Saints, DTS take early leads

Brandon Lensen of Saints in action against Jason Bolton of DTS. Photo: Helge Schütz

Saints’ men and DTS’ women have taken the early lead after the Namibian Indoor Hockey Premier League kicked off last week. 

In the Men’s Premier League, Saints are already five points clear of the pack after only two matches, although the defending champions Windhoek Old Boys still have to open their account. 

Saints posted a comprehensive 6-0 win against DTS last Tuesday, with Owen Hatton scoring a hat-trick, while Ludwig van Rooyen, Christiaan du Raan and Aidan Landry added one goal each. 

DTS managed to contain them till shortly before halftime when Van Rooyen opened the scoring from a short corner, but from then on could not hold pace with Saints who stepped up a gear after the break to finish with an impressive win. 

Saints were without several of their national players who are studying abroad, but they have great depth and have, in fact, entered two teams in the Men’s Premier League this season. 

Their captain Hatton was their stand-out player, as a finisher as well as creator, and with others like Van Rooyen; Du Raan; the Landry twins, Aidan and Chase; Brandon Lensen and Kieron Christ all putting in fine performances, they served early notice of their title ambitions this year. 

Saints followed that up with a comfortable 7-4 win against School of Excellence three days later.

After trailing 3-1 at half time, SOE did well to draw level at 3-3, but Saints stepped up a gear in the final quarter to complete a comfortable win. 

Christiaan du Raan scored a brace, and Aiden Landry, Van Rooyen, Hatton, Lensen and Darren Enslin scored one goal each, while Delron Handura scored two goals for SoE and Baggio Karigub one. 

SoE, however, beat DTS 4-1 the previous day to move up to second place on the log. 

DTS opened the scoring through a fine solo goal by Ivan Semedo and still led 1-0 at the break, but SoE picked up the tempo after the break, and after goals by Kavee Tjikuniva (two), Baggio Karigub and Giovanni Handura they ran out comfortable winners. 

On this performance SoE showed that they may still have a say in the title race, but DTS will have to up their game, especially after they also lost 3-1 to Saints II on Saturday.

Liam Bruys (two) and Arnaud Marais scored for Saints II, while Ronaldo Gameb replied for DTS. 

The defending champions Windhoek Old Boys have entered two teams in the Men’s Premier League, and both will open their campaigns this weekend with WOB I taking on SoE and WOB II facing Saints. 

In the Women’s Premier League the defending champions DTS are already eight points clear at the top, although WOB and Saints both have matches in hand. 

In their opening match on 11 April, DTS came from behind to beat arch-rivals Saints 2-1. 

Alice Rowles gave Saints a 1-0 halftime lead, but DTS recovered well and despite having two players sin-binned at a stage, they struck back with goals by Kaela Schimming and Jaime Gillies after the break to win the match. 

DTS followed that up with two big wins against Wanderers (8-1 and 8-3) and another against SoE (7-0) and are now firmly in charge at the top of the log. 

Second-placed WOB opened their campaign with a 6-2 win against SoE, with Jivanka Kruger,  Kyla Landsberg and Nicola Fourie each bagging a brace, while they beat Wanderers 2-1 on Tuesday night, through goals by Fourie and Mignon van Coller. 

Saints bounced back from their DTS defeat with a 8-0 win against SoE on Friday, with Annica Higgs scoring a hat-trick, and Tamara Grogli and Azaylee Philander a brace each, and are now third on the log, 11 points behind DTS but with two matches in hand. 

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