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Marsha helps SA draw
- Updated: July 31, 2011
The Investec South Africa women’s hockey team drew the second Test against Scotland 2-2 on Saturday to keep the three-Test series alive after going down 4-3 in Friday’s first match.
The Scots had led 2-1 at half-time at the national hockey stadium in Dublin, Ireland on Saturday.
The first-half goals went to lively SA forward Kathleen Taylor in the fourth minute before Great Britain player Vikki Bunce replied with a penalty stroke on the 20-minute mark. Holly Cram put the Scots 2-1 up four minutes later. Then just inside 15 minutes from full-time, SA captain Marsha Marescia netted a great goal for the final 2-2 score and the series locked at 1-1 with one to play.
Scotland had won Friday’s first Test 4-3 and the third and final Test of the series ÔÇô and South Africa’s eighth international match in a grueling nine-day tour ÔÇô takes place on Sunday before the team heads home.
Both sides had their chances before the break and SA earned their first penalty corner (the match penalty corner count was 4-3 to the Scots) a minute after the changeover, but Sulette Damons’s deflection from Kim Hubach’s pass was superbly saved by Walker.
After SA’s second corner was blocked, defender Hubach pulled off a crucial tackle on Scotland’s Nikki Kidd, while Taylor fed Jade Mayne soon after and her strong reverse-stick shot was saved by Walker, with Kelly Madsen bringing the same reaction from the keeper a little later.
Play swung from end to end in thrilling fashion with both keepers kept constantly on their toes and a top moment saw SA defender Lenise Marais, who had an excellent game, pull a Scottish effort off the goalline. Another goal had to come from either side, and it went South Africa’s way when Marcelle Keet’s pinpoint pass found Marescia’s stick from SA’s third penalty corner.
It’s been tough for the South Africans, who left 700 Test caps-worth of experience at home due to injuries and world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee’s university commitments, but the youngsters have learnt a lot, which will stand the team in good stead going forward.