Trying times for hockey

10 May 2010

It's been a yo-yo season for UCT's women's hockey A team.

Two wins and two defeats - the latest a 0-1 loss to Central on 1 May - in their first four games in the Western Province Hockey Union's Ladies Grand Challenge (LGC) has lifted the side to fourth spot, but with a couple of teams still with games in hand, they could drop down a few spots still.

(The UCT B team, in the meantime, is anchored at the bottom of the log with three defeats in their three games. They've also conceded 20 goals and have yet to net one of their own.)

And with the youthful UCT A in rebuilding mode, it's unlikely that 2010 will see them return to the heights achieved not too long ago, when they were consistently the second-best side in the LGC, only playing second fiddle to a Stellenbosch outfit brimming with national players. For now, the team is made up mostly of first-years - such as SA under-19 player Amy Freakes - and second-years, with only one or two senior players around.

"It's a young side," says the squad's coach, Matthew McConkey. "There's lots of talent there, but it all just needs to come together, and we need to start performing."

This year may be a tricky time to do that. Those Stellenbosch players have now been distributed among some of the other LGC sides, which may have weakened the Maties but has invigorated the likes of log leaders Western Province Cricket Club A, Somerset West and Pinelands.

But McConkey still has a spot in the top four in mind for his young players.

For now.

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