The Wits men’s first team hockey had a must-win encounter against New Rovers to avoid threats of potential relegation from the Southern Gauteng hockey premier league on Tuesday evening at the Randburg Sports Grounds.
Wits won the game with a single goal. The game started with a fast pace, with New Rovers showing dominance and controlling much of the first few minutes of the game.
Wits soon settled into the fast-paced game pushing up into the New Rovers goal area but unable to net in the goals. Freezing conditions on Tuesday evening might have affected both teams’ performances, however they warmed up quickly and were able to play great hockey.
The Wits performance was also slacking a bit without their star striker Jaryd Poval, who was out because of a knee injury. New Rovers were not taking the game lightly either because they were also facing possible relegation to a lower league.
Wits goalie Cole Zondhag saved a flick into the goals that could have opened the lead for New Rovers. Both teams created numerous chances but failed to convert in the first half.
Wits opened the lead minutes into the second half by the captain, Kelsey Stuart, after a short corner. This instilled a whole new approach to the game as the Wits boys attacked continuously throughout the second half.
New Rovers continued their tough attack on Wits, hoping to equalise to keep their lifeline of staying in the premier league.
“I think we played well considering that our intervarsity tournament in Pietermaritzburg didn’t go so well,” said Wits striker Paul Ndiweni. Our main problem is that we struggle to score goals.”
Wits will play their final game of the season in two weeks time and hope to produce a favourable result again.
The Wits team is now 10th on the log with only four points. University of Johannesburg A is on top of the log with two points separating them from second position Wanderers A.
In the Men’s 2nd league, Wits B is second on the log, eight points behind leaders Beaulieu A. Wits B will play their next game on Sunday at the St John’s Astro in Houghton.
The women’s team is currenlty in the 8th position of the premier league.