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Ehlanzeni club hockey wraps up with White River, LVCC and Impala victorious

The four divisions of the Ehlanzeni Senior Hockey League officially wrapped at Penryn College with the final round of fixtures on Sunday June 2.

White River, Lowveld Country Club (LVCC) and Impala have shared the spoils in this season’s Ehlanzeni Senior Hockey League, as each club won at least one of the four divisions this year.

The club hockey season kicked off on March 17, earlier than usual for the club hockey season. This decision was made by Ehlanzeni hockey to ensure that the league wraps up before the start of the national and regional tournaments, which take place in June and July.

This would have ensured the leagues would wrap up by the second last week of May. However, an unplanned one-week delay after the second round, in addition to the planned Easter break, meant the league ultimately only wrapped up at the end of May/early June.

Jenaed Brodell of LVCC, who won the ladies’ first league. > Photos: Blake Linder

It’s been a highly competitive season across all four divisions of the Ehlanzeni Senior Hockey League, and in only two of the leagues did last year’s winners retain their titles. These were the men’s first league and the ladies’ second league, where White River and Impala 2 won their respective leagues.

But they were made to work hard for their titles. White River was pushed until the second last week of the season by LVCC in the men’s first league, a welcome change compared to last year when they ran away with the league win. But they never faltered and won five of their six matches this season, only drawing one to LVCC who finished as runners up, with Impala in third.

In the ladies’ second league Impala 2 were tested by White River 2, who were constantly snapping at their heels waiting for the log leaders to slip up. But, by and large, Impala 2 stayed in charge of the league from the get-go. In spite of White River 2 beating KaNyamazane 9-0 on the last day of the season, Impala 2 had already secured the title and won the league by one point. LVCC 2 finished third.

Ruelle van Zyl (red) from Impala 2, winners of the ladies’ second league. > Photos: Blake Linder

The ladies’ first league and men’s second league were the two leagues that had new winners this year. In the former, LVCC were dominant from start to finish. They won all six of their games, only conceding six goals all season, but were regularly tested by Impala and defending champions White River. Impala finished second with White River in third.

The men’s second league was by far the most competitive league this season. Four of the five teams in the league had a chance to win the title going into the final round of games. But, ultimately, Impala 2 pipped defending champions White River 2 to the post.

ALSO READ: LVCC and White River secure Ehlanzeni men’s and ladies’ club hockey titles

They already secured the title with a hard-fought 2-1 win over LVCC 2 on Friday May 31, but White River 2 had the final say as they beat Impala 2 7-3 on the final day, Sunday June 2. This catapulted White River 2 into second, followed by KaNyamazane in third and LVCC 2 in fourth. Only three point separated Impala 2 in first and LVCC 2, showcasing just how close the league was.

Focus will now turn to the regional and national tournaments, with many Ehlanzeni hockey players representing the Mpumalanga sides across all of the age group and senior levels.

Donovan Hoffman, who plays for Impala 2, who won the men’s second league. > Photos: Blake Linder

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