After the opening three days of action the 2021 SA Womens Hockey tournament essentially got underway today as the Quarter Finals took place. The eight teams were looking to either continue from their group stage form or alternatively move it aside and make a massive statement on knockout day.
It was a clinical and sublime display from the SPAR KZN Raiders as they settled for the first spot in the final four. Lilian du Plessis was once again the star of the outing with a hat-trick of sublime quality. Lusanda Mtshali added a brace to the scoring and a further goal was added that gave the scoreline the much deserved gloss through Kerryn Swanepoel. The clean sheet would have been equally pleasing for the Raiders coaching staff as Phumelela Mbande was not called into significant action on the day.
The Raiders will next face the hosts after another solid display from Quanita Bobbs and her team. Tarryn Glasby opened the scoring in the second minute but never looked back after that. They blew Free State out of the water with a sensational opening quarter with Julia Hoal and Lara Stevens adding to the scoring. They would add one further through Stephanie Botha late on but it was the mesmerising opening that settled the place in the top 4.
The other semi-final will feature the Gauteng derby as Southern Gauteng led by Robyn Johnson and the Northern Blues led by Nicolene Terblanche will lock horns in a titanic tussle. Southerns secured their spot with a Kristen Paton inspired performance. The scoreline made it look far easier than it was for the Johannesburgers. Johnson, Carmen Smith, Paton, van Jaarsveldt and Thenjwayo were the goalscorers as they found a fifth gear to secure a 5-1 victory.
Northern Blues faced a fired up SA U21 side and were on the receiving end of some great domination of play. Edith Molikoe was particularly pleasing for the Junior side, but despite great opportunity they were unable to convert and ultimately were punished with Tegan Fourie pulling the strings in a wonderful performance. The 1-0 win sets up everything superbly for the final day!
All the semi-finals will be live on the ES Media YouTube page.