May 2, 2024

SA Hockey Under 21 IPT | The medal contenders’ identity revealed

After three days of action the group stage is over, just 16 games remain across the two tournaments with both the men’s and women’s tournament building towards the crowning moment and the tournament winners.

With North West women and the Southern Gauteng and Northern Blues men already in the final four of their respective tournaments, today we will look at how the other five team secured their spots.

In the Women’s tournament Western Province knew anything other than a defeat would secure passage to the Semi-finals. They went one better to make it a full house with a 2-1 win over the Johannesburg ladies. Shamira Titus and Coreen Matthee made it 2-0, Raffael Abrahams pulled one back to make it 2-1 and set up a tense final 15 but Western Province secured the win and passage further.

Northern Blues played a virtual quarter final against KZN Raiders and played it to perfection as they defeated the coastal side 3-1 for a semi-final match up with the hosts. Cerian Fourie led from the front and starred with two goals to give a 2-0 lead. Elizabeth Anderson pulled one goal back to set up a frenetic finale, but Angele Vogel put it to bed to end the hopes of the Raiders.

WP Peninsula knew a draw would be enough thanks to their earlier win against Southern Gauteng, but they didn’t settle for that defeating Eastern Province 3-0 through Wren September, Tanya Pieterse and Hannah Breytenbach to secure a semi-final against North West.

In the only other game of the women’s tournament on the day North West made it 3 out of 3 with a 5-0 win against Free State.

In the men’s tournament Eastern Province had the chance to secure a semifinal themselves early on with avoiding defeat against Southern Gauteng. They were though forced to wait having lost 3-1 to Southerns. Their place though was secured later in the day when WP invitational defeated Free State 3-2 to put Eastern Province through in second place. Francois Fourie gave Free State hope twice, but it was doused by Yanga Kies, Raif Duncan and eventually Matthew Vester.

Western Province secured their place in the most dramatic way when they took on Northern Blues knowing defeat would put their chances of progress out of their hand. They opened the scoring to lead at half time thanks to Carlon Mentoor but found themselves 2-1 down into the final quarter thanks to Calvin Davis and David Baxter. The full time whistled sounded as the penalty corner was awarded to WP. The injection wasn’t great, but instinctive work saw a deft touch from Alexander Blows put the ball home and secure a 2-2 draw. The one point enough for WP to move into the Semi-Finals.

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