On day four of the South African Hockey U21 IPT, Four sides secured their spots in the Semi-Finals. Here they are and their routes to the final:
SA U21 IPT – Women’s Section
They are the only team with a 100% record from the Pool stages. Coach Brinsley Powell has enjoyed some good success in his first tournament with the KZN side. Made it four out of four with a comfortable 3-1 win against Western Province. Hannah Shirley has been instrumental with 6 goals while skipper Tegan Fourie continues to lead from the front.
The underdogs of the tournament who largely secured their place with a 1-0 win over Western Province on day 2. They secured their spot in the top 4 with a 2-0 win against Witsies. Incredibly they have not conceded since the opening game showing the focus that Justin Grundlingh has put on defence.
Tsoanelo Pholo’s side snatched top spot from North West in the most dramatic style when they beat Free State 6-1 to go one ahead on Goal Difference. It was a massive final quarter that saw them over the line. Lezaan Jansen van Vuuren has led the team from the front with 6 goals while Michelle Dykman has also impressed.
North West won their spot in the Semi-Finals effectively winning a Quarter-Final against the Northern Blues. Johan Jacobs has a very team effect with the goals being shared across the team with the likes of Clarise Smit, Courtney du Preez, Chante Ferreira and Sare Laubscher all contributing significantly.
KZN Raiders vs. North
WP Peninsula vs. Southern Gauteng
SA U21 IPT – Men’s Section
The defending champions have played like that exactly, champions. Four wins from four games have left Sihle Ntuli’s side as the favourites. Guy Morgan, Brad Sherwood and Sheldon Supra have come up good with the goals and have kept the Blues as the only mens team with a 100% record.
In a battle of the “B” teams the Peninsula Mens side mirrored their girls side to make it to the final four. They secured their spot with a draw against Wits to go through on goal difference. Cameron Baker, one of the WP Indoor stars, has been fantastic for Michael van Rensburg and his team.
Western Province secured top spot and a game against their “B” side in the Semi with a thrilling victory over Southerns thanks to goals from Mbuso Mgobozi and Idrees Abdulla. It was as good a performance as they have produced in the tournament. Lungile Tsolekile will be a very happy man ahead of the semi-finals.
Having already secured top four spot, they had to settle for second as they fell short against Western Province. But in Spencer Botes they have a lethal goal scoring machine and a superb shot stopper in Duncan Fischer means they set up a titanic tussle with their Northern Neighbours.
Northern Blues vs.
WP Peninsula vs. Western Province
Photos – Sean Burke