SA men draw with Dutch club

2012-02-12 15:31

Cape Town - The South African men’s hockey team played to a 3-3 draw with top Dutch Hoofdklasse club Pinoke in the fifth and final match of the Western Cape international series on Sunday.

South Afrca led 3-2 at half-time.

The world No 12-ranked South Africans took to the field at the Central Hockey Club in Athlone, just 16 hours after their epic 3-3 draw with world No 4 Great Britain at Stellenbosch Astro on Saturday night.

“It was not a great performance,” said SA head coach Gregg Clark. In their first outing against Pinoke the SA team won 5-1. He was dismissive of the 16-hour gap between the third Test against Great Britain and Sunday’s match against the Dutch.

“We can’t use it as an excuse.”

Pinoke looked the fresher team and Timma Hoyng opened the scoring with a field goal after 15 minutes. Six minutes later, Lloyd Norris Jones equalised for South Africa. Then followed three minutes of mayhem as three field goals were scored inside a time period characterised by a frenetic burst of action.

Tim Drummond took SA to 2-1 in the 26th, Joost van de Vijfeijken equalised for 2-2 in the 27th and Thornton McDade nudged SA back in front at 3-2 in the 28th. It took another 33 minutes before the last goal of the game was netted by Pinoke’s Roderick Musters for the 3-3 equaliser in the 61st minute.

Clark was understandably disappointed after the highs of the first Test last Friday, where SA beat Great Britain 5-3, and Saturday night’s emotion-charged affair where the umpires had their hands full at times. There was the relative low of the 3-1 defeat to GB in the second Test, but there was still much positive to draw from that encounter, and as a whole, in the three-Test series that was drawn 1-1.

Next up, the SA squad take on Austria in a two-Test series at the Randburg Hockey Stadium Saturday, February 25th and on Sunday, February 26.

Clark’s squad face the challenge of winning the Olympic Qualifier Tournament in Japan in April/May, where the gold medal-winning country will book a ticket to the London 2012 Olympic Games in July/August.