The group stages are done and the final four will line up as follows:
Lakers vs. Daisies
Mambas vs. Dragons
Bunters vs. Rafters
Cavemen vs. Elephants
Here is a recap of the third weekend’s action ahead of the final two days. Remember you can read our recap from week one here and from week two here.
Results of the Week (M)
Results of the Week (W)
Game of the Week (M) – Cavemen 6-2 Gladiators
The men’s tournament did not produce too many outstanding games this weekend, but that was largely down to all eyes being on the Semi-Finals and finals on Monday and Tuesday. The Gladiators needed to win this match to stay in the competition and once again produced a game with lots of goals. They were again exciting on the attack but not good enough on defence. The Cavemen were missing the likes of Ricky West, Lance Louw and Rassie Pieterse which contributed to the open nature of the game. In truth, the Cavemen were never in danger here and romped home well in the end. For the Gladiators, Courtney Halle continued to shine and its a pity he won’t get to light up the end of the tournament.
Game of the Week (W) – Wings 3-2 Rafters
At this stage, both teams needed to produce something sublime to stay in the tournament and together they conjured up a game worthwhile of watching again and again. The Wings took the lead through Kaila Flemming who finished a shot with immense power and found themselves 2-0 up through a Jade Mayne reverse stick shot. Luche Klaasen pulled one back and in the third quarter Dirkie Chamberlain leveled with a goalmouth juggle to make it 2-2. With the Wings horrendous record in the Showdowns, they would not have wanted to face another one. They didn’t have to because with a less than two minutes on the clock Tarryn Glasby popped up with a fine field goal to win it for the Wings.
Goal of the Week (M) – Clinton Panther (Cavemen) vs. Gladiators
It was not so much the beauty of the goal but the presence of mind to pump this one in and make sure of the goal for the Cavemen. Counted as a PC goal but could really be a FG too.
Goal of the Week (W) – Tarryn Glasby (Wings) vs. Rafters
It was the final goal in the game of the week and for me the timing of the goal added to the elation of the goal. Glasby picked it up turned and finished it like a seasoned striker. With the expectation of the prodigious talent, it is sometimes hard to remember she is just 22 years old. Like Courtney Halle in the Men’s tournament, it is a bit disappointing that Glasby will not be in the final four.
Player of the Week (M) – Clinton Panther (Cavemen)
A few years ago the first name on a team sheet. This was then curtailed by injuries and focus on his studies. On the basis of what we saw this weekend, Clinton Panther is back! In both games he was outstanding and a real driving force for the Cavemen. With a few of their players not available they needed someone to step up and Panther was the driving force in both games helping the Cavemen secure the top spot on the table again. A Clinton Panther on form can only be a good thing for SA Hockey
Player of the Week (W) – Tarryn Glasby (Wings)
There is immense pressure on Glasby to perform and in the Daisies, she was the stand out player. What has happened at the Wings is she has started to emerge as that same stand out player. She is a special talent and one that reminds me of the excitement that was associated with the emerging careers of Bernadette Coston and Lilian du Plessis! Long may it continue!
Top Scorers (M)
Top Scorers (W)
Team of the Week (M) – Cavemen
Missing players, two wins secured and top spot again. They are the favourites for the title and with their experience on offer, there is every reason to believe they will, in fact, lift the trophy again.
Team of the Week (W) – Rafters
Look they lost to the wings and looked down and out needing to win against the Bunters. Instead of just winning they got the bonus point that ultimately sealed them another match against the Bunters today.
Quotes from those involved
“It was hugely important to top the group and go into the semis with some confidence. There are no easy games in the next round but the team coming in fourth is under a bit more pressure than the team finishing second or third so we’re happy to fight from the top of the log. I think the Elephants are a side coming into form but so are we, so I think it’ll be tough. I think the extra day’s rest they’ve had will put them in some good areas. There’s still a load of things for us to work on like being clinical in the circle. We’re creating a lot of opportunities but not taking as many
as we’d like. Defensively we’ve still got to manage certain pressure areas and I think we’ll be better.”
“It feels great and gives us a lot of confidence going into the semis. Everyone just played freely and did what they needed to do and that’s in the end what gave us the victory. We kept fighting and moved the ball more and everyone just kept believing.”
“It’s great. I was a little bit worried because the guys did so well without me on the first weekend, getting two wins and then we lost last weekend. I was starting to worry that I was the common denominator but we did well today. It was tough but it’s really great to start the weekend off well. I thought our structure was better than theirs today. We created more circle opportunities than they did. We haven’t scored a field goal in the last two games so maybe that’s an area we can work on, but as long as we’re scoring and winning, we don’t really mind how it goes in.”