Stellenbosch University slowly suffocated the University of the Free State 8-4 in a scintillating Varsity Hockey match on the Tuks’ Astro.
The sun may have been setting on an exciting first day of play in Pretoria but the action on the astro was white hot as the two universities tried to assert themselves early on.
The first quarter saw the ball being moved across the astro with neither team being able to convert their pressure into points.
It was the men from Bloemfontein who broke the deadlock in the final moments of the first quarter as a sweetly taken field goal flew past the Maties goalkeeper.
Stellenbosch University pulled back a goal in the second quarter as they forced themselves into the right areas with Kovsies having no choice but to defend. The first half was nearing its end but Kovsies showed how quickly defence can turn into attack as they slapped in a field goal by Mvelase Mbombisa to take a 4-1 lead into the break.
The third quarter could best be described as a series of failed scoring attempts as both teams shored up on defence.
Maties made it a one-goal match as they slowly took charge of proceedings in the third quarter with a penalty corner scored by Dayne Samboer and Nicholas Giger making easy work of his penalty stroke.
It was all Maties in the final moments of the match as they sunk a short corner and two field goals to blow Kovsies lead out of the astro and gift the men from Stellenbosch a vital 8-4 victory in the capital.
Goals: Clayton Saker, Dayne Samboer (2), Nicholas Giger, Gareth Tate, Alex Tate
Goals: Justin Smouse, Mvelase Mbombisa
FNB Player of the Match: Wade Dollman (Maties)
Mugg & Bean Star Player: Willam Everleigh (Maties)
Samsung Super Striker: Dayne Samboer (Maties)
Maties: 2. Andrew Hobson, 4. Nicholas Giger, 5. Tom Richardson, 7. Matthew Roman, 8. Alex Stewart (c), 11. Dayne Samboer, 12. Maximillian Pike, 13. Clayton Saker, 14. Gareth Tate, 23. Reece Arendse, 38. William Eveleigh (GK).
Subs: 1. Rob McKinley (GK), 9. Wade Dollman, 15. Ruari Baker, 16. Jordan Turnbull, 17. Luke Schooling, 24. Callen Heynes, 29. Mbuso Mgobozi.
Kovsies: 1. Loufrans Esterhuizen (GK), 2. Andre Nel, 5. Raymond de Villiers, 6. Ryan Scheepers, 7. Matthew Ramos, 8. Willie Kruger, 10. Gerhard van Bosch, 14. Stephan van Vollenhoven, 15. Mvelase Mbombisa, 18. Cheslyn Neethling (c), 22. Tylor Oliver.
Subs: 3. Egon van der Merwe, 4. Jordan Pope, 9. Mpho Tsaoane, 11. Jason Smouse, 13. Tiaan Weldhagen, 19. Shelton Mollentze, 24. Luyolo Nkosana.
By Dan Lombard