By Lauren vd Vyver
Pic by: Desiree Schirlinger
A friendly clash of hockey sticks ensued when the University of Cape Town (UCT) visited the ABSA Rhodes Hockey Club on 1 May. The long weekend was alive with Rhodent support and talent on the turf. The Rhodes teams came out on top by overcoming UCT’s social hockey teams. A close encounter between the Rhodes and UCT social ladies teams ended in a 3-2 win for the hosts.
The Rhodes social men’s team defeated their opponents 4-2. In what seemed like a warm-up, our first team ladies dominated in every arena, playing an excellent game which ended in an 11-0 termination of the Mother City visitors. Rhodes’ first men side, The Thistles, converted their quick advances in attack and overcame UCT’s social side 10-1. Alongside the astro, supporters in purple overalls filled the stands, animated by the inter-varsity spirit which captured the attention of every Rhodent present. Though competition and results were in the minds of all hockey players, a mutual respect and friendliness on the turf was maintained.
Christian Pienaar, a Rhodes student, noted how the excitement built in Grahamstown. “The atmosphere is just great and it’s just fun to be in on the action and support,” said Pienaar. Saturday’s fixtures for the Rhodes men’s first team were more challenging. Our closest neighbour, The NMMU Gushers, humbled the The Thistles by scoring in the last minutes to conclude the hard fought game with a 2-2 draw.
Due to a lack of communication and the previous night’s festivities, some of the social games were cancelled or delayed on Saturday. However, a Rhodes ladies team, consisting of second team and social players, joined forces against and exhausted the UCT ladies social side. The end result was 0-0. Tracy Ludwig, the Rhodes social ladies defender, commended UCT’s performance over the weekend, saying, “It was an amazing, relaxed game. In spite of some of the delayed starts to the games, the organization was brilliant and there was support on the side of the field. I feel sorry for the UCT social sides though, our first teams were just too good in attack.”