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SA end on winning note
- Updated: December 14, 2009
Our men’s hockey team finally got back on track against hoodoo team China in Argentina, Sunday, beating the Asian side 5-0 in the fifth-sixth place play-off in the BDO Champions Challenge Trophy.
The win meant South Africa ended the tournament with back to back victories, after their thrilling 4-3 win against Belgium the previous day.
Until yesterday we had a woeful record against China, having lost to them eight times in the last two years.
South Africa’s entry ranking at the start of the tournament was eight spot so they will take heart from their tournament, especially after their nasty 6-2 thrashing at the hands of the host country on the opening day.
Goalkeeper Vince Prior had a great game in goal for the South Africans, keeping the Chinese at bay early on and giving his out-field players the confidence to push forward.
The first goal came from Thornton McDade and another goal by Julian Hykes saw them go into the break with a 2-0 lead. The South Africans sealed the match early in the second half with goals by Justin Reid-Ross (penalty corner) and then a field goal by Gareth Carr.
The twin strike took the wind out of the Chinese sails and they couldn’t prevent a fifth goal, fittingly scored by captain Austin Smith.
New Zealand were the tournament winners, beating Pakistan 4-2 in the final.
India took third spot and Argentina fourth. Finishing below South Africa were China, Belgium and Canada.
India’s Sardar Singh was named player of the tournament, Argentina supplied the top goal-scorer in the form of Pedro Ibarra (eight goals) and Argentina were also given the award for fair play.