For the first time in over a decade the Western Province women are champions of South African Hockey. They secured their title in a pulsating 2-0 victory over the defending champions Northern Blues on Saturday at Riverside Sports Club in Durban North.
Both sides had finished top of their pools in the group stage, and it was probably the final that most had predicted in the buildup to the tournament. But whereas Western Province had hit the ground running the Northern Blues had looked to peak at the business end of the tournament as their Semi-Final had been their best display so far. All-in-all it was a titanic clash that awaited the crowds.
Western Province opened the scoring in spectacular fashion. A 50m lung bursting driving from Western Province Cricket Club captain Sasha Sivertsen up the left led to a cross into the circle picking up Tarryn Lombard who spun and fired the ball into the roof of the net. It was the kind of goal you dream about scoring growing up and to do it on the biggest stage at the biggest moment shows you what a player Lombard is.
Having already stamped her authority on the final, Lombard wrote her name on the headlines as she burst onto a through ball from Nicole Koenig and showed her tremendous speed and guile sliding the ball into the bottom left corner and with it sealing Western Provinces first IPT title since 2011.
Earlier in the day the KZN Raiders sealed a bronze medal with a 2-0 win over SA U21, thanks to goals from captain Jess Lardant and Malikah Hamza. 5th place went to North West with Dirkie Chamberlain and Dine van Jaarsveld netting the goals in a 2-0 win over Southern Gauteng. It was unfortunately relegation for SG Witsies as they went down 2-1 to Free State. Having trailed to a Nadia Weldhagen goal, Witsies levelled through Hannah Smyth. But a late Free State goal was enough to consign Witsies to the B Section for 2024.
Their place in the A Section will be taken by Border who emerged victorious in a dramatic game against WP Peninsula. Border lead after an inspired first half from Bianca Wood saw them go into the half time break two goals to the good. But the momentum swung dramatically in the second half with Pens asking all the questions. Jenna Fyvie pulled the first goal back before, having missed an incredible opportunity, Gabrielle de Kock levelled matters and sent the game to a shootout. Antonet Louw was given the opportunity to win it for her team which she duly did, and Border celebrated a title and promotion to the A Section in 2024.
Eastern Province earned the B Section bronze with a 1-0 win over KZN Mynahs, fifth spot was decided by a shootout with KZN Robins overcoming SACD. Mpumalanga finished 7th over Eastern Gauteng, while Eastern Gauteng U21 snatched 9th from Northern Cape via a shootout!
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Results – 26 August 2023
7th Playoff – Free State 2-1 SG Witsies
5th Playoff –North West 2-0 Southern Gauteng
Bronze – South Africa U21 0-2 KZN Raiders
Final – Western Province 2-0 Northern Blues
9th Playoff –Eastern Gauteng U21 (5) 3-3 (4) Northern Cape
7th Playoff – Mpumalanga 4-0 Eastern Gauteng
5th Playoff – KZN Robins (3) 2-2 (0) SACD
Bronze – KZN Mynahs 0-1 Eastern Province
Final – WP Peninsula (2) 2-2 (3) Border
SA Hockey IPT 2023 | Individual Awards
Goalkeeper of the Tournament – Leahne McLaren (North West)
Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament – Tarryn Lombard (Western Province)
Junior Player of the Tournament – Shanna Mendonca (South Africa U21)
Player of the Tournament – Tarryn Lombard (Western Province)
Women’s Final Umpires – Melissa Taylor, Wanri Venter & Rieze Swart (Reserve)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament – Kayla Berkenshaw (KZN Mynahs)
Top Goal Scorer of the Tournament – Bianca Wood (Border)
Player of the Tournament – Antonet Louw (Border)
Women’s Final Umpires – Sonika Buys, Nina Reynolds & Alison Mark (Reserve)