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Damons’ double helps SA seal 5-0 series whitewash

The Investec South African women’s hockey side notched a 4-1 victory against Scotland in Pretoria on Wednesday to seal a 5-0 whitewash of the series.

Quanita Bobbs (second minute), Celia Evans (28th) and captain Sulette Damons (30th and 63rd minutes) got on the scoresheet for SA while Scotland’s Sam Judge scored her side’s lone reply in the 14th minute, reports Jon Cook.

SA won the first Test 5-3, the second 4-2, the third 4-0 and the fourth 5-0.

The SA women and SA men flew out from OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday for a five-Test series against the Argentina men’s and women’s sides.

Barely into the second minute SA left half Bobbs capitalised on Western Province team-mate Illse Davids’ dispossession of a defender to open the scoring with a well-taken shot. See, the team celebrations in the picture, right.

Scotland won the first penalty corner in the 10th minute and Cat Ralph’s hard-hit conventional strike was saved by Phume Mbande in goal while Becky Merchant’s follow-up went wide of the near post. But just four minutes later┬á the industrious Judge forced her way into the strike zone and drilled the equaliser past Mbande at the near post (1-1).

Buoyed by their success Scotland forged their way back into the strike zone shortly after and SA central defender Lisa Deetlefs made a crucial intervention to avert danger.

SA fought back and a determined Candice Manuel won SA’s first PC in the 15th minute. Bobbs’ drag-flick was glove-saved by an acrobatic Nicola Cochrane high to her right.

A stick check won Scotland’s second PC in the 26th minute and Judge’s shot was repelled by Mbane for SA to break out at high speed. Tarryn Bright fed Kelly Madsen, and the Durban girl’s accurate cross from the right found an unmarked Celia Evans, whose shot then ricocheted off Cochrane into the goal for SA to go 2-1 after 28 minutes.

The crowd of schoolgirls erupted just two minutes later (30th) when SA recovered quickly from an untidy second PC and skipper Damons cut loose with a wonderful shot into the far corner past Cochrane (3-1).

There was much endeavour after the changeover and a few shots on goal but a fifth game in six hot days was no help to tired legs that have also been put through their paces in busy training sessions.

In the 61st, Nikki Lloyd somehow found the energy to scythe into the SA circle and an over-robust tackle led to a penalty stroke, with Mbande saving Ralph’s attempt.

SA again broke out fast and in the 63rd minute Davids’ pass to Tanya Britz saw the striker’s deflection run into the path of lightning-quick sharpshooter Damons, who netted yet another stunning goal (4-1).

Picture: Reg Caldecott