In a foul-filled and frustrating game, Wits University drew one all Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in the Varsity Hockey tournament at home yesterday.
NMMU, or the Madibaz, held a 1-0 advantage up until the last seventeen seconds of the game when Wits netted a goal to level the game.
The first chukka of the game was filled with fouls and green cards instead of goals with NMMU’s Chad Cairncross of the Madibaz getting the first warning within the two minutes off the turf.
Craig Daniel made the first real goal attempt for the Witsies that ended up just high of the post and the team found themselves with two fouls from both Matthew Povall and Michael Daniel before the first third was over.
The Madibaz found some luck in the last two minutes of the first third, when a Witsies’ foul resulted in a penalty. Madibaz Steven Dent then made short work of it, putting the score at 1 – 0 to the NMMU boys.
The second chukka began with a power play for the Madibaz but the boys failed to take advantage of the opportunity when Shawn Pautz was given a green card, soon after Wits captain and goalie, Cole Zondagh had received one too.
Brandon Downes was served with a yellow card, leaving him on the sidelines for the rest of the match.
“A tense game, playing guys who are quicker than us, sometimes we slip and make bad decisions, its just moving on. We played with ten players three times today and we didn’t concede when we had a player off and that’s all that matters,” said Wits captain Zondagh regarding the numerous fouls.
The Wits goal in those few seconds drew the score, 1 – 1 and had the home fans cheering in surprise.
“They were naught one down the whole event until about seconds before the final and they scored and came back, I tell you I have goosebumps, I’m proud of my team,” said Erika Venter, sports officer for Wits Hockey.
“I really feel like we did play really well, we just didn’t take our opportunities when they were given to us, we should have won the game but the boys really did put in an effort and I’m really proud of them,” said Jessica Dignon, manager and conditioner for the Wits hockey boys.
Zondagh won the super saver title for the second time in just as many days and Ignatius Malgraff from the Madibaz was named man of the match.
Wits will be playing against University of Cape Town (UCT) tonight at 18:45.