The South African Women’s Hockey team retain a narrow 2-1 test series lead over visitors France with three after the two sides played to a 2-all draw in their fourth encounter at SACS High School in Cape Town, on Tuesday, 23 January, 2024.
South Africa were determined to produce a stellar performance in the fourth test after defeat in the third against France and came out superbly, netting the first goal with their second penalty corner when the ball came out and was switched intricately to Quanita Bobbs, who fired home superbly.
It was a blistering start from the South Africans who looked focused from the first whistle, but the home team struggled to convert good possession into goal-scoring opportunities.
In turn France continued to settle into the competition, winning a set of penalty corners in the second period without converting before Emma Ponthieu scored from a field goal in the dying seconds of the first half, to go into the break 1-all.
The second half saw the South Africans put the foot on the pedal and start creating with a bit more regularity including winning an early penalty corner. It was narrowly wide and inches away from deflecting in, but it remained 1-1.
South Africa would find the goal through Quanita Bobbs. Kayla Swart fed the ball to Edith Molikoe who turned a reverse pass into the circle. Bobbs finished with her first touch into the bottom right corner for her second goal of the match, to restore the home scoreboard advantage once more.
South Africa then created a plethora of chances, Tarryn Lombard received a brilliant pass from Bobbs but was unable to put it away, Ntsopa Mokoena had a shot saved while through on goal with support from Bianca Woods and as the chances were missed you felt the South Africans could rue the opportunity.
The South Africans continued to test but Cailynn den Bakker and Lombard were denied by a combination of good saves and defending. More chances came and more went abegging.
The feeling that the chances would be costly proved true as France, who had somehow survived the onslaught, found the equaliser with 70 seconds to play. Mathilde Duffrene put the penalty corner into the bottom left corner and France had sealed a draw!
South Africa lead the 6 match series 2-1 after the four games.
South Afriva vs France Summer Hockey Test Series, at SACS in Cape Town from 18 – 28 January, 2024
Thu 18 Jan, 19:30: South Africa 2-0 France
Sat, 20 Jan, 14:30: South Africa 2-1 France
Mon, 22 Jan, 17:30: South Africa 1-4 France
Tue, 23 Jan, 17:30: South Africa 2-2 France
Fri, 26 Jan, 15:45: 5th Test
Sun, 28 Jan, 15:00: 6th Test
South African Women’s Hockey Team vs France
Anelle van Deventer
Cailynn Den Bakker
France Women’s Hockey Team
Quitterie Le Naour
Paola Le Nindre
Guusje Van Bolhuis
Head Coach: Gael Foulard
Main Photo Caption: France came from behind twice to equalise South Africa’s advantage as the two teams played their fourth encounter to a 2-all draw in Cape Town on Tuesday, with the hosts retaining a narrow 2-1 series lead with the weekends two encounters remaining. Photo: (c) Ray Chaplin www.raychaplin.photography
Photo 2 Caption: SA stalwart Quanita Bobbs’ pivotal experience showed in her two goals for the hosts at SACS on Tuesday evening. Photo: (c) Ray Chaplin www.raychaplin.photography
Photo 3 Caption: France will be eyeing the weekends final encounters as their final opportunity for a remarkable series win. Photo: (c) Ray Chaplin www.raychaplin.photography