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Lessons learnt as SA girls finish fourth in Malaysia

By Avuyile Sawula , in Hockey | Featured Hockey | News , at 2023-11-27

Hoërskool Monument's Hannah Quinton won Player of the Match honours in South Africa's 0-0 draw with eventual champions Australia.
Hoërskool Monument’s Hannah Quinton won Player of the Match honours in South Africa’s 0-0 draw with eventual champions Australia.

The South African u17 Girls’ team will feel a little let down after going down 0-2 against India in the 3rd/4th place play-off match as the u17 Dato Mirnawan Tournament in Malaysia wrapped up over the weekend.

South Africa lacked intent and firepower in front of goal, uncharacteristically, considering they had exhibited a cutting edge in a number of their previous matches.

They had started slowly, going down 1-4 against eventual silver-medallists Japan in their opener.

However, coach Omari Pienaar-Geyer’s side bounced back in emphatic style, scoring eight goals against the Malaysian B side in their second match before playing to an impressive 0-0 draw after an arm-wrestle against Australia the following day.

South Africa hit their straps the next time out, thumping Malaysia A 7-0.

On the final day of round-robin matches, South Africa produced their best performance of the tournament against India. After trailing the whole game, they managed to convert two penalty corners in the final 30 seconds of the clash to clinch a heart-stopping come-from-behind 2-1 win, with Dainfern College’s Amber Fairon and Durban Girls College’s Ruby Kraus finding the back of the net.

Those last-minute heroics were, however, absent in the play-off match, as South Africa were outplayed by the same opposition.

From the start, India enjoyed the majority of the possession, forcing the green and gold to defend for most of the opening chukka.

They were certainly on top of their game and scored two goals in quick succession to take a handy two-goal lead into halftime.

Try as they might, the South African girls’ team just couldn’t get themselves back into the match, which allowed the Indians to avenge their earlier defeat, and also finish just about South Africa in the final standings.

The South African management team will, however, be satisfied with the strides made by their charges. The SA team’s Amber Fairon was also the tournament’s top goal scorer.

There were, furthermore, some fantastic performances from the likes of Tara Pakendorf, who was named the Player of the Match in the 3rd/4th place play-off.

Liliyfontein’s Thabelani Metu was also superb in front of goal, scoring a whopping four goals against Malaysia B during the week. Captain Tanya Pieterse also walked away with a Player of the Match accolade for her impressive showing in the 2-1 win over India.

Full results:

South Africa 1-4 Japan
South Africa 8-0 Malaysia B
South Africa 0-0 Australia
South Africa 7-0 Malaysia A
South Africa 2-1 India
South Africa 0-2 India

Overall standings:

Australia- Gold medal
Japan- Silver medal
India- Bronze medal
South Africa- Fourth place
Malaysia A- Fifth place
Malaysia B- Sixth place

 

Avuyile Sawula
error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.