Hockey serves up a feast

The Namibian Indoor Hockey League served up a feast of entertainment over the past few days as the men and women’s title races reach their apex.

The women’s title race was effectively sealed on Tuesday when DTS thumped Saints 5-0 to move four points clear at the top of the log, and although they can still mathematically be caught by Saints its highly unlikely. For that to happen DTS would have to lose their remaining two matches, while Saints would have to win their final match by more than 12 goals, which is just about impossible if one looks at DTS’ dominance this season. 

They have won all six their matches to date, scoring 35 goals and conceding only two, at an average of about 6-0 per match and on Tuesday once again displayed their superiority. 

They took a while to get going, with Saints matching up well in the first half, before Jaime Gillies put DTS ahead with a field goal three minutes before halftime. 

DTS stepped up the tempo after the break, with two early goals by Gillies and her sister Caitlyn Gillies, to go 3-0 up by the third quarter. 

In the final quarter, two more goals in quick succession by Tisha Semedo and the third Gillies sister, Kerrin, sealed their victory and effectively their third title in a row. 

DTS’ national goalkeeper Petro Stoffberg said the match was closer than the scoreline suggests. 

“Even though it was a high score it wasn’t an easy game, Saints gave it their all and they kept on coming. Saints are a very good team and with a score like that we can only be proud of ourselves. 

Stoffberg, however, conceded that they could now lay claim to the title of the powerhouse of women’s hockey in Namibia. 

“It’s a very tough thing to say because it always swings and it depends on how the teams people play on the day and I think that Saints and Old Boys both have very good teams. So when it comes to competition in the league I wouldnt necessarily put us up there, but when it comes to performance we have been a powerhouse,” she said. 

Saints captain Jerrica Cormack was not happy with their performance. 

“To be completely honest, we’re definitely not happy with our performance. In the first round we only lost 2-1 to them and our league has been so brilliant up until this game. So we thought, if we win this game then we would be in the running to win the title. But unfortunately they should now  win the league,” she said. 

“They have won it three years in a row now, so I would say they are a complete force to be reckoned with. I was just hoping that we would give them a run for their money, but well done to DTS,” she said. 

The men’s premier league, meanwhile, is still finely balanced after the defending champions Windhoek Old Boys and Saints played to a thrilling 5-5 draw on Wednesday evening. 

In a frenetic match, Old Boys took an early lead through a penalty by Jack Fourie, and after two goals in two minutes by Ernest Jacobs and Fourie they seemed to be cruising to victory. 

Saints, however, produced a stirring comeback, drawing level at 3-3 after goals by Joshua Hatton Jones, Chase Landrey and Christiaan du Raan, but Old Boys regained the lead just before the break with a deflected shot by Rudi Prinsloo. 

A fine solo goal by Christiaan du Raan drew Saints level at 4-4 in the third quarter, and the sides could not be separated in the final quarter after two more goals at each end, with Jacobs scoring his second from a short corner, while Owen Hatton equalised from the penalty spot. 

The result sees Saints maintaining a nine-point lead over Old Boys at the top of the log, but with WOB having three matches in hand they can still close the gap. 

In another match on Wednesday, School of Excellence beat Old Boys II 8-4 and are now fourth on the log on 10 points, but they have four matches in hand on Saints and canstill come within striking distance of the leaders. 

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