The Steinhoff Maties Hockey Club started the season with a bang this past weekend by winning three and drawing one of its four games in the Western Province Grand Challenge.
The Steinhoff Maties men’s team beat Langa (4-0) and WPCC (4-3), while Steinhoff Maties women thrashed Durbanville 12-0. Vics men drew 4-4 against Pinelands and Vics women beat Pinelands 4-0.
In the scorching heat of early Saturday afternoon the Steinhoff Maties women produced some red-hot action with goals from Tarryn Glasby (3), Illse Davids (2), Qunita Bobbs (3), Jenade Bredell (2), Suleke Brand and Leigh Boardman. Durbanville stood no chance. The result was almost inevitable with such depth and quality in the Maties team, and it didn’t take long before home side was dominating the game. Although Maties went into the half-time break 7-0 ahead the score could have been even bigger, but there were some missed opportunities. The intensity and pace of the game went down a bit in the second half due to the extreme heat.
Even though the Steinhoff Maties men’s team played later in the evening it was still quite hot. And so were the tempers of some of the players. It was a high intensity match that threatened to bowl over every now and then with the Langa players feeling the heat. Maties kept their cool though and the goals were scored by Jordan Turnbell (2), Shannon Boucher and Keenan Horne. The first half can almost be best described as a war of attrition. It was early in the second half that the Maties broke the dry spell and got the scoreboard ticking. Langa featured a very well structured team with dominant players, but they struggled against the pace of the game which was dictated by strong play down the middle between Dylan Swanepoel and Rob Edwards. Matt de Sousa was calm and collected on his debut and walked away with a well-deserved man of the match performance, his consistence and extremely good movement off the ball was a comforting sight for the coaching staff.
On Sunday Boucher scored a brace and Turnbell got his third goal of the weekend when Steinhoff Maties got the better of WPCC. This game featured some of the best players in the country with a number of players having national colours for both sides. WPCC on paper definitely had the edge with experience, although Steinhoff Maties are no strangers to entering this game as underdogs. The score at half time was 3-0 for Maties. The second half showed signs of fatigue of the Maties players and saw them concede two goals; although great awareness from the players to slow the game down saw them hold on to a well fought victory.
Cameron Corney, Edwin Reed, Kyle-Lion Cachet and Andrew Drummond scored the goals in Vics’ 4-4 draw against Pinelands. Vics dominated the first half, but the score was 1-1 after the first 35 minutes. The second half saw an extremely different Victorians team which saw a goal after some brilliant quick passing between players, this ignited a fire within the Victorians and soon after that they were 3-1 up and the dominate team in the game. Pinelands did not give up though and scored the equaliser with only seconds left in the game.
Chloe Phieffer scored a hattrick for the Victorians women’s team against Pinelands. Megan Engelbrecht was the other goal scorer. The Vics had a large number of players experience their first taste of Grand Challenge hockey and this was marked by fumbled play in the early parts of the first half. The game was slow and possession change between the two teams. The game settled after the opening goal, which bought a complete change in the Victorians play.