By Tyron Barnard
After more than 800 hockey games at the PSI Nationals over the past week in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, we are left with just a hand full of games to decide the winners of the 2015 Nolands PSI Nationals. At the end of the day there will be few medallists, but many winners after what is a true testament of the strength of SA indoor hockey depth.
Boys under 16 A Section
10:45 Hawks vs. Seals @UKZN Westville Court 2
The Hawks have been immense this week notching up 63 goals in 9 games in a march to the final that would have made the All Blacks proud. Spurred on by the National Namibian side overcoming the SPAR SA Indoor Hockey ladies last night, will be buoyed at the opportunity of lifting the title. The will have to overcome the Seals in order to win the title, something they did comfortably in the group stage, but it’s much more difficult in a final, as we saw so valiantly in the U13/14 finals earlier this week.
Girls under 16 A Section
10:45 Foxes vs. Vipers A @ UKZN Westville Court 1
The Foxes have cleared all those that stood before them this week with ruthless efficiency. They have only conceded 6 goals in their 9 games and overcame a stern test by beating the Hawks 5-2 in the Semi-Final today. In the final they will meet the Vipers who produced a stunning display to take the Gryphons to showdowns where they ultimately emerged victorious 2-1. The earlier meeting between the two teams saw the Foxes win it 4-1 and in truth, it will take a monumental effort by the Vipers to win this one. But then again Leicester City are top of the English Premier League.
Boys under 18 A Section
11:30 Gryphons A vs. Seals @ UKZN Westville Court 2
The Gryphons are through to the final with a chance of defending their crown after topping the log and then dispatching the Durban Panthers 5-1 in the Semi-Final. Spurred on by a vociferous crowd, Spencer Botes led his team well and will probably be the slight favourites in the final. They will be meeting the Cape Seals who overcame the Quaggas on showdowns after the match of the week finished 5-5. An early onslaught by the Quaggas was overcome by the Seals who eventually won the showdowns when Che February slotted home in Sudden death. The two teams played out a pulsating 4-4 draw at Maris Stella when they met in the group stages.
Girls under 18 A Section
11:30 Seals vs. Hawks @ UKZN Westville Court 1
The Seals will complete a remarkable Nationals campaign with their third A Section final appearance and a second one against the Hawks. Both teams were challenged immensely in the Semi-Finals yesterday as they both won by 1 goal. The Seals overcame the Panthers 3-2 and the Hawks overcame the Vipers 1-0 in one of the most tightly contested divisions of this year’s PSI. But, while the games have been tight, the U18 Seals are the only team in a final with a 100% record so far, winning 9 out of 9, 4 of those were by just one goal. The Hawks have been mighty impressive themselves with only 1 defeat in 9 games, a 2-1 defeat to the Seals. This game will be a cracker!
Of course before all of the finals the fantastic Spar Four Nations will come to a completion with the Bronze Medal match taking place between Australia and United States after their fantastic 3-3 draw last night. This game will be played at 08:15 at UKZN Westville. Then at 09:30 it’s the All African Affair as Namibia, fresh from their historic win over the SA ladies, and the SPAR SA ladies do battle for the title and the bragging rights.
Photos by – LB & ANZ Event Photography