It came down to the wire at the NWU Hockey Astro in Potchefstroom, when Maties beat the defending champions 7-5 to secure a home final on 20 May 2019. Maties were leading 6-0 at halftime but a rejuvenated Tuks side appeared in the second half, as they refused to step down from the challenge Maties posed. Unfortunately, that was not enough and Maties walked away victorious.
The second semi-final saw NWU host Kovsies. The hosts were leading for the majority of the match, until Refilwe Ralinkonstane snatched the lead for Kovsies. Three minutes later, NWU’s Carli Pretorius scored a penalty during the Powerplay to put NWU back in front with seconds left on the clock. The match ended NWU 5-4 Kovsies.
The Varsity Hockey final will be played at the Maties Hockey Astro in Stellenbosch on Monday, 20 May between Maties and NWU. The match will be broadcast live on SuperSport 10.
Fixture: Kovsies 4-5 NWU
NWU fight till the death to conquer Kovsies
NWU pulled a goal out of the bag in the last minute of the game to secure their spot in next week’s Varsity Hockey final after beating Kovsies 5-4 in Potchefstroom.
NWU got the home crowd on their feet through a Courtney du Preez goal, giving her team a 2-0 lead right before the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter continued to go NWU’s way as Carli Pretorius got her name on the score sheet off a short corner, to put NWU 3-0 up with ten minutes left to play in the half. Kovsies’ Antonet Louw and Shindré-Lee Simmons continued to throw everything at the NWU defence, but it was Refilwe Ralikontsane who got the breakthrough for Kovsies when her field goal put them 3-2 up on the cusp of half time.
Kovsies came out confident in the second half, with Louw and Ralikontsane showing their class at every turn. Clarise Smit and Courtney du Preez took shots at goal for NWU, but Wiané Grobler was adamant in not allowing any more goals into the back of her net.
The last quarter was undeniably the most tense quarter the Potchefstroom crowd had seen all weekend, with both teams being forced to defend for their life. However, it was NWU’s defence that was the first to break as Refilwe Ralinkontsane struck to give Kovsies the 4-3 lead for the first time in the game, with five minutes left of play. NWU waited until the last three minutes of the game to use their Powerplay, which proved to be their life line as Carli Pretorius made no mistake finding the back of the net off a penalty for NWU, with 50 seconds left on the clock.
NWU will travel to Stellenbosch for the Varsity Hockey final on 20 May 2019, where they will be hosted by Maties who had won their earlier semi-final against Tuks 7-5.
The final will take place at the Maties Hockey Astro and will be live on SuperSport 10.
M&B Star Saver Award: Wiané Grobler (Kovsies)
MTN Connector Award: Charné Maddocks (NWU)
FNB Player of the Match: Refilwe Ralinkontsane (Kovsies)
NWU: Courtney du Preez, Carli Pretorius (2)
Kovsies: Refilwe Ralinkontsane (2).
1. Caitlin Grant, 2. Mishka Ellie, 5. Jessica de Bruyn-Smith, 6. Kirsty Adams, 7. Miecke Flemming, 10. Meeghan Klomp, 11. Kelsey Minnaar, 12. Charné Maddocks, 13. Carli Pretorius, 14. Clarise Smit, 15. Courtney du Preez, 16. Candice Silent, 18. Sherine Ledwaba, 19. Sare Laubscher, 20. Anneke Beukman, 22. Jacolene McLaren, 23. Kutlwano Moshugi, 24. Christa Ramasimang.
1. Wiané Grobler, 2. Chane Hartel, 5. Anke Badenhorst, 6. Casey-Jean Botha, 7. Shindré-Lee Simmons, 8. Esté van Schalkwyk, 9. Nadia van Staden, 10. Antonet Louw, 11. S’Thabile Motsa, 12. Heraldine Olin, 13. Lizanne Jacobs, 14. Catelen Briedenhann, 15. Refilwe Ralikontsane, 16. Mielanka van Schalkwyk, 17. Nela Mbedu, 18. Simoné Gouws, 23. Kia-Leigh Erasmus, 24. Michelle Ngoetjane.