Maties lost out to Tuks for the 2017 Varsity Hockey title at the Tuks Astro in Pretoria on Monday evening, with the home team earning a 1 – 0 victory.
Despite the nervous start to the match from both sides, Maties dominated the opening quarter. They won three penalty corners in under two minutes. However, excellent defence from the Tuks team and Natalie Esteves in particular kept Maties at bay.
Tuks started the second quarter the stronger of the two teams with the majority of possession. They were unable to convert the pressure into a goal, even when the visitors’ captain Heather McEwan, had to leave the field for two minutes after being shown a green card. The match remained goalless heading into half-time.
Both teams came out firing after the break. Maties keeper, Nicole Le Fleur, made numerous saves but Tuks kept piling on the pressure. The majority of the third quarter was spent defending for Maties.
Tuks’ pressure eventually paid off when Catherine Morris broke the deadlock from a penalty corner to give Tuks a one goal cushion heading into the final quarter.
Maties searched hard for an equaliser and had an opportunity from a penalty corner with only six minutes left on the clock. Unfortunately for Maties, they were unable to convert.
The match finished 1 – 0, much to the jubilation of Tuks, and the disappointment of Maties, especially after the way they dominated the competition’s first leg in Stellenbosch. – André Huisamen and Tom Stapylton-Smith