Johannesburg – 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 at the KC March Astro in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth on Saturday night.
It was a triumph for coach Garreth Ewing’s Johannesburg women who ended with a 100% win record in the tournament, while for the Southerns veterans – captain Pietie Coetzee and the irrepressible Pholo – 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.
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 women 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. – Sapa