The Wits women and men hockey teams secured several wins during a friendly derby day against UJ.

The Wits Hockey teams dominated the University of Johannesburg’s hockey teams, after winning five out of seven games during a friendly derby day on Saturday March 7, at Wits Education Campus.

The Wits men’s first team won 3-1 against the UJ men’s first team. The first goal was scored in the seventh minute by Brandon James after a short corner.

In the second half, Wits increased the score by two goals. Rusten Abrahams struck the ball into the top left corner of the net, in a one-on-one penalty stroke with the keeper, five minutes into the second half.

Wits’ final goal was scored less than 30 seconds later by Dylan Butler. UJ were able to score a goal during a moment of weakness in the Wits defence when Keown Leong-Colom scored a field goal in the 55th minute.

Unfortunately, the game was called off in the final minute, due to a collision between UJ goalkeeper, Cullin De Jager and UJ player Nico Jacobs, which resulted in a broken ankle injury for Jacobs.

The final game of the derby was played by the women’s first teams, which was delayed by up to 30 minutes due to the Jacobs’ injury in the previous game.

Eventually the game got underway and Wits women were able to secure the only goal of the game in the third minute, through a short corner by Nompilo Thenjwayo. Despite multiple opportunities to score from both sides, neither of the teams were able to capitalise on their attempts.

Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, the Wits men’s coach Ricky West said: “it was good to get out and play some good competitive hockey today, and were going to try to win the league for the third time in a row.”

In relation to the up and coming league, Gilbert De Villers, the Wits women’s coach said, “hopefully [we can] push for second place or first place, I think we have a really strong second side compared to last year so I think there’s some good competition coming through.”

Tsoanelo Pholo, UJ women’s Coach told Wits Vuvuzela, “it’s always great to see what we can improve on and what we should work more on.” She also added that the game was not about individual performances. “For me it was about the girls applying the new tactics.”

The other three wins for Wits came from the women’s second team game with a score of 5-1. The Wits men’s second team won 2-1, while the women’s third team got away with 4-1 win against UJ.

The only losses for Wits on the day was a 7-1 thrashing  for of the Wits men’s fourth team who played against UJ’s fourth team, while the same Wits team also lost 3-5 to the UJ men’s third team.

The 2020 Hockey League is set to start on March 28.

Featured Image: Wits first team player Rusten Abrahams on the ball. PHOTO: Zinhle Belle

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