Superb SPAR South Africa keep series alive with superb win

The SPAR South Africa indoor hockey ladies produced a dogged display to win the second test against fifth ranked Czech Republic, before losing the third test to trail 2-1 in the series with one game to go.

Having rested after their tormenting travel day the SA ladies looked fantastic in a highly combative win in the morning test. Having led 3-0 at half time through a Tegan Fourie double either side of an Amy Greaves strike. It was as good a half of indoor hockey as the South Africans had played in the European tour so far.

The second half saw the hosts spark a comeback through Nikol Babicka, but any sparks were quickly extinguished by the South African defence time and time again. With four minutes remaining Lilian du Plessis settled the game with a good finish to give South Africa a 4-1 win.

Although the tour had been historic already, the South Africans managed to raise the bar once again as their victory marked the highest ranked team they have ever beaten. Its testament to the fantastic work done by this team and for this team.

The South Africans were unable to follow it up with an afternoon victory facing a controversial few decisions that seemed to check their progress at every opportunity. Having led 1-0 through Kelly Reed and 2-1 through Jess Lardant, South Africa were disappointed to enter the break all square. The second half saw the hosts up the physicality and emerge unscathed from the umpires. To their credit the South African ladies refused to let the umpires derail them but ultimately fell to two late goals to lose the match 4-2.

They trail the series with one game to play, with a previously highly unlikely possibility of emerging undefeated from the series.

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