Pukke defeat Wits in nail-biting Varsity Hockey opener

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Varsity Sport: Hockey


Varsity Hockey semi-finalists of 2015, Pukke, edged Wits 5-4 in a tight encounter at Maties Astro in Stellenbosch for the 2017 Varsity Hockey opening match.

Cloudy weather conditions welcomed the two teams from the north in the opening game of the 2017 Varsity Hockey competition. In what seemed to be an equal first chukka, the ladies from Pukke took advantage of the first penalty corner by scoring the opening goal of the game in the 10th minute courtesy of Charne Maddocks off the rebound.

Nicky Veto from Wits showcased individual brilliance with a back-stick goal in the 18th minute from open play, putting the Witsies 2-1 ahead, scoring the first goal from open play, which counts two according to 2017 Varsity Hockey rules. The remainder of the second chukka saw great teamwork from both sides, but after exceptional strategic play from Pukke, Carli Rheeder bagged another two points for Pukke, heading into the second half with a 3-2 advantage.

With a slight drizzle coming down in the start of the second half (third chukka), both teams tried taking charge of the game, thus allowing the ladies to stay warm with a lot of running being done. Pouring rain prevented Pukke from scoring on three occasions despite putting Pietie Coetzee’s side under immense pressure throughout the third chukka.

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The goalless chukka, though, saw both teams coming back guns blazing in search of an early goal in the fourth and final chukka. And Pukke gave into the pressure first when they allowed Nicole Smith to make it 4-3 for the ladies in yellow and blue in the 51st minute.

Pukke’s Meeghan Klomp, on the other hand, had other plans when she skilfully worked her way past Wits’ Petro Stofberg to make it 5-4 with seven minutes remaining. Despite many attempts at goal, both sides had to once again run up and down in search of possession, with the game ending in favour of the ladies from Potchefstroom.

Pukke captain Jessica De Bruyn was awarded the FNB Player of Match award for her team’s 5-4 effort while the Mugg and Bean Star Saver award went to Namibian international Petro Stofberg from Wits in what was a thrilling start to the tournament.

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Mugg and Bean Star Saver:
Petro Stofberg (Wits)
FNB Player of the Match:
Jessica de Bruyn (Pukke)

Scores
Wits: 4
Goals:
Nicky Veto, Nicole Smith

Pukke: 5
Goals: Charne Maddocks, Carli Rheeder, Meeghan Klomp

Teams
Wits: Gillian Robertson, Londeka Dlamini, Nompilo Thenjwayo, Nicole Smith, Amber Dry, Kelly Wrensch, Lezaan Janse van Vuuren, Vicky Jonker, Tamsin Copeland, Ash Redhead, Robyn Fyrie

Subs: Petro Stofberg, Jureya Dildar, Nolwazi Ngubane, Lelethu Ndakisa, Sissy Pieterse, Nicky Veto, Mandisa Sigudla

Pukke: Marine Kock, Jocelle Deysel, Jessica de Bruyn, Lindi Anker, Carli Pretorius, Lerato Mahlangu, Lori Hyde, Dunelle van Taak, Elmien Marais, Charne Maddocks, Anneke Beukman
Subs:
Hope Nkosi, Miecke Flemming, Carli Rheeder, Courtney du Preez, Jamie Flowers, Kerrin Klaaste, Meeghan Klomp

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