Smith's men win well | SASCOC - SASCOC

Smith’s men win well

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  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