Proteas draw 3-3 | SASCOC - SASCOC

Proteas draw 3-3

The South African men’s hockey team played to a 3-3 draw with top Dutch Hoofdklasse club Pinoke after leading 3-2 at half-time in the fifth and final match of the Western Cape international series on Sunday.

The world number 12-ranked South Africans took to the field at Central Hockey Club in Athlone, Cape Town just 16 hours after their epic 3-3 draw with world number four Great Britain at Stellenbosch Astro Saturday night.

ÔÇ£It was not a great performance,ÔÇØ said SA head coach Gregg Clark. In their first outing against Pinoke the SA team won 5-1. He was dismissive of the 16-hour gap between the third Test against Great Britain and Sunday’s match against the Dutch. ÔÇ£We can’t use it as an excuse.ÔÇØ

Pinoke looked the fresher team and Timma Hoyng opened the scoring with a field goal after 15 minutes. Six minutes later, Lloyd Norris Jones equalised for South Africa. Then followed three minutes of mayhem as three field goals were scored inside a time period characterised by a frenetic burst of action.

Tim Drummond took SA to 2-1 in the 26th, Joost van de Vijfeijken equalised for 2-2 in the 27th and Thornton McDade nudged SA back in front at 3-2 in the 28th. It took another 33 minutes before the last goal of the game was netted by Pinoke’s Roderick Musters for the 3-3 equaliser in the 61st minute.

Clark was understandably disappointed after the highs of the first Test last Friday, where SA beat Great Britain 5-3, and Saturday night’s emotion-charged affair where the umpires had their hands full at times.

There was the relative low of the 3-1 defeat to GB in the second Test, but there was still much positive to draw from that encounter, and as a whole, in the three-Test series that was drawn 1-1.

Next up, the SA squad take on Austria in a two-Test series at Randburg Hockey Stadium at 3 pm on Saturday, February 25th and at midday on Sunday, February 26.

Clark’s squad face the challenge of winning the Olympic Qualifier Tournament in Japan in April/May, where the gold medal-winning country will book a ticket to the London 2012 Olympic Games in July/August.