It was a day of celebration for the SPAR South Africa indoor hockey team as their tour to Europe came to a resoundingly successful end. In the fourth test South Africa knew that only a victory would save the series after trailing 2-1 from the opening games. For the 16th ranked nation, it was a massive feather in the cap to be at this point against the 5th ranked team in the world.
The fourth test also saw the fourth South African join the 50-cap club. Amy Greaves, from KZN Inland, was presented with a small commemorative trophy from Lennie Botha as she raised her stick on an incredible achievement. It was a moment to be immensely proud of for a superb servant of the game of indoor hockey in South Africa.
The celebration from the award appeared to almost distract the South Africans as the Czech’s emerged with vengeance in the opening 8 minutes creating chances and having a lot of possession. The South Africans however stood up to be counted and produced a mesmerising defensive display to keep the scores level.
They then produced a Lennie Botha classic as they knocked away three goals in two minutes to take a 3-0 lead. Tegan Fourie netted a stroke before Cindy Hack and then Fourie again made it three. There was time for another display of brilliance as Cindy Hack finished off a brilliant team goal to make it a 4-0 half-time lead.
If the hosts expected the South Africans to back off they were sorely surprised as the Africans continued to move the ball around with almost disregard for the opposition and made it 5 through Edith Molikoe, six through Jess Lardant (The only penalty corner goal of the game) and seven through Lilian du Plessis.
A final score of 7-0 to the SPAR South African ladies was nothing short of what they deserved. In the past 18 months the team have produced some memorable and historic moments winning the Croatia Cup, winning a record 22-0 against Slovenia, beating the African Champions Namibia 3-0 and of course beating the Swiss 3-1 in Switzerland. All things considered, this result was nothing short of the highlight on a sensational 13 months.
We can’t wait to see where they go from here!