SPAR KZN Raiders
Danville Park Girls’ High School: 11 – 14 March
The SPAR KZN Raiders completed their first challenge in the Indoor Hockey Inter-Provincial Tournament that is currently underway at the Indoor Centre at Danville Park Girls’ High School.
After their three pool games, the local team topped the log after a superb effort with victories in each bout. They will meet Western Province Pens in the quarter final today (Friday) at midday.
Raiders faced Mpumalanga in their first game of the tournament. Kelly Reed rose to the occasion, netting the 1st goal after fifteen minutes of pressure building. Three minutes until half time, Raiders earned a penalty corner. The ball was injected to the top of the circle and shuffled left to a waiting Reed, her flick into a hole in the defence got both her and her team’s 2nd goal.
In the third quarter, the young guns piled on the pressure as their raw energy saw them surge quickly into Mpumalanga’s circle, time and time again. Their first success of the tournament for the youngsters saw 57 seconds played in the third quarter, a daring run by Daniella De Oliveria saw her charge beyond Mpumalanga’s keeper, Charlize Swanepoel for Raiders 3rd goal. Swanepoel had a tough game in the box but performed out her boots. In the final quarter, Reed magically found some space in the visitors back line, and fired off a shot that neatly passed the hard working Swanepoel to earn a hat-trick of goals for herself and Raiders 4th and final goal.
In their second run of the tournament, the Raiders took on the KZN Inland team. Leading from the front, captain – Cindy Hack was perfectly placed after her team set off, bolting down their favoured right hand side, with the ball being worked back from the baseline to Hack, who confidentially opened Raiders account.
Play bounced frantically between goals for the next 20 minutes, as both teams had a variety of opportunities on either end, and both teams defending valiantly with the half time score still on 1 nil. Back in the action, Reed was quietly lurking in the circle and cleverly ricocheted a nifty pass that took the scoreline to 2 nil for the Raiders.
Two and a half minutes into the second half, home talent, young Danville player Tatum Kroutz was camped out on the post, and tapped a brave pass across the goal mouth netting Raiders 3rd goal. Cerian Fourie got in the action as she gathered a pass and slot in her shot, adding one more to the scoreline. After a minute, the midlands team earned a penalty corner and capitalized as the ball was moved right on the circle and a fantastic flick by Tayla-Jade Weiss gave KZN Inlands their first.
A pumped Raiders team didn’t let the goal discourage them as they continued probing into the midlands circle, and with 2 minutes until their third break, were rewarded with a penalty corner. They wasted no time as the ball was fired in by Cerian Fourie, giving Raiders a handful of goals, the scoreline was now 5-1 heading into the fourth quarter.
The high energy action flowed constantly between the two goals. Three minutes into the final quarter, Reed was allowed some space to run down the sideline. The spritely player shimmied along the baseline and whisked a pass to captain Hack, who was shadowing her in the attack. Hack expertly knocked off another goal taking the score to 6 – 1. Getting in a consolation goal, Yasmin de Meyer managed to get in the final Inland goal with five minutes remaining. Raiders concluded their second game with a victory of 6 – 2.
Raiders final pool game was mostly one-way traffic against Northern Gauteng. Tegan Fourie got into some space and hammered the first goal in just after a minute of play. Raiders dominated territory but for five minutes, were unable to pierce the defence. Eventually, Reed added to her impressive tally knocking in two quick fire goals, the first off a penalty corner with a missile of a flick, and the second, shortly after the second quarter got underway and Raiders took a run down the right, working the ball to Reed in the circle. The score was now 3 – 0. Jessica O’Connor was next in line to score, she sent an unstoppable rocket into the top left corner in a re-awarded penalty corner.
Jessica Lardant stepped up to the plate and netted Raiders’ fifth goal with 3 minutes left in the half. Lardant let rip a low-level flying flick. De Oliveria awarded her team with the 6th goal after constant pressure in the Northern Gauteng half. As the seconds ticked down to the final quarter, Tegan Fourie pounced on a loose ball after a pile up in the goals, saw the ball fall favourably for the youngster and Raiders as they got their 7th.
Her sister, Cerian took the score up to 8 nil as she crouched low and put in an effort flick, whipping the ball in beyond the advancing keeper. As the sand in the hour glass ran out, Cerian performed some fancy stickwork, spinning around out of a defenders reach and tapped the ball to Kroutz who was camping out on the post again, knocking in the 9th and final goal of the pool games.
In the first real chance for Northern Gauteng, Pitso Mathapelo edged the ball dangerously close to the box. An alert keeper, Cheree Greyvenstein glanced the ball out of danger, across the line as she gracefully tumbled to her right, pawing the ball with her outstretched blade.
Calvin Price, Head Coach for the Raiders stated after the pool games, “So far, so good but the tournament starts tomorrow in the knockout stages for all teams, anything can happen. We are building good momentum for this phase of the tournament and we are looking forward to hard tough game vs Western Province Pens.”
The tournament continues today (Friday) and wraps up tomorrow with the finals being played late in the afternoon.
SPAR KZN Raiders In Top Form After Pools
SPAR KZN Raiders