Day 4 of the 2018 CTM Premier Hockey League produced another 20 goals as the Addo Elephants and Orange River Rafters both continued to progress undefeated in the tournament. The Drakensberg Dragons inflicted the Cavemen to their heaviest defeat in PHL history, the Gazelles turned the Men’s tournament on its head and it’s a tether of hope for the Daisies with their shootout victory over the Wings.
The Orange River Rafters became the first team to confirm their place in the semi-finals of the 2018 CTM Premier Hockey League with a tactical victory over the St. Lucia Lakers. The only two undefeated teams played out an enthralling battle for supremacy and it was the defending champions who landed the knockout punch in the titanic clash.
The only goal of the incredibly tight battle was settled by a Casey-Jean Botha field goal in the 35th minute that left Shaun Hulley’s team with a perfect record of 4 wins from 4 games and a place in the final four.
The Men’s tournament was thrown wide open in the bottom half as the Garden Route Gazelles fought back into contention with an entertaining and high scoring 5-3 victory over the Golden Gate Gladiators. The Gazelles had not tasted victory in 2018 so far but they went about correcting that in the best way possible. Their first half performance was breathless at times and Brandon James got his first goal of the tournament with an easy tap-in. He got his second for the Gazelles 10 minutes later with a fine finish past Duncan Fischer after great work from Taine Paton. Michael Abrahams made it 3 and had the Gazelles dreaming of the bonus point on the verge of half time, but a bullet from Sam Mvimbi allowed the Gladiators to take some momentum into the half-time break.
They took this momentum further in the second half when Bradley Sherwood fired in a fantastic penalty corner to make it 3-2. As both teams looked for the games next goal it would arrive in a pair. Taine Paton and Keenan Horne scored almost carbon copy goals to re-establish the bonus point lead for the Gazelles. Their goals were split by 40 seconds either side of the end of the third quarter.
Although they would lose the game, the Gladiators did score what could be one of the more significant goals of the tournament. With time out on the clock the Gladiators won a penalty corner which Brad Sherwood dispatched like a seasoned veteran. The goal denied the Gazelles the bonus point and importantly kept the table incredibly tight in a search for a final four position.
The Maropeng Cavemen will in all likelihood make the semi-final, but they were on the end of their biggest defeat in PHL history when the Drakensberg Dragons, the 2017 runners-up, absolutely annihilated them in a brutal 6-1 victory. This is the second defeat in succession for the defending champions who will have a lot more questions to answer ahead of their final group game of the tournament on the weekend.
For the Dragons it was six different goal scorers with Bili Ntuli’s finish a highlight as he scooped the ball past national keeper Rassie Pieterse, while Jethro Eustice penalty corner was reminiscent of the one that qualified South Africa for the FIH Hockey World Cup. The performance of SA U18 star Peter Jarvis was a highlight and rightfully was awarded man of the match for the Dragons.
The Addo Elephants surged to the top of the Men’s table in the 2018 CTM Premier Hockey League this morning when they opened the day with a come from behind victory against the Mapungubwe Mambas. Having trailed 1-0 to a Ross Gonzalves goal, the Elephants came straight back through a sliding deflection by Tim Guise-Brown after superb work by Andrew Manson.
The Elephants would go ahead in the 40th minute through Ignatius Malgraff, netting his 10th career Premier Hockey League goal, the all-time leading scorer in the tournament. That goal was enough to secure a third consecutive victory for the 2016 runners-up and all but mathematically they are through to the semi-finals.
The days final game was the basement battle between the Wineland Wings and the Namaqualand Daisies. The Wings were largely in control of the game in the first half, creating multiple chances and winning multiple penalty corners. After having a goal disallowed through referral they finally managed to break the deadlock through Jess Lardant.
The Daisies produced a much better second half and found themselves back on parity through a Toni Marks opportunistic finish. Although the Wings still created more circle entries and goal scoring opportunities, they could not finish, and the game went to the shootout. The Wings record from the previous years at shootouts read as played 6 lost 6. That record now reads 7 shootout defeats from 7 as Natalie Esteves the captain of the Daisies scored the winning goal that kept the Daisies hopes alive and virtually eliminated the Wineland Wings from the 2018 CTM Premier Hockey League.
CTM PHL Day 4
Friday 17 August
08:00 – Men – Elf Laminates Mapungubwe Mambas 1-2 Kilimanjaro Addo Elephants
10:00 – Men – Old Mutual iWyze Golden Gate Gladiators 3-5 Garden Route Gazelles
12:00 – Women – Italtile Orange River Rafters 1-0 Private Property St. Lucia Lakers
14:00 – Men – Origins Maropeng Cavemen 1-6 Pro Grip Drakensberg Dragons
16:00 – Women – Old Mutual iWyze Namaqualand Daisies 1-1 Ceramic Industries Wineland Wings
Picture 1 – Julian Hykes (Addo Elephants) runs with ball past Courtney Halle (Mapungubwe Mambas) at the 2018 CTM Premier Hockey League – Photo: Sean Burke / PHL
Picture 2 – Gerald Mpopo (Garden Route Gazelles) protects the ball from Mark Chong (Golden Gate Gladiators) at the 2018 CTM Premier Hockey League – Photo: Sean Burke / PHL
Picture 3 – Casey-Jean Botha (Orange River Rafters) evades the attention of Erin Hunter (St. Lucia Lakers) at the 2018 CTM Premier Hockey League – Photo: Sean Burke / PHL
Picture 4 – Winchester Scott (Mapungubwe Mambas) and Miguel da Graca (Addo Elephants) fight for the ball during the 2018 CTM Premier Hockey League – Photo: Sean Burke / PHL