Northerns come unstuck
The early morning start in a grey and overcast conditions at the men's Interprovincial Hockey Tournament in Bloemfontein on Tuesday proved to be too early for Northerns who found themselves 4-0 down to Western Province Pens at half time.
The half-time team talk though had the desired effect as they came back to dominate the second half.
WP Pens' resilient defence kept them at bay and Northerns were only able to pull back three goals to lose their first game of the tournament.
The second game of the day was between Southerns and Wits. The first team should always beat the second team or the selectors have got it wrong.
This game therefore was quite predictable with Southerns dominating Wits to win 9-1.
KZN Inland played North West in the third game and Inland were barely troubled by the Potch team. Good defending and great keeping from Chad Derrheim in goals restricted Inland to a 4-0 win.
Mynahs scored an early first goal against Western Province which woke WP UP.
WP took and kept control of the game and only their failure to convert many chances kept them to a five goal haul.
Mynahs seemed determined to have a go, but were largely kept at bay only managing to add one more to their total giving a 5-2 result.
In the penultimate game KZN Raiders went into the game believing the SA U21 team would be a pushover and quickly went ahead through Justin Collins.
The Junior Internationals drew level and then went ahead. Raiders were a bit shell shocked, but drew level through a penalty stroke before halftime, shortly thereafter the U21s scored twice to lead 4-2.
Raiders looked lost and struggled for a long time before getting one back. Believing a draw was possible Raiders put everything into it, but it was the Juniors who had the last laugh with another goal to win 5-3 against the title holders.
The last game of the day was an exciting encounter between the hosts Free State and Eastern Province.
EP scored first and Free State poured everything into it to equalise. They were rewarded just after half time and a battle for supremacy ensued.
EP broke the deadlock and try as they might Free State couldn't get the goal back to delight the home crowds.