SA women hit Chile for six but men are edged by Ireland | TeamSA - TeamSA

SA women hit Chile for six but men are edged by Ireland

There was a comprehensive 6-0 victory for the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team in the third Test against Chile at Hartleyvale in Cape Town on Monday, but in the late evening game the SA men were on the wrong side of a nine-goal spectacular, reports Jon Cook.
Ireland’s last-gasp 5-4 win leaves them 1-0 winners in a champagne two-Test series against the men in green and gold, this after Sunday’s opener ended 3-3.
The SA women are now 2-1 up in the four-Test series with the final Test at 6.30pm on Tuesday. SA won the first Test 4-2 and Chile won the second Test 2-0.
Just 16 seconds into the first minute, striker Taine Paton made ground into the strike zone before cracking the ball past goalkeeper Ireland David Fitzgerald for SA to take a 1-0 lead. Three minutes into the second chukka – the 18th minute of the match – Ireland drew level with a spectacular deflection goal by Stephen Dowds (1-1).
In the 27th, Ireland went 2-1 up via Shane O’Donoghue’s low PC drag-flick for the half-time score.
Ireland put heavy pressure on the SA defence in the third chukka and were unfortunate not to score, but the men in green and gold must be commended, too, for some gutsy defensive work.
That SA grit was exemplified in the 42nd minute when Shannon Boucher carried the ball with intent into the strike zone before slipping it past Fitzgerald (2-2).
Three minutes into the final chukka (48th minute of the match) Eugene Magee scored from close to put Ireland 3-2 ahead. In the 54th Ireland’s Michael Darling made space before smashing his shot into the backboard (4-2). But this SA side never throws in the towel and four minutes from the end (56th minute) Jethro Eustice’s pass was converted by Natius Malgraff (4-3).
Paton won a PC with just over a minute left (59th) and three shots at goal somehow didn’t go in, but a penalty stroke was the outcome and SA captain Rhett Halkett sent his flick rocketing high into the net (4-4).
And with just 14 seconds left (60th minute) Kyle Good hit the winner for the Irish to come out 5-4 victors of a truly remarkable match.
Meanwhile in the earlier women’s match, three goals inside six minutes in the second chukka and three goals inside six minutes in the third chukka earned the SA women their 6-0 win over Chile in the early match.
SA brought back the considerable experience of keeper Sanani Mangisa, defenders Lisa Deetlefs and Marcelle Manson, and strikers Jade Mayne plus captain for the day, Sulette Damons.
One minute into the second chukka (16th minute of the match) the crowd came alight when midfielder Illse Davids went unchallenged into the strike zone and picked her spot with a crisp strike, the Chileans backing away, not for the first time in the series (1-0).
Hardly two minutes later (18th) neat SA play led to a Dirkie Chamberlain goal (2-0) and Chile would have been dead and buried 60-odd seconds later had captain Camila Caram not miraculously pulled Shelley Russell’s attempt off the line.
Two SA penalty corners came and went before Candice Manuel finished accurately in the 21st minute (3-0).
Five minutes after half-time (35th of the match), Lilian du Plessis got on the scoresheet with a well-timed PC drag-flick. A Damons effort was cleared off the goalline before Davids fed fellow Capetonian Manuel for 5-0 in the 38th minute. In the 41st minute, penalty corner injector Erin Hunter followed up Du Plessis’ disguised PC shot/pass to tip the ball home and SA were 6-0 up.
There was lots of goalmouth action in the final chukka, the Chileans playing much better, but there was no further addition to the score.
The mammoth Cape Town Summer series ends on 2 February at Hartleyvale.

Picture of captain Sulette Damons by Matt Withers (Action Pix)