JOHANNESBURG - Defending Premier Hockey League (PHL) champions, the Blyde River Bunters, continued their good run in the tournament with remaining unbeaten in the women’s tournament after the opening two weekends.
In the men’s tournament, the Maropeng Cavemen claimed a 3-0 bonus-point victory over the Drakensberg Dragons, who topped the log going into this weekend’s action.
The Mapungubwe Mambas claimed two victories on Saturday and Sunday, first beating the Garden Route Gazelles 3-0 before a 1-0 win over the Addo Elephants.
The final match between the Golden Gate Gladiators and the Garden Route Gazelles provided one of the highlights of the men’s tournament.
Playing as the Gladiators, the South African men’s Under-21 team showed immense character to claim their maiden victory of the 2017 PHL.
Trailing by three the Gladiators launched a remarkable fightback to claim a gutsy 6-3 bonus point victory to relegate the Gazelles to the bottom of the pile.
In the women’s tournament, Blyde River Bunters and the Madikwe Rangers crossed sticks in a repeat of last year’s final.
The Bunters continued their dominance to claim a 1-0 victory courtesy of Celia Evans.
The South African women’s Under-21 team, playing as the Namaqualand Daisies, claimed their second victory of the tournament with a last-gasp 2-1 victory over the Wineland Wings.
The match took a dramatic turn in the final quarter after the two sides were locked at 0-0 with the Daisies taking the lead for the first time before the Wings equalised two minutes from time. With only 10 seconds left on the clock, the Daisies earned a penalty corner, which Steph Botha converted to secure the victory.
The day before the Daisies bowed the knee to the St Lucia Lakers 3-1 while the Orange River Rafters finally broke their drought for the 2017 campaign beating last year’s women’s runners-up Madikwe Rangers 2-0.