Victory was especially sweet for the South Africa women’s indoor hockey team when they overturned a shock defeat to Namibia in the last round-robin match Thursday night to storm back with a 6-0 victory after leading 4-0 at half-time in Friday’s Spar Four Nations final. A great ball off the left sideboard from deep by Amore de West was deftly buried into the backboard by Shelly Higgo to put SA 1-0 up after 10 minutes. The vociferous home crowd exploded in the 12th minute when local favourite Jess O’Connor made an intercept before passing the turnover ball to Kara Stella who netted her team’s second goal.
It was the irrepressible O’Connor once again to make the assist, with Amy Greaves delivering a well-placed shot just inside the far post. At three goals to the good, the South Africans had left the Namibia line-up with an enormous task if they hoped the turn the tide. But South Africa were not finished yet.
The alert Jess Glass snapped up a chance to set fellow striker Megan Robertson free and it was 4-0 after 17 minutes. The emotion of the shock 3-2 win over SA Thursday night appeared to have drained Namibia but they were still working very hard to get back into this final. Six minutes after the changeover it was Robertson’s turn to make the play, and Shelly Higgo steered the ball into the net for SA to lead 5-0.
SA were threading a number of great combination plays together, using the full area of the court, and it was Celia Evans, the SA skipper, who crossed from the right channel to Kara Stella, the ball leading to the unstoppable Meg Robertson to score again for the 6-0 final scoreline. Australia beat the USA 3-1 to win the bronze medal.
Spar 4 Nations Player of the Tournament: Katie Gerzabek (USA)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Petro Stoffberg (Namibia)
Player of the Tournament: Jessica Bestall (Australia)
Photo credit: LB Photos