The Wits Men’s Hockey team beat the Crusaders to secure the Southern Gauteng Hockey Association league.

The Wits Men’s A-side won the Southern Gauteng Hockey Association (SGHA) winter league at the Wits hockey field on Thursday, September 13.

A 7-0 win against the Crusaders secured the Witsies the number one spot on the league, with 15 points.

The first half saw Wits starting off strong, and that produced a goal in the first five minutes of the match. A weak defence by the Crusaders resulted in the game continuing to favour the Witsies on their home ground as they maintained the strong play with most of the game being played on the opponent’s side.

However, the home team failed to convert their many opportunities in the circle into goals partly due to the skilled goalkeeper of the Crusaders. This resulted in the first half ending in 1-0 to Wits.

SGHA’s final second half saw a faster pace from the home team as the Crusaders struggled to keep up and go in for the tackles.

The Crusaders tried to strengthen their defence but Wits managed to break through and score in the first 10 minutes after a fumble in the circle. It wasn’t long after that goal that the home team scored again for a 3-0 lead.

Wits pounced on a failed attempt to score by the Crusaders as they swept the ball away from the visitors, scoring from near the halfway line. The team secured its impressive win by converting a penalty into a goal, with the last goal going in with two minutes of the game left.

A spectator, Charles Strickett, told Wits Vuvuzela that, “The lack of fitness and superior technique led to Wits winning the league. They’re good,” he said.

Team member Sizwe Nyandeni said that the team went into the game with the utmost respect for the Crusaders.

“Today’s game was a challenging fixture. Earlier in the season we beat them 5-1. We didn’t go in thinking we would do this well,” Nyandeni told Wits Vuvuzela.

Wits Men’s Hockey coach Ricky West said that, “We left some opportunities in the first half. We made a point to convert the opportunities in the second half, something that the team did well.”

The coach added that the SGHA league had been particularly tough this year but he was pleased that his team won the league despite this.

“To win a league requires consistent performance. The fact that we won the league means that we performed consistently,” West told Wits Vuvuzela.

FEATURED PHOTO: A Crusaders player attempts a tackle but the Witsie’s defence prevails.                                                                                                                                          Photo: Onke Ngcuka