The group stages completed today at the Womens IPT in Cape Town with Southern Gauteng and the SPAR KZN Raiders completing the group stages with the perfect 100% record. But on the day that the two heavyweights flexed their collective muscle to make a mark on the tournament, it was Quanita Bobbs who put her name up in headlights on a brilliant day of action at IPT.
Early on the Group A decider was a dominant performance from the KZN Raiders as they overcame an early setback in trailing to Northern Blues after less than 100 seconds of actions. Fitzhenry's goal should have been the momentum generating goal that puts a team out of sight, but remarkably it spurred the Raiders into action. Tournament hot-shot Lilian du Plessis levelled before Lusanda Mtshali and Kerryn Swanepoel made it 3-1. There was also a second for Kerryn Swanepoel as Jess O'Connors side put themselves in the driving seat for the 2021 title after the group stages.
In the battle for third in pool A it was a near perfect performance from Free State in a systematic dismantling of WP Peninsula. Tanya Britz gave a throwback to why she has picked up 55 test caps in her career with a sublime hat-trick that was supported by Zelmari Pretorius and Ane Janse. Ahmeadyn Claasen scored a consolation goal for the hosts but it was Free State fire that triumphed on the day.
In a more low-key affair Southern Gauteng completed another workmanlike victory with Bernadette Coston the star as her brace led her team to a third successive victory. Her two goals were the only goals in a game which looked like load shedding had effected the possible spark that would bring the game to life late on. Sandile Bosman's charges will look at the opening 3 days of the tournament as job done, but also the job starts now.
And so onto the battle for second in pool B. SA U21 were immense in the opening half taking on the hosts with youthful vigour and endeavour and their entity drew reward. Kayla de Waal and Jeanri Thomas took the national Juniors to a two goal lead. Quanita Bobbs was being impactful for Western Province but after going 2-0 down she decided to take matters into her own hands. She showed a superb touch of individual brilliance to create a pocket of space, combined effectively with a team mate and pulled one goal back at the end of the third quarter. 2-1.
Her second game from a penalty corner as her low driven drag from the top smashed into the back of the goal. When the SA U21 side managed to keep her under control for a minute ,it left space for Tarryn Glasby and Ongi Mali to exploit and they did it perfectly to move to a 3-2 lead. it was an amazing 9 minutes of action that saw the hosts turn around a two goal deficit. They put the gloss to the scoreline that the SA U21 side would have felt was undeserved late on when Glasby again assisted Julia Hoal for a wonderful counter attacking goal.
With that the group stages were complete and the tournament hits into its cross pools tomorrow. All the action is live on the ES Media YouTube page.