Tuks kick start League Campaign with a bang
Deur Natalie Thompson
Gelaai op 11 Mei 2012
The Northerns winter league started well for Tuks 1 hockey men and ladies. On 4 May, both Tuks teams played their first league matches against the Old Albanians. Although the competitors posed a threat, the Tuks1 teams proved too strong, resulting in a clean sweep.
Tuks dominated the ladies match from the start. Winning the toss, Tuks, captained by Sumari Kruger, quickly capitalised off their ball possession by scoring the first goal of the match in the fifth minute off a short corner. The second goal for Tuks came only five minutes later off another short corner.
In the first half of the match the Albanians only ventured into Tuks territory twice, both times promptly being sent back to their half of the field by the Tuks defence. The Tuks ladies spent most of the match in the Albanians' half of the field and in possession of the ball. The Old Albanian goalie proved to be essential to the opponents, as many attempts at goal by Tuks proved unsuccessful due to the goalie’s efforts.
The second half of the match saw three more goals being scored by the Tuks ladies, including an impressive goal in the 42nd minute by Janie Porteous. With only 14 minutes left in the match, four cards were given out; all the cards were pulled by the same referee who proved to be a type of iron-fist authority. Tuks were given two yellow cards, and the Albanians were given a yellow and a green. Many spectators felt that the ref was too strict and that a more lenient approach would have ended the match on better terms. One Albanian supporter openly admitted that she was immensely impressed with Tuks’ level of fitness and skill.
The men’s match started off with equal ball possession and play over both halves of the field. Tuks men, captained by Mike Sykes, seemed to favour playing back and drawing the Albanian defence away from goal, giving the Tuks offence space to play. Nevertheless, the teams seemed equally matched as an attempt at goal within the 11th minute from the Albanians proved their threat. With the ball travelling between the teams, the first goal of the match came in the form of a Tuks short corner in the 16th minute.
In the second half of the match, Tuks’ skill started to overwhelm the Albanian team, with Tuks pestering the Albanian defence in the circle. The 47th minute of play saw Tuks scoring their second goal, and with 20 minutes remaining in the game the most impressive goal of the night was scored by Grant Glutz. It was a brilliant flick-goal over the heads of the defenders and the goalie. This seemed to stifle the Albanian team, as they made no convincing attempt at goal after the display of Tuks' skill.
The results of the first league matches seem to show that both Tuks1 men and ladies are well prepared for the 2012 winter league. Subsequent league matches will take place on Friday nights at UP Sports campus at the hockey fields surrounding the hockey clubhouse. All students are more than welcome to come and support these promising teams.