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Smith’s men win well
- Updated: February 4, 2012
Big-time hockey retuned to Cape Town as a 3000 strong crowd cheered the world’s 12th ranked South African men’s team on to a historic 5-3 win over world number four side Great Britain after leading 2-1 at half-time at Hartleyvale on Friday night.
The last men’s Test was played in the Mother City eight long years ago, and the crowd was treated to an eight-goal thriller as both teams entertained the crowd with fast paced, attacking hockey.
The SA goals came from a penalty corner by captain Austin Smith in the 24th minute to level the scores after a Nick Catlin action goal opened the scoring.
Julian Hykes put SA 2-1 up five minutes from half-time before fellow striker Ian Haley made it 3-1 eight minutes after the changeover. Simon Mantell then pulled one back for GB a minute later.
At 3-2 to SA with 24 minutes left it was still anyone’s game but striker Lloyd Norris Jones made it 4-2 to SA three minutes later before Hykes made the game safe six minutes from the final whistle.
At 5-2 up it was all over and Rob Moore’s goal in the final minute was not enough for a disappointed GB. ┬áÔÇ£It was a disappointing start to the test series,ÔÇØ GB team manager Andy Halliday told England Hockey. ÔÇ£We were slow out of the blocks and were punished by a clinical South Africa team, but we had plenty of chances to get back into the game which we didn’t take.ÔÇØ
The Great Britain team only plays together in the build-up to and at the Olympic Games.
The second and third Test matches are at the Stellenbosch Astro on Tuesday, 7 February and Saturday 11 February.
Smith’s men will also play two international matches against top Dutch club Pinoke on Thursday, February 9 at 7 pm and Sunday, February 12 at 12 pm.
3 Feb SA vs GB┬á at Hartleyvale at 7pm
7 Feb SA vs GB at Stellenbosch at 7pm
9 Feb SA vs Pinoke at Hartleyvale at 7pm
11 Feb SA vs GB at Stellenbosch at 7pm
12 Feb SA vs Pinoke at Hartleyvale at 7pm