The last game of day two of the Varsity Hockey tournament saw a titanic battle between two old rivals Tuks and Maties, who are also the top two teams on the log standings. Maties fought hard to come out 5-4 victors in a match that saw spectators on the edge of their seats, right until the end.
The game got underway with no real favourites, but with Tuks getting a chance to earn their first victory in front of their own supporters. The first quarter, saw the hosts draw first blood in the match, with Steven Paulo giving his side the early 2-0 lead through a well taken team goal.
After conceding, Maties step up their game, matching Tuks in all aspects. The game was fairly evenly poised but it was the men from Stellenbosch that struck next, when Dayne Samboer nearly tucked away a short corner bringing the score to 2-1 at the conclusion of the first quarter.
The second quarter was where the game really lit up, with each team aggressively going forward in search of more goals. Maties were, however, the ones who hit the ground running in the quarter, taking the lead, thanks to a calm finish from Matthew Roman. With the score at 3-2, Tuks knew they would have to react quickly and they did, with Nicholas Pio getting his name on the scoresheet and giving the lead back to the hosts at 4-3.
Before the halftime hooter sounded, Maties did manage to claw their way back in from with just under a minute to go through Dayne Samboer, who secured a brace and ensure Maties enjoyed a 5-4 lead at the interval.
Play resumed with the third quarter seeing a slight drought of goals compared to the other two quarters. Both sides failed to contribute to the scoreboard as the score remained 5-4 to Maties. The last quarter saw both sides opt to take their Power Plays late, with Tuks taking theirs first with 6 minutes left on the clock.
That made no difference to the scoreboard as Maties hung onto their lead. Maties then took theirs and it helped them run the clock down, to eventually come out 5-4 winners in a tough battle.
Goals: Dayne Samboer (2), Matthew Roman
Goals: Steven Paulo, Nicholas Pio
FNB Player of the Match: Alex Stewart (Maties)
Mugg & Bean Star Player: Nicholas Giger (Maties)
Samsung Super Striker: Steven Paulo (Tuks)
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.
Tuks: 1. Hendrik Kriek (GK), 2. Onke Letuka, 4. Mitchell Currie, 6. James Redfern, 7. Sam Mvimbi, 8. Peabo Lembethe (c), 10. Michael Forrest, 15. Bradley Sherwood, 19. Matthew Davies, 22. Mark Chong.
Subs: 5. Jared Cass, 9. Steven Paulo 11. Ashley Kemp, 13. Matthew Butler, 16. Nicholas Pio, 20. Christian Kriek, 21. Tim Halle, 23. Sizwe Mthembu (GK).
By Sifiso Nyawo