The Investec South Africa women’s hockey team won 5-0 after leading 3-0 at half-time in the Africa Cup Olympic Qualifier tournament final against Kenya at Khumalo Hockey Stadium in Bulawayo on Sunday.
South Africa’s first-half goals came from Western Province’s Tarryn Bright after a penalty corner and a field goal apiece by North West striker Sulette Damons and KZN Coastal Raiders captain Cindy Botha, while Southern Gauteng forward Bernadette Coston added a brace after the turnaround.
SA head coach Fabian Gregory was looking for accuracy in the finish and he got it when Bright scored from the first penalty corner. Soon after, the Eastern Cape-born Damons made it 2-0 with a field goal.
Damons and Southern Gauteng forward Catherine McNulty forced goalkeeper Josephine Ataro into action over the next quarter hour before Botha netted the rebound from Northern Blues skipper Kim Hubach’s flick off a penalty corner.
Jade Mayne of WP came close 10 minutes from half-time, while SA goalkeeper Sanani Mangisa of Northerns Blues, in her 50th Test match, was finally called on to come off her line after the speedy Pauline Naise enabled Kenya’s first circle entry.
Birthday girl Hanli Hattingh of Western Province, who sat out this one, made it a special day for the goalkeepers and there was more celebration six minutes into the second half when Mayne made the initial thrust for Coston to score at the second attempt ÔÇô her first cannoning off the crossbar.
Coston got her second within the next 60 seconds and at 5-0 down with 25 minutes left there was nowhere for Kenya to go.
Earlier, the Ghana women finished third with a 4-3 overall result at the expense of Zimbabwe after the penalty shootout was won 3-2, this after the teams ended time at 1-1.
The men’s third place went to Ghana with a 5-1 defeat of Kenya. The men’s fifth/sixth place was shared between Zimbabwe and Morocco after the sides finished 1-1.