18 December 2018

Namibian Hawks Excel At PSI Nationals

THE Namibian Hawks excelled at the PSI nationals indoor hockey championships in Cape Town to win both the boys u14 A and girls u14 A titles yesterday.

Both sides were in imperious form, remaining unbeaten throughout the four-day tournament which saw more than 20 franchise teams from South Africa and Namibia in action.

In the boys u14 A category, the Hawks won all their eight group matches to finish on top of the log with 39 points, followed by the Cape Seals on 32 and the Boland Foxes on 28 points.

The Hawks recorded some huge victories during the group stages, beating the Black Mambas 10-3, the Stallions 9-3 and the Gryphons 19-1 on Friday and Saturday.

On Sunday, they encountered stiff opposition, but remained unbeaten with two hard fought victories against the Panthers (4-3) and the Vipers (6-5), while they displayed a great fighting spirit as they came from behind to win both matches.

As the log leaders the Hawks qualified directly for the final, where they met the Cape Seals who beat the Foxes 2-1 in the semi-final play-off.

Monday's final was a thrilling affair with the Hawks once again rising to the occasion with a great performance.

In an evenly matched first half, captain JP Britz put the Hawks ahead from a short corner, while Julian Schutz also found the back of the net although the goal was disallowed for an infringement.

The Seals equalised early in the second half, but the Hawks immediately restored their lead when Christiaan du Raan slammed home a cross by Britz.

The Seals once again came back, equalising from a short corner, but the Hawks finished stronger and a brilliant solo goal by Christiaan du Raan sealed their victory.

He started an attack from within his own half, dribbling past several players, to score from just inside the box and seal a 3-2 victory for the Hawks. In the girls u14 A category the Hawks were even more impressive than their male counterparts.

They were also unbeaten during the group stages, winning all their seven matches and scoring 55 goals in the process while only conceding 8 goals.

They also recorded some huge victories, beating the Vipers 8-0, the Black Mambas 8-2 and the Stallions 16-1. In the semi-finals they thumped the Vipers 9-0, while they were once again a class apart in Monday's final which they won 9-3 against the Gryphons. Kaitlin Gillies scored five goals in the final, while Gina Olles scored two, and Azaylee Philander and Sasha Brinkmann one goal each.

Several Namibian Hawks players shone in the individual categories at the prize giving ceremony.

In the girls u14 A category, Azaylee Philander won the player of the tournament award and Jamie Henckert the goal keeper of the tournament award, while JP Britz won the player of the tournament in the boys u14 A category.

Several Namibian players were also selected for the All Stars teams on completion of the tournament.

In the boys u14 A category, Britz, Thomas Theron, Christiaan du Raan and Josh van der Merwe made the All Stars team, while Jamie Henckert, Annabel Rossouw, Hayley Schickerling, Gina Olles, Caitlin Gillies, Azaylee Philander and Sasha Brinkmann made the u14 A girls All Stars team.

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