Slow SASSU start for hockey sides

03 July 2007 | Story by Megan Morris

On the defence: UCT's Jenny-Lee Lowin takes the ball away from Marie Louise Burden of North-West University in the sides' opening game in the 2007 SASSU hockey competition, now on at the University of Stellenbosch. UCT lost 0-5.

Fielding two revamped squads, UCT is not quite the force it's been in recent South African Students' Sports Union (SASSU) hockey competitions.

Both the men and women's teams got off to wobbly starts in the current SASSU games, on this week at Stellenbosch University. On the opening day, Monday, 2 June, the women fumbled to a 0-5 defeat to North-West University, while the men fell 2-4 to the University of Johannesburg.

That's a far cry from previous competitions where the men have been regular finalists and the women good for an upset or two.

The current sides, however, have been depleted by the 2006 graduations, losing most of their senior players, says club chairperson Matthew McConkey. Since then it's been a baptism of fire for the many freshers - around a dozen in the women's squad - now running out in UCT colours.

"So we're probably not as strong as we've been in previous years," says McConkey.

UCT may still restore some of its former glory in the remaining games of the round-robin stage. The women play the University of Free State today at 11h00, and then go up against archrivals Stellenbosch on Wednesday at 18h30. In turn, the men take on Rhodes University at 15h30 today and the University of KwaZulu-Natal at 10h00 on Wednesday morning.

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