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SA win the test and the series 4-1

South Africa has recorded a Hockey series win which has created renewed hope and excitement in sports.

The SPAR Indoor Hockey Test Series has flown past in the blink of an eye and just like that it concluded tonight in Dublin in front of a fantastic crowd, with the sound a welcome resonation in the ears of the players.

In an entertaining opening quarter, it was the Irish who struck first when Mikayla Power took an early free hit, caught the South Africans napping and then showed experience beyond her years as she shaped to fire across goal only to fire it straight into the near post and the home crowd gave the appreciation the moment deserved.

The South Africans have shown their class throughout the tournament and showed no panic as they slowly asserted themselves into the game. They were rewarded for their endeavour with a penalty corner from which Jess Lardant restored parity. The opening quarter finishing level, which was an appropriate reflection on the opening exchanges.

If their leveller could be labelled tenacity, the go-ahead goal for the South Africans should simply be entitled clinical precision. Jess O’Connor fired a pinpoint long ball to Eloise Walters, who showed an experienced head to touch it off superbly to Edith Molikoe. The Olympian took the chance like a seasoned veteran and the African visitors had the lead.

After some good possession from Ireland, it was the South Africans who added the next. Robyn Johnson reacted quickest and set the ball up for Tamlyn Kock who finished to earn her first International Goal! The timing of the goal was a sucker punch for the Irish as the hooter to end the third quarter sounded shortly afterwards.

Ireland took the brave approach in the final quarter as they started with the six out field players. They would have to be awake to the South African counterattack, but they started creating chances as the extra player proved helpful in attack. But for the Irish a moment of quick thinking caught them napping and as Kayla de Waal was about to net into an empty goal she was taken out and awarded a penalty stroke. De Waal stepped up to take the stroke but surprisingly she fired it wide.

Ireland continued their superb defensive display when South Africa won a penalty corner and Amy Benson charged it down superbly. But the lack of a keeper was telling, and Edith Molikoe showed exactly how its done as she took the ball into the D and lifted it into the empty net.

Ireland continued to look for a consolation and were unfortunate not to turn their opportunities into goal as they met the wall of the South African defence. There would be no late goalscoring and the match would end 4-1 with the series ending 4-1 too.

Special mention and appreciation must go to SPAR for their tremendous support of the South African Indoor Hockey Women!

SPAR Indoor Hockey Test Series – Results

Test 1- Ireland 3-2 South Africa

Test 2- Ireland 3-5 South Africa

Test 3- Ireland 0-1 South Africa

Test 4- Ireland 1-3 South Africa

Test 5- Ireland 1-4 South Africa

South Africa win the series 4-1

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