Namibia Beat Zambia 3-0 in Inaugural Hockey Series

Namibia beat Zambia 6-1 in their final women's hockey test match on Monday morning to win the Standard Bank sponsored series 3-0.

On Saturday, Namibia won the first test 5-1, but Zambia provided stronger resistance before losing the second test 3-1 on Sunday.

In the final test on Monday, Namibia attacked from the start and took the lead after only a minute through Joane van Rooyen.

Namibian captain Maggy Mengo had a shot saved while Kiana Cormack shot narrowly wide, but their pressure paid off when Tara Myburgh finished off an attack by Mengo to put Namibia 2-0 ahead after 11 minutes.

Zambia opened their account on 27 minutes when the impressive Catherine Kalomo struck a rebound into the net, after Namibian goal keeper Berencia Diamond had saved Patricia Banda's initial shot.

Zambia pushed hard for the equaliser and Diamond came to Namibia's rescue with a great save to deny Margret Munthali just before the half time break.

Namibia stepped up the tempo in the second half and went 3-1 ahead through a great goal by Tara Myburgh as she deflected a cross by Gillian Hermanus into the net.

The home side dominated the final stages with Kiana Cormack scoring a hat-trick to complete a comprehensive victory.

She made it 4-1 when she intercepted the ball on the halfway line, ran right through and then dribbled past Zambia's goalie to put the ball into an empty net.

Her second came with a smart back stick shot after receiving a pass from her sister Jerrica Cormack, while her third and Namibia's sixth goal came from a pass by Mengo that she fired home from close range.

Cormack, who also scored two goals in the first test and another in the second test won the trophy for the top goal scorer with six in total, while Namibia midfielder Jivanka Kruger won the player of the series trophy.

The victory brought an end to a dominant performance by the home team and coach Erwin Handura said the series had provided much needed preparation for upcoming events this year.

Namibia play South Africa next month while they will compete in the final Olympic Games qualifying tournament in Valencia, Spain in June.

"Zambia pushed us hard in the second test, so today we changed our strategy to dominate the midfield and that's why we managed to score six goals," he said.

"The series provided us with was great preparation for our next series against South Africa next month so we want to thank Standard Bank and the ministry of sport for this opportunity," he added.

The permanent secretary in the ministry of youth, sport and national service, Emma Kantema-Gaomas congratulated the Namibian team on their series victory.

"The Namibian women's hockey team has done us proud over the years and they certainly stand out amongst the other women's teams. In indoor hockey, Namibia is now ranked 11th in the world and first in Africa - your outstanding performances continue to astound us," she said.

Namibia's team manager Marietta Stoffberg thanked Standard Bank for their support and added that they will once again sponsor the tournament next year, when Zambia's national men's team will also be invited to play against their Namibian counterparts.

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