PHL set for new champs
The Madikwe Rangers produced a stunning upset by beating hot favourites the Orange River Rafters 3-1 on a penalty shootout to book a place in the women’s final of the CTM Premier Hockey League at Randburg Astro yesterday.
Defending champions the Rafters came into the semi-final unbeaten in this year’s competition while the Rangers just made it into the play-offs.
The two sides finished level on two-all after regulation time where the Rangers managed to keep their cool and claim the victory.
The Rafters held a 2-0 lead thanks to field goals by Charne Maddocks in the fourth minute and Sulette Damons a minute into the second quarter.
The second half belonged to the Rangers with Sylvia van Jaarsveldt closing the deficit in the 36th minute before Shindre-Lee Simmons levelled the scores with 13 minutes to go.
The Rangers set up a Sunday date with former champions the Blyde River Bunters for what is a repeat of the 2016 final.
The Bunters continued their impressive run in the tournament, claiming their 16th victory in 20 matches over three seasons, beating the St Lucia Lakers 3-2 on a penalty shootout.
The Lakers placed the Bunters under the cosh with a goal shortly after the half-time break when Megan Anderson put the ball in the back of the box.
With time running out and the first semi-final heading towards an upset, the Bunters kept their finals hopes alive when they forced the stalemate courtesy of a Carmen Smith goal from a penalty corner.
The men’s final will see the Dragons take on the Addo Elephants where a new champion will be crowned.
Two-time champions Maropeng Cavemen battled to get going this season. It was also the case in the semi-final where they suffered a 2-0 defeat to the Drakensberg Dragons.
The match got off to a slow start with the two sides going into the half-time break without any points on the scoreboard.
The Dragons found the breakthrough in the 44th minute when Nqobile Ntuli scored from a penalty corner.
Amkelwe Letuka landed the decisive blow six minutes from time landing the ball in the back of the box.
The Elephants overpowered the Garden Route Gazelles 3-1 to qualify for their second final.
Damian Kimfley opened the scoring for the Elephants, scoring his first of a brace in the 15th minute.
The Gazelles drew level early in the third chukka when Reece Arendse landed a field goal.
Kimfley struck again in the 47th minute before Tim Guise-Brown added a third goal for good measure on the whistle.