Pholo's strike seals title for Southern Gauteng | SASCOC - SASCOC

Pholo’s strike seals title for Southern Gauteng

in Port Elizabeth

Athens 2004 Olympian Tsoanelo Pholo netted a stunning opening goal and then engineered the winner as Southern Gauteng retained the SA women’s interprovincial hockey tournament title with a 2-1 win in the final over last year’s silver medallists Western Province on Saturday night.

It was a triumph for coach Garreth Ewing’s Johannesburg girls who ended with a 100% win record in the tournament, while for the Southerns veterans ÔÇô captain Pietie Coetzee and the irrepressible Pholo ÔÇô it was yet another sweet triumph.

Southerns dominated much of the game and opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Roxy Turner fired in a cross from the right, which Pholo deflected high into the net.

WP equalised in the 18th minute when Leigh Boardman’s well-struck penalty corner deflected off flying first wave Sammy Prost’s stick and looped just under the crossbar.

Turning around with the score locked at 1-1 it was Pholo once again who provided the spark when she nailed a reverse-stick cross from the left-hand corner into the danger zone in the 64th minute and competent centre back Annelien Davin, in trying to intercept the dangerous ball, deflected it over the WP goalline for an own goal.

At the closing ceremony Brett Barlow, the Eastern Province Hockey Federation president, made special mention of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality for the contribution they made to the tournament’s success.

In the entertaining bronze medal match, Northern Blues won 4-2 to retain their third-place ranking in SA women’s hockey.

Northerns led for three-quarters of the match and North West were always chasing the game. Coach Gregg Hesom’s Pretoria girls scored goals through Kate Koenig and captain Nicolene Terblanche before a brace from Lenthea Kamffer finally restored parity for coach Elun Hack’s Potchefstroom lasses after 45 minutes.

However, Northerns pulled away again via the sticks of Marlene Nortje and vice-captain Kim Hubach in the 61st and 66th minutes respectively for the 4-2 final scoreline.

One of the day’s highlights was the tussle for fifth place between Eastern Cape rivals Border and Eastern Province.

Wednesday’s Pool A match went the way of Border 4-0, the biggest EP defeat in the long history of this rivalry, but it was EP who displayed the tenacity to come back in a typically hard-fought derby in which they had trailed since Danielle Judge’s 14th-minute goal.

The lively Toni Marks equalised with a well-struck penalty corner 10 minutes from the final whistle and the ensuing best-of-five penalty shootout saw keeper Michelle Cremer in fine form for EP to eventually prevail 2-1 in a heart-stopping atmosphere.

KZN Coastal Raiders won their first match in five starts with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Free State to end in seventh place. The result turned around the Free State side’s 1-0 win in the Pool A encounter on Wednesday.

The Raiders led for most of the game while the Free Staters were never in front, but played catch-up with admirable tenacity until Kara Stella nailed the winner 10 minutes from the end.

It was a disappointing end for the young Free State side, who started with a bang on day one, leading SA hockey heavyweights WP 2-0 at half-time before a lack of self-belief contributed to a 3-2 defeat.

In the B Section final between two sides with four wins from four starts, KZN Inland began beautifully with a seventh-minute goal by Caitlyn Seegers to open the scoring, but the Pietermaritzburg girls were unable to capitalise on this great start by scoring more goals.

Witwatersrand clawed their way back into the game and Georgia Carpenter netted the equaliser five minutes after half-time. Wits finished strongly but the encounter was forced into golden goal extra-time.

However, the deadlock could still not be broken and the match went into a penalty shootout, where Wits prevailed 2-0, showing greater composure and technical ability when it mattered.

EP Settlers ended third, a much-improved Mpumalanga fourth, KZN Mynahs fifth, SA Country Districts B sixth, SA Country Districts A seventh and Southern Cape eighth.


A Section (final): Southern Gauteng 2 Western Province 1; (3/4) Northern Blues 4 North West 2; (5/6) Eastern Province 1 Border 1 (EP won penalty shootout 2-1); (7/8) KZN Coastal Raiders 4 Free State 3.

B Section (final): Witwatersrand 1 KZN Inland 1 (Wits won penalty shootout 2-0); (3/4) EP Settlers 2 Mpumalanga 1; (5/6) KZN Mynahs 4 SA Country Districts B 2; (7/8) SA Country Districts A 4 Southern Cape 1.