IN A heated match filled with disputes and foot infringements, the Wits Hockey men lost their final indoor Premier League match 6-7 against the Crusaders at the Fourways Indoor Stadium on Tuesday night.
Wits got off to an aggressive start, playing at a high tempo which paid off when Devon Campbell got past the Crusaders goal keeper and scored the first field goal for the match five minutes into the game.
Crusaders responded five minutes later when they won a penalty corner and used a slip variation at the top of the D that got past Wits’ defence and goal keeper to equalise.
Crusaders went on to take the lead with a well set-up field goal by Stewart Barry in the 15th minute to go 2-1 up.
Tensions were high with umpires constantly blowing their whistles for foot infringements and things became heated.
Coaches from both sides had to calm players and encourage them to get back in the game and stop disputing the umpire’s calls.
Amid all the tension and pressure, Wits were awarded a penalty in the 19th minute which Barry Morisse forcefully struck past the Crusaders’ goalkeeper to equalise for the home team.
Not even a minute later, Jaryd Povall slammed in a field goal giving Wits a 3-2 lead. Crusaders answered shortly after with an equally aggressive field goal from Kish Chetty, levelling the score at half-time.
The second half started off with the same tenacity. The Crusaders won a penalty corner which they used to take the lead. Two minutes later they added to their lead with a quick field goal from Stewart Barry, his second for the night, putting the score at 5-3.
Devon Campbell resurrected Wits’ hopes when he brought the sides level with two unsaveable field goals in quick succession in the 28th and 30th minutes respectively.
A repeat performance from Barry Morisse pulled Wits ahead four minutes later with a goal taken from a penalty stroke.
However, Wits could not hold on to their lead and conceded a pair of penalty corners, in the 35th and 38th minutes. The Crusaders used them to equalise and ultimately took the 7-6 victory over Wits.
Published in Wits VUvuzela, 6th edition, March 15.