U21 IPT 2024 | North West and Northern Blues are the champions

Two incredibly thrilling finals brought the curtain down on a highly entertaining and captivating South African Hockey U21 IPT for 2024. After 40 games the identity of our gold medalists is known as North West (Women) and Northern Blues (Men) both triumphed over hosts Western Province in their respective finals.

Women’s Final – North West (4) 2-2 (1) Western Province
North West knew they faced their toughest test of the tournament taking on Western Province, who probably in some ways benefitted from a tough semi-final encounter against the Northern Blues. And that showed when captain Caylin Maree opened the scoring early in the second chukka for the hosts capitalizing on a defensive error.

It was a lead they would hold until the 40th minute before it clawed back by North West. Tournament top goal scorer Chanel Genis once again the star in restoring parity with a deft deflection after a brilliant run from Germarie Speershot.

North West would turn that deficit into a lead with just 10 minutes remaining on the clock. Arisha van Niekerk who powered home to give the ladies in red and white superbly. The clock was ticking down towards a conclusion, but Western Province spoilt the party as Katlego Bodibe levelled in the last minute from a penalty corner and set up a shootout to decide the champions.

North West were perfect netting four from four while Western Province could only score one of their three and the Potchefstroom based side sealed their title as Champions.

Men’s Final – Northern Blues 3-2 Western Province
The two teams had played out a classic group stage game that saw Province snatch a late draw. This game would produce another that would live long in the memories. Kearabetswe Khoele opened the scoring for the hosts in the 9th minute finishing at the far post after a great run from Damian Knott.

Corne Burger though restored parity for the men from up North as they levelled just before the end of the first quarter. A drag flick with tremendous power but one that WP would be disappointed for not saving. The score remained that way right through the half-time break.

Calvin Davis, who has stood up as one of the stars of the tournament and knocking on the door of international selection for the senior team gave Northern Blues the lead in the 36th minute, with a superb reverse stick strike across the goal into the bottom right corner.

Damian Knott had his own story book moment pulling Western Province level in the 50th minute to put the game on the route to a shootout. The drag flick under the shoulder from Knott had a tremendous amount of pace and smashed into the side board.

But as in the group stage game between the two, there would be a late goal to seal the result. This time though it wouldn’t be Western Province but rather Northern Blues. Warrick Adams the hero converting for the Blues as the ball found its way across the circle and in the process sealing the title for the Northern Blues.

In the women’s tournament the bronze medal was won by Northern Blues who beat WP Peninsula 3-2, fifth place went the way of KZN Raiders after a 5-1 triumph over Southern Gauteng and Eastern Province sealed 7th with a 2-1 win over Free State.

In the men’s tournament the third medal went the way Southern Gauteng who defeated Eastern Province 4-0. 5th place belongs to WP Pens who beat the Invitational side 5-0 and North West won a thriller 4-3 to consign Free State to 8th place.

Women’s U21 IPT Individual Awards
Goalkeeper of the tournament: Richelle Norval (Western Province)
Top Goal scorer: Elizabeth Anderson (KZN Raiders) & Chanel Genis (North West)
Player of the Tournament: Ane Janse van Vuuren (North West)

Men’s U21 IPT Individual Awards
Goalkeeper of the tournament: Daniel Dillon (Western Province)
Top Goal scorer: Ross Montgomery (Western Province Peninsula)
Player of the Tournament: Calvin Davis (Northern Blues)

images supplied

Previous post CSA Announces International Inbound Fixtures For 2024/25 Season
Next post South African rowing team gears up to compete in Switzerland

Related Post