Maties will go into the Tuks leg of Varsity Hockey unbeaten after a clean sweep at the Wits Hockey Astro.
The men from Stellenbosch will top the Varsity Hockey log at the Wits tournament after winning three games from three.
Maties just managed to topple Madibaz 6-4 in fiercely contested game. The men from Port Elizabeth took the lead early on, scoring a field goal but Maties rallied well with Reece Arendse equalising. Luke Schooling made it 4-2 to the men from Stellenbosch at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter didn’t bring much in terms of goals but the contest remained fierce with Maties increasing the deficit to 6-2 at the interval, which would be enough to win the game before Madibaz revival.
The men in maroon then claimed a 4-2 victory over the hosts. Neither side were able to get the ball in the net in the first-half, but Wits player Kingsley Botes broke the deadlock with a well-taken field goal to earn his side a narrow 2-0 lead at the end of the third quarter. It looked as though Maties were dead and buried but two quick field goals from Reece Arendse and Luke Schooling saved their side’s blushes and would go into the last day of the Wits series with two wins under their belt.
On the final day of the Wits leg, Maties came back to vanquish NWU to take control of the Varsity Hockey log, with a 6-5 win over the old enemy.
At half-time Maties found themselves at the mercy of a tough NWU side who were up 3-0. Maties came out of the changing rooms with a new lease on life. With 11 minutes left in the quarter, Maximillian Pike finished a team goal to cut NWU’s lead to 3-2. In the final quarter, NWU scored through Clayton Tait putting the pressure on the Stellenbosch side.
Maties struck back just afterwards though, to make the score line 5-4 and keep themselves in the game. Maties called a Power Play and used the numerical advantage to get up field. With 20 seconds left on the clock, and the Power Play time now run out, Reece Arendse managed to finish off a field goal to claim the win and four log points, shooting Maties to top of the log tied with Tuks.
Maties coach Ashlin Freddy’s side explained that his side are focused on getting a good start in Pretoria and that recovery this week is vital.
“Next weekend, our attention is firmly focused on Friday evening, making sure we make small improvements and concentrating on the simple things.
“We have an important recovery week, we have some tired bodies in our camp. We have had four really tough fixtures this weekend, there are no easy games in Varsity Hockey, and we face three more tough fixtures next weekend.”
Maties will have a tough few fixtures in Pretoria next week with the men in maroon facing Kovsies, the current log-leaders Tuks and then traditional Varsity Hockey powerhouses UJ in the Jacaranda City