Wits was neck and neck with Tuks as they played for a spot in the Varsity Hockey finals. 

Wits has been knocked out of the Varsity Hockey tournament by the University of Pretoria (Tuks) during a sudden death knockout in the semi-final match at the LC de Villiers sports field in Pretoria on Monday, May 14.

The game ended in a 6-6 tie after Tuks scored a goal in the dying seconds of the match. A penalty shootout of seven attempts each saw Tuks take the match 5-3.

Wits started the game strong by taking decisive control of the ball and keeping up their defence against Tuks. The visitors managed to open the score board in the first 15 minutes of the game.

The Tuks supporters grew restless with their side as the home team missed two shots at goal. The scrappy play by the Pretoria outfit attracted a yellow card leaving them a player down for the rest of the first quarter.

At the beginning of the second quarter Tuks made a strong comeback but Wits managed to regain control of the ball. Wits managed to score their second goal off of a penalty corner, bringing the score to 3-0.

Towards the end of the second quarter, Tuks turned the game around by scoring their first goal of the match, bringing the score 1-3. The goal seem to give Tuks their confidence back and they managed to score a second goal soon after the first.

With a close score of 3-2, Wits became anxious to regain lost ground, leading to more aggressive play from their offense while Tuks held firm. Tuks successfully managed to score their third goal of the match off a penalty corner awarded in the fourth quarter, bringing the score to 3-all.

The game rapidly picked up the pace as Wits scored another goal through a penalty shot, bringing the score to 4-3 with the remaining 11 minutes of the game. In the last seven minutes Tuks took their power play and successfully scored, taking the lead at 4-5. Wits followed with their own powerplay taking the score to 6-5. The loss for the Joburg team was felt across the team.

Wits fan and women’s hockey player, Nompilo Thenjwayo said she was disappointed with the result.

“It’s just really disappointing because the whole tournament they’ve been losing in the last few seconds,” she told Wits Vuvuzela.

Tuks will move forward to the finals where they will face off against Maties next week Monday.

FEATURED PHOTO: Tuks came back from behind to defeat Wits in the Varsity Hockey semi-finals in Pretoria on Monday, May 14. Photo: Naledi Mashishi.