By Siyolise Gqongwana
On the 4th of July, Madibaz Hockey travelled to the Mother City in what would be their first USSA tournament in 2 years – This is after the annual competition was brought to a halt in 2020 due to the pandemic.
The team was relegated to the B Section after they agonizingly lost to University of Johannesburg on penalties in 2019. Any hopes of bouncing back to the A Section would only come through a flawless performance in this year’s edition. The math was simple – win all 5 games.
The ladies asserted their dominance early on, breezing past Tshwane University of Technology on the first day, winning 6-1. This superiority sent a signal of intent to the rest of the teams in the B Section, and set the tone for the rest of the tournament.
Day 2, however, brought with it a gloomy atmosphere in the Madibaz Camp when they lost one of their top strikers, Cheneal Raubenheimer through a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which has ruled her out for the rest of the season. However, they did not let that get in the way of the mission at hand as they dispatched University of the Western Cape 3-0.
Eastern Cape counterparts, Rhodes University, also proved to be no match for Madibaz when allowed 6 goals without reply on the third day.
Andrew Beynon’s side made sure not to let goal difference come in between them and promotion as they came hitting on all cylinders against Limpopo, winning comfortably, 15-0. Despite this hefty scoreline, Madibaz striker Hildah Dikhudu, commended the team for their ‘never say die attitude.’
“Any other team would have had their head down with a score line like that, but not once did they give up or walk on the field. They even started identifying our strengths midgame and managed to defend a few of our set-pieces as a result. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” she described eloquently.
The ladies went on to seal their promotion with a 4-0 win against UKZN on the last day and will see them grab a seat among the best at Varsity Hockey next year.
Photo credit: Madibaz Hockey (Instagram)