The Wits leg of the Varsity Hockey tournament was concluded on a cold evening by a fierce local derby, where Wits managed to beat the Orange Army of UJ 4-2.
The game was expected to produce fireworks, with Wits and UJ always providing entertainment when they meet in a sporting contest. There was, however, very little to tell between the two teams, with the action quickly moving end to end.
Both sides could not score at the end of the quarter, seeing the teams enter the second quarter deadlocked at 0-0. With the home support loudly behind Wits, the hosts returned to the turf and just took a minute to finally find a breakthrough, when Kingsley Botes finished well to give Wits a great boast at 2-0. That is how the scoreline remained right until halftime, with UJ looking frustrated going into the break trailing rivals Wits.
The second half got underway and it was the Witsies that again scored after just 20 seconds. Kingsley Botes scored a stunning goal, to make it 4-0 and get his brace in the process. Wits then continued to frustrate their neighbours, often moving the ball around looking to hold onto possession to run the clock down.
The hooter eventually sounded to signal the end of the third quarter, with Wits leading 4-0 in the Johannesburg derby. With only one quarter left in the game, UJ knew they had to get on the scoreboard quickly but at the same time they had to prevent Wits from scoring. Wits did almost score but Thabang Modise completely missed the ball.
UJ did pull one back, when Che February sent a thunderbolt of a shot into the net and cut the deficit to 4-2 with two and half minutes to play. The Orange Army of UJ couldn’t find a way back. They did appeal a decision at the end but after viewing it on the TV, Wits were awarded the 4-2 win in the end.
Goals: Kingsley Botes (2)
Goal: Che February
FNB Player of the Match: Kingsley Botes (Wits)
Mugg & Bean Star Player: Duncan Fischer (Wits)
Samsung Super Striker: Kingsley Botes (Wits)
Wits: 1. Duncan Fischer, 2. Gareth Riley, 4. Cody Van Wyk, 5. Brad Riley, 6. Brandon James, 7. Michael Marki (C), 8. Jaryd Thomas, 10. Thabang Modise, 11. Chris Makaba, 12. Chad Futcher, 13. Bryce Cressy
Subs: 14. Sean Donaldson, 15. Michael Horan, 17. Rusten Abrahams, 18. Kamal Ramburuth-Hurt, 19. Kingsley Botes, 20. John Henning, 23. Sizwe Nyandeni
UJ: 1. Matthew Martins, 2. Brad Robertson, 4. Andile Ndlovu, 5. Kyle Lion-Cachet (C), 6. Michael Newland-Nell, 7. Chad Burke, 8. Courtney Halle, 9. Che February, 10. Spencer Botes, 11. Keegan Smith, 13. Ernest Jacobs
Subs: 15. James Gilbert, 16. Raynor York, 17. Jesse Martins, 18. Diego De Abreu, 20. Manessah Dube, 21. Gary Cooper, 23. Tristan Blackie-Roden
By Sifiso Nyawo