The Wineland Wings continued their flight to glory and the Namaqualand Daisies earned a shock victory, while the Blyde River Bunters saw their tournament hopes all but disappear after three consecutive defeats.
The highly-anticipated fourth edition of the CTM Premier Hockey league got underway at the Randburg Astro in Johannesburg on Thursday, and will be played over three weekends culminating in the final taking place on 4 August.
Day 3 started on Saturday with the Blyde River Bunters desperately looking to earn their way back into the tournament, after two defeats in a row. They also wanted to produce a better performance than their Friday game, as they opened things up against the Orange River Rafters.
Chamberlain Straight into the Action
It took only four minutes for the Rafters to open the scoring when Dirkie Chamberlain effected a turnover in the middle of the park, drove into the Bunters circle and squared for Simone Gouws who finished on the dive. Chamberlain again set up a massive opportunity, but the ball somehow evaded the dive of Ongi Mali.
With six minutes left Marcelle Keet pulled off the Bunters keeper and captain Phumelela Mbande. The moved appeared to pay dividends as Celia Evans finished after a cross from Cloe de Souza in the final minute of the game, however on the umpire’s referral the cross was ruled to have been dangerous.
It was heart breaking for the Bunters, who’s hopes of defending the title are hanging on by a thread.
As the temperature in Johannesburg continued to drop, the teams did not seem to receive the memo and the Namaqualand Daisies were looking to get their first win of the 2019 campaign against the Madikwe Rangers.
Magic for Namaqualand Daisies to Sneak 3-2 win over Madikwe Rangers
The first half was defined by two moments: The first was the goal by Ashley Thomas, finishing from less than a metre, and the second was a superb save by Mishka Ellis to deny Kristen Paton.
Ellis was at it again in the second half with a wonderful save to deny Nomnikelo Veto. When Ellis was finally beaten by Hildah Dukudu, she was fortunate that the shot was off target. Ashleigh Thomas then capitalised with a real poacher’s effort.
As the Daisies would have started dreaming of the victory they were stunned as first Ashleigh Datnow and then Toni Marks scored to pull the scores level. Kristen Paton, a former Daisies captain, weaved a sensational run to set up Toni Marks goal.
But once again the drama was saved until the final minute as the Daisies wonder girl striker Bianca Wood weaved her own net of magic and rounded the keeper to finish into an empty goal sensationally. What a game of hockey!
Undefeated v Undefeated as Lakers and Wings Close out Saturday
The last game of the day was played at the same time as the Springboks were playing Australia, but that did not stop the supporters or players from producing an entertaining end to the day.
The St. Lucia Lakers and the Wineland Wings were both undefeated ahead of this game. Lisa Hawker had the first big chance of the game for the Lakers, but they found themselves trailing when Jade Mayne supplied goal machine Sylvia van Jaarsveldt for the deft finish.
They made it 2-0 in the second quarter for the when Dunell van Taak won the turnover, moved it on to Stephanie Botha who produced a pass as good as any goal to find Tarryn Glasby wide open. Glasby waited perfectly before finishing for the Wings.
The Lakers fought back and were rewarded with a third quarter goal by Lilian du Plessis from the penalty corner. With 2 minutes remaining they won another penalty corner and Tegan Fourie fired away a fantastic shot, but it was well saved by Sisanda Magazwa in goals for the Lakers. 2-1 the final score and the Wineland Wings are virtually assured of a place in the final four.
Results of the CTM Premier Hockey League on 20 July:
10:00: Orange River Rafters 1-0 Blyde River Bunters
14:00: Namaqualand Daisies 3-2 Madikwe Rangers
18:00: St. Lucia Lakers 1-2 Wineland Wings
CTM Premier Hockey League Fixtures on 21 July:
12:00: Orange River Rafters v St. Lucia Lakers
14:00: Namaqualand Daisies v Wineland Wings
Photo 1 Caption: The Wineland Wings top the 2019 CTM Premier Hockey League log with three wins in three days, as Wings, Daisies and Rafters secured vital wins on Day 3 on Saturday. In this picture, Tarryn Glasby (Wineland Wings) protects the ball against St. Lucia Lakers during Saturday’s opening match at the Randburg Astro in Johannesburg. Photo: Marcel Sigg
With editing by gsport