pm: South Africa 7-0 Azerbaijan Sun, 27 Jan 4 pm: Belgium 1-0 Azerbaijan Sun, 27 Jan 6 pm: South Africa 2-0 Austria
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