The Women’s SA Hockey IPT 2018 opened its second day of competition by opening the B section’s competition for 2018 and that’s where we will start. The B Section features 7 teams looking for an opportunity to earn a place at the top table in the future.
The format features each team playing each other once where the top 2 will then compete in the final. SA Country Districts A laid down the first marker as they triumphed 4-2 over the KZN Robins. They led 2-0, were pegged back to 2-2 before Amber Collins and Fortunate Mshenge made the game safe.
SA Country Districts B also started with a victory as they held sway to beat KZN Inland 2-0, while the Northern Daisies showed devastating form in beating Border 9-0. Harriet du Toit picked up five goals for herself, making her the clear leader in the golden stick race already. The Southern Gauteng Nuggets, coached by SA Commonwealth Star Tyson Dlungwana, were tested in their opener against SACD A but managed to edge a 2-1 win, while the KZN Robins bounced back from their opening defeat to beat their Inland neighbours 5-1 in the last game of the day.
In the A section, KZN Mynahs were strongly expected to test Free State after their fine display against Southern Gauteng on day one. They were stunned however as they found themselves 5-0 down to the Free State ladies at half-time. A spirited second half saw them score two goals but Free State looked really fantastic in a 6-2 win, putting up their hands for a top-four finish.
Tuffy Western Province completed their second 5-1 win in a row, this time over the Eastern Province ladies. South African star Candice Manuel started the scoring which was punctuated with goals throughout the game. Jade Mayne, another Commonwealth Games squad member scored the last to make it two from two for the Cape side.
North West continued their glut of goals and netted the second hat-trick of the tournament and their second too through Dirkie Chamberlain, while Sulette Damons got on the score sheet again helping her side to a comfortable 5-0 win over Mpumalanga.
Southern Gauteng underlined their title credentials with their own 5-0 victory over the WP Pens side. Sylvia van Jaarsveldt and Lisa Hawker both scored a brace to take Pietie Coetzee’s charges top of pool B alongside Western Province.
Northern Blues continued the run of clean sheets and defeated the SG Witsies side 3-0 after goals from Celia Evans, Almay van der Linde, and the superb Natalie Esteves, whose goal capped off an outstanding performance in front of the national selectors with a deserved goal.
The final game of the day was looking likely to be a tough one for the SPAR KZN Raiders as they took on the SA Invitational U21 side, but in truth, it was a game they were always well and truly in control of. A brace from Jacinta Jubb took it to halftime before a fantastic finish from Donna Small set Raiders away even further. There was still time for arguably the best goal of the day as Kelly Reed reminded everyone what an incredible talent she is, smashing a bullet into the corner of the goal.
North West, Northern Blues, and SPAR KZN Raiders all remained undefeated in Group A, while Western Province and Southern Gauteng do the same in Group B. The five teams, along with Free State produced 6 convincing results from the 6 games today. But as we get deeper into the tournament we know that someone will step up to the top podium step alone, the question at this point is who will it be? You can follow daily updates on SA Hockey or check out the Tournament Management site through https://saha.altiusrt.com/competitions/25#matches
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