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SA u18 boys to take learnings from the double defeat against an experienced u21 side

By Avuyile Sawula , in Hockey | News , at 2023-07-18

Three goals in quick succession by the SA u21 side in the fourth quarter secured a resounding (5-1) victory for Guy Elliott’s side in the second test of the SA Youth challenge against the SA u18’s on Tuesday night in Bloemfontein.

The U21s went into the game on the back of a (2-0) victory against their younger counterparts a day before and were looking to seal the series. 

As for the u18s, the series was always going to be a tester for the side, a challenge brought upon to see whether they would sink or swim under pressure. 

The team featured a bulk of players from Western Province, who won the u18 SASHOC tournament, while Southern Gauteng, Boland, and KZN were also represented.

The senior side was using the series as part of their preparation for the upcoming World Cup in Malaysia later this year. 

The match started at a high pace, with the u21s probing and forcing the juniors to defend early on in the match. 

The breakthrough came in the first four minutes for the senior side, when an overhead pass by the ever-present Mustaphaa Cassiem found Hans Neethling in the box, he flicked the ball, and it landed on the stick of Brett Horn, and he calmly scored in the bottom corner. 

That goal would be the only score registered in the first chukka, as the senior side failed to break through. 

The second chukka produced its share fair of drama. 

After a highly contested few minutes, the junior side weathered the storm for the remainder of the quarter before Taine Tanner-Ellis equalized for the side with one minute left in the second chukka. 

His joy was quickly shortlived, however, when Christians Kenoe on the other side of the goal doubled his side’s lead. At half-time, the senior team led 2-1.

The third chukka was quiet with no clear-cut opportunities created by either side. The juniors had a chance, however, in the dying seconds through Ellis but his shot went wide. 

It was the fourth quarter that killed all hopes for the u18 side. A quarter that saw the seniors show their experience, and skill by killing the game within the seven minutes in. 

Goals by Ross Breytenbach, and Damian Knott, and a double by Horn secured the win for the side. 

The u18 boys’ hockey side might’ve lost both matches. However, the exposure and ability to play against top players in the country will reap rewards for the National side in the long run. 

Scorers:

South Africa u21 – 5 (2): Ross Breytenbach, Damian Knott, Brett Horn (x2), Christians Kenoe. South Africa u18 – 1 (1): Taine Tanner-Ellis. 

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