School of Hard Knocks for Winning Team

by | May 29, 2012

SA captain Marsha Marescia tussles for possession with Scotland's Ali Howie as team-mates (from left) Sulette Damons, Tarryn Bright and Lisa Deetlefs look on during South Africa's 2-1 win in the second Test in Glasgow Monday. SA lead the five-Test series 1-0 with three to play. Photo: Donald MacLeod

The Investec South Africa women’s hockey team broke a five-match drought against Scotland to win the second Test 2-1 at Clydesdale Hockey Club in Glasgow Monday after leading 1-0 at half-time.

SA now lead the five-Test series 1-0 after the first Test was drawn 2-2 on Sunday, and the second Test was a much more convincing performance, as outstanding captain Marsha Marescia had predicted before the match.

SA went into the break 1-0 up after striker Sulette Damons buried a penalty corner rebound off in-form goalkeeper Amy Gibson’s pads in the 23rd minute, this after Shelley Russell had initially opened up some space for Damons to win the team’s sixth PC.

The Scots’ best chance to score was on the counter-attack, and three minutes after half-time they equalised through Sam Judge with their first shot of the match, but the winner came from Jen Wilson in the 55th minute when a Damons pass gave the SA forward the time and space to pick her spot.

The South Africans are also undergoing gruelling two-hour training sessions on match day and have two such sessions scheduled on Tuesday’s “rest” day, so they are playing through the fatigue in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

SA were all over the Scots in the first half and earned six penalty corners to none as well as a series of goalscoring opportunities from field play as they peppered the opposition goalmouth with a series of creative attacks but the Scots defended with determination and Gibson pulled off a number of great saves.

The South Africans were adept at stringing a sequence of passes together and it was the way to go; letting the ball do the work on a blistering hot day in Glasgow. The second half saw Scotland get a bit more of the ball but the determined girls in green and gold played through the fatigue to break two defeats and three draws against the Scots in their previous five meetings.

SA were missing world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee and fellow double Olympian Kate Woods, who are scheduled to join the team later in the week, as well as striker Lauren Penny (shoulder injury) while Scotland are missing their four Great Britain Olympic squad members.

QuipuTV are providing “live” free-to-air online streaming of the five Test matches and it is globally available through the Scottish Hockey and QuipuTV websites, follow the rest of the series on facebook as well as on Twitter using the #SASCOhockey hashtag, matches at 8.30 pm Wednesday, the same time Friday and at 3.30 pm Saturday.

Amy Gibson
Cat Ralph
Leigh Fawcett
Aileen Davies
Susan McGilveray
Becky Merchant
Nikki Kidd
Morag McLennan
Amy Brodie
Ali Howie
Sam Judge
Holly Cram
Ailsa Wyllie
Linda Clement (capt)
Nic Skrastin
Nikki Lloyd
South Africa:
Sanani Mangisa
Mariette Rix
Illse Davids
Marsha Marescia (capt)
Shelley Russell
Dirkie Chamberlain
Lisa Deetlefs
Jen Wilson
Lesle-Ann George
Nicolene Terblanche
Lenise Marais
Kathleen Taylor
Bernie Coston
Tarryn Bright
Sulette Damons
Ellen Murray (Scotland)
Kerri Targett (Scotland)


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