17 February 2014
The South African women’s hockey team secured a series victory over Scotland at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria on Sunday after turning a 1-0 halftime lead into a 4-0 victory in the third of five tests.
In the two previous matches, Giles Bonnet’s charges won 5-3 and 4-2.
South Africa’s goals came from on-song striker Celia Evans (33rd and 52nd minutes), confident debutant Toni Marks of Eastern Province (50th) and double Olympian Kathleen Taylor (69th).
Kelly Madsen reached the milestone of playing her 100th Test match to add another chapter to the remarkable hockey achievements of the Madsen family, who could make up a family team composed entirely of players who have represented South Africa.
While the test series has been decided there will be no let up from the team ahead of their departure for Buenos Aires on Wednesday evening for a five-test series against world number two Argentina, which will play a vital role in South Africa’s preparations for the World Cup and Commonwealth Games.
The Scots, too, are working very hard ahead of the Champions Challenge and Commonwealth Games tournaments that are set to be held in Glasgow, and will be determined to give a good account of themselves with the bigger picture in mind.
Up to the task
Scotland had their moments on Sunday, but the South African defence was up to the task of containing the threat, and while the penalty corner count was shared at four apiece, it was South Africa’s confident finishing, especially from open play, which impressed.
The assuredness and self-belief of the home team’s strikers – and indeed across all three lines, from the defenders to the midfield to those up front – has been a feature of the series.
While South Africa turned in an impressive display, Nicolene Terblanche stood out, putting together an energetic all-round performance that lifted her team-mates.
Scotland disappointed, but will still be able to take some positives out of the game.
The two remaining tests will be played on Tuesday at 18:30 and Wednesday at 13:30.