‘Setting the foundation for the season’ were the words from captain Marsha Marescia after a solid 4-0 win for the SPAR SA team over the Ireland team in the first match of the series.
The SPAR SA team started the series on a good note with Henna du Buisson netting with only 7 minutes on the clock. The South Africans applied early pressure to the Irish defence leading to a well placed cross from Taryn Hosking with Du Buisson deflecting the ball into the Irish net.
The South African’s continued to apply pressure with a number of the strikers getting into the action with shots on goal. A steady performance for their first match of the year going into half time with a slender 1-0 lead would result in an interesting second half.
The second half saw the South Africans implementing a new system which coach Jenny King should be very happy with the results. Within 7 minutes good combined play between Lenise Marais and Vida Ryan down the left hand side of the field saw Ryan sending the ball across the face of the goal for Jennifer Wilson to put away.
Ireland tested the South African defence with some positive play leading to a short corner well saved by the SA defence. SPAR SA managed to force a short corner mid way through the second half, a well struck straight shot from Cindy Brown was deflected by Henna du Buisson to give her second goal of the game.
3-0 with the clock counting down would have seemed the likely result. With seconds remaining a free hit from their defensive circle was met by Vida Ryan on the right of the field. Pushing forward into the Irish half Ryan crossed the ball to be met by Marcell Keet at the top of the circle. Keet controlled the ball with a revere stick shot crossing the line on full time to give SPAR SA a 4-0 win.
The SPAR SA team will definitely look to continue this positive performance in the next test taking place at Hartleyvale on Tuesday 15 January 19h00, hoping to turn more possession into short corners but still maintain the positive start to the year.