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Tarryn Bright © SA Hockey

SA hockey women beat England 3-1

England and the Investec South African women’s hockey team were level-pegging 1-1 at halftime in the international at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday before SA scored twice in the second half for a 3-1 victory.

England’s Joe Leigh opened the scoring in the first minute and Bernie Coston equalised in the 29th before Tarryn Bright put SA in front in the 44th minute and Lilian du Plessis made it 3-1 a minute from the final whistle.

This is the final outing before the Investec Challenge kicks off on Monday.

The English started like a house on fire and Sarah Haycroft initiated an attack from between her 23-metre line and halfway, relayed the ball to captain on the day Susie Gilbert, who in turn fed Beckie Herbert, and Herbert’s powerful, early cross from the right found Jo Leigh for the forward to connect first time past brilliant SA goalkeeper Sanani Mangisa (1-0).

SA pressed hard immediately and in the process won four penalty corners during a sustained period.

SA rested world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee (258 goals in 258 test matches) and brought back the 302-times capped Marsha Marescia, who is co-captain with Lenise Marais for the Investec Challenge.

Parity came in the 29th minute when Shelley Russell hit a superb through-ball to Bernie Coston, who made ground in going on to score a fine goal (1-1).

England won their first PC two minutes from halftime but a logging Mangisa saved comfortably.

Play swung to and fro in a busy second half and in the 44th minute it was Tarryn Bright who put SA ahead with a neat backhand shot (2-1). Sulette Damons hit the post and Mangisa made some fine interventions before Lilian du Plessis’ goal in the last minute left SA 3-1 winners.


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