Inconsistent Fish Hoek will try and crack tough-nuts Central
THE men’s and women’s Grand Challenge league returns today with a full round of fixtures. There has been a four-week break for the school holidays.
All the junior interprovincials took place, the varsities participated in the USSA Week – where Maties were crowned champions – WPCC participated in the annual Greenfields tournament and all the clubs competed in the PSI indoor tournament at the start of the month.
The business end of the league kicks off today with Central hosting Fish Hoek at Vygieskraal in the pick of the men’s encounters.
Central have acquitted themselves well on their return to the top-flight and have proven to be tough nuts to crack at their home turf. Fish Hoek dismantled Central in the first-round encounter at Wynberg and won 4-2.
Central have improved immensely in defence and addressed their perceived weakness. The midfield is where they are strongest and it could be the area where the game is decided. Bernard Greybe has also been a tower of strength between the sticks and is one of the standout goalkeepers in the league.
Fish Hoek, meanwhile, have been inconsistent but are capable of pushing any team in the league. However, their depth seems to be their Achilles heel and if a top player is sidelined, they struggle. At full-strength they are extremely competitive.
There are three league matches left in the campaign and the league is WPCC’s to lose as it stands. They have a healthy 13-point lead, but Maties have two games in hand and should claw back six points.
WPCC have a fairly easy outing Women’s Grand Challenge PWLTFA 10 9 0 1 55 10 28 11 8 2 1 19 13 25 11 7 2 2 38 14 23 11 6 4 1 31 22 19 10 3 5 2 11 19 11 10 3 6 1 22 34 11 10 1 7 2 10 38 5 11 0 11 0 3 39 0 Maties WPCC S West Conberg UCT Pinelands Victorians Central
Ptoday against a disappointing Pinelands outfit and they should come away with maximum points.
WPCC’s next match is against UCT, who took them to the wire earlier in the season. The Ikeys have the potential to beat any side on their day.
For the women, it’s a straight shootout between Maties and WPCC. The crunch game is next weekend when Somerset West host Maties.
The students haven’t beaten Somerset in their last three clashes and this could set up a league-decider against WPCC in three weeks’ time. Fixtures Women’s Grand Challenge: UCT v Maties, Somerset West v Victorians, WPCC v Pinelands, Central v Conberg. Men’s Grand Challenge: UCT v Maties, Langa v Victorians, WPCC v Pinelands, Central v Fish Hoek.