Cape Town – The Investec South African women's hockey team beat England 3-1 in their unofficial international match at Hartleyvale on Saturday afternoon.
The two teams were level on one-all at halftime.
England’s Jo Leigh opened the scoring in the first minute and Bernie Coston equalised in the 29th before Tarryn Bright put SA in front in the 44 th minute and Lilian du Plessis made it 3-1 a minute from the final whistle.
This is the final outing before the Investec Challenge starts on Monday.
England started like a house on fire and Sarah Haycroft initiated an attack from between her 23-metre line and halfway, relayed the ball to captain on the day Susie Gilbert, who in turn fed Beckie Herbert, and Herbert’s powerful, early cross from the right found Jo Leigh for the forward to connect first time past brilliant SA goalkeeper Sanani Mangisa (1-0).
South Africa pressed hard immediately and in the process won four penalty corners during a sustained period.
The home side rested world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee (258 goals in 258 Test matches) and brought back the 302-times capped Marsha Marescia, who is co-captain with Lenise Marais for the Investec Challenge.
Parity came in the 29th minute when Shelley Russell hit a superb through-ball to Bernie Coston, who made ground in going on to score a fine goal (1-1).
England won their first penalty corner two minutes from half-time but Mangisa saved comfortably.
Play swung to and fro in a busy second half and in the 44th minute it was Tarryn Bright who put South Africa ahead with a neat backhand shot (2-1). Sulette Damons hit the post and Mangisa made some fine interventions before Lilian du Plessis’ goal in the last minute left SA 3-1 winners. – Sapa