By Tyron Barnard
If you had been impressed by the level of hockey and tenacity shown during the U13-U14 PSi Nationals, then the U16-U18 tournament would absolutely blow your mind. After just one day of hockey we have seen some incredible displays of cool, calm and collected in chasing the title of PSi Champions for 2015. In a day with incredible displays, we pick out four top games from the day across the different venues.
At this point in the day four teams will still undefeated, the Quaggas, Seals, Gryphons and Barracudas, and this was the first encounter between the Awesome Foursome. The Gryphons had faced a bruising encounter against the Panthers earlier in the day, but this was war. It was a slugfest that went the distance and was ultimately sealed by the more efficient finishing by the team led by 2012 Olympian, Lance Louw.
Girls under 18 A Section – Stallions 1- 0 Gryphons A
The Gryphons had marched into the tournament with two impressive victories, while the Stallions had endured two chastening defeats. This was surely a foregone conclusion. It wasn’t. The Stallions produced their best hockey of the day to produce arguably the biggest shock of the tournament so far. It was an impressive display of mature hockey and decision making at the back that kept the Gryphons at arm’s length.
Girls under 16A Section – Hawks 6- 7 Quaggas
The Hawks were the runners-up last year and the Quaggas are featuring in the A division after winning the B division last year. What ensued was a classic for all those watching at UKZN Durban. Hawks led early, Quaggas fought back, Hawks fought back. It was a true testament to never say die hockey that has made South African hockey so popular and a massive reason why the PSI is as massive as it is.
Boys under 16 A Section – Stallions 8 – 5 Foxes
The Stallions were desperate to improve on last year’s seventh placed finish but standing in their way was the defending champions, the Foxes. Adding weight to this encounter was the coaches being Robin Jones (Stallions) and Keenan Horne (Foxes), both SA players. It was a game the Foxes were strongly tipped to win, but ultimately it was the Midlands side that were victorious in a tactical masterclass. Stallion’s ended day 1 undefeated while the Foxes are against a tight wall to qualify for the semi-finals.
Head over the PSI Youtube channel and watch the highlights of each day, done superbly by Enhanced Sports, or you can stay up to date with PSI on Facebook and Instagram
Photos – LB & ANZ Photography