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Kate strikes it lucky

The South African women’s hockey side notched their second consecutive win in the BDO Champions Challenge at Hartleyvale Tuesday with a 4-2 victory over Japan.

This ranks as one of their better victories in recent years but when they came off the field, they knew they had been in a scrap.

It was a special game for Kate Woods – she celebrated her 28th birthday on Monday and scored South Africa’s final goal, from a drag-flick after a 57th minute penalty corner.

The first goal came from Jennifer Wilson, who deflected home a penalty corner past Ikuko Okamura after good work down the flank.

But Japan equalised within seconds through Mazuki Arai with a nifty back flick.

Taryn Bright then scored South Africa’s second after the side’s second penalty corner and local girl Farah Fredericks notched the third early in the second half.

South Africa then went on the defensive but with just two minutes left Arai scored her second for Japan. This after goalkeeper Mariette Rix had just warded off a penalty corner.

What the win means for the host country is that they move into the second stage of the tournament, and are guaranteed a top four placing.

If Japan also qualify, which seems likely, SA will carry yesterday’s points through.

Also yesterday New Zealand opened their campaign with a 3-0 win over Spain. And Chile, beaten by South Africa on Sunday, drew 0-0 with Azerbaijan.