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Sat Apr 19 01:18:10 SAST 2014

Holland put another five past SA hockey women

JONATHAN COOK | 06 July, 2012 13:440 Comments
Sulette Damons
Image by: Lee Warren / Gallo Images

The relentless Dutch, switching and transferring the ball accurately, able to find space in front of and behind the SA defence and running with skill and intent, beat South Africa 5-0 in the second unofficial women’s hockey Test match at a rainy Club Upward in Arnhem Friday.

Beijing 2008 Olympic champs Holland led 2-0 at half-time through Kelly Jonker and Ellen Hoog field goals before Kitty van Male and two great goals from Lidewij Welten completed the five-wash. Thursday’s first match was also won 5-0 by Holland.

At five each, the world’s 12-ranked South Africa matched world number one Holland shot for shot in the opening 20 but the remaining 15 minutes of the first half was all Holland.

In the third minute Welten shot wide with time on her hands. Then Tarryn Bright turned over in the Dutch 23-metre area and fed the pacy Sulette Damons whose effort was smothered by keeper Joyce Sombroek. Holland and SA each had three more possibilities to get a goal and the action-packed match was hardly 15 minutes old. In the 21 minute the deadlock was broken when a cross fired in from the right was helped in at the far post by Jonker (1-0).

Then Pietie Coetzee showed composure to get in a shot at the other end but Sombroek was there. Illse Davids cleared after a crisis in the SA goalmouth, before three more Dutch chances came and went, keeper Rix stopping one; then a three-shot opportunity saw SA scramble out of trouble, but Hoog made it 2-0 with six left to the changeover.

The match’s first penalty corner within three minutes of the second half saw Rix save before the keeper stopped another from field play. After 10, Holland were unfortunate not to get a PC awarded but Van Male made it 3-0 from close shortly after.

A Damons opportunity was smothered at the other end before a Dutch shot went high. Then Damons intercepted midway in Holland’s half, made ground and shot but Sombroek’s glove was there. With 19 left, and then seven from full-time, Welten made great runs down the left before slipping the first, and then slamming the second, past Rix for goals four and five (5-0).

Only the gold medal at London 12 will be acceptable for the defending champs while South Africa are aiming for a place in the top eight. Of Holland’s London 2012 players, De Goede came back in, Naomi van As and Kim Lammers were rested again, as was captain Maartje Paumen and Marilyn Agliotti, while Kate Woods, Shelley Russell (wedding) and Jen Wilson (rested) did not play for SA.

SA lost the first unofficial Test match 5-0 on Thursday after trailing 1-0 until 13 minutes from the end. SA had not touched stick and ball for three weeks prior to the tour and arrived after an 11-hour flight to have a three-hour training session Wednesday evening and a 90-minute session Thursday morning before the first Test. The Dutch are at the tail-end of a three-week phase of intensive work with stick and ball and a 4-0 win with big scores in a five-Test series against world number five China.

The Dutch taper off now while SA are at the start of a new phase and go into five more matches and intensive training in London and Bremen, Germany over the next nine days. Their next matches, both unofficial Tests, are against world number four Great Britain on Monday and Tuesday at 12 noon and 7 pm (SA time) respectively.

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Holland put another five past SA hockey women

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