A last-minute strike by forward Robb Morris sealed a thrilling 7-6 victory for the Wits men’s hockey team against Morningside Country Club (MCC) on Tuesday night at Fourways High School.
A shaky start to the game by Wits saw them concede five goals in the first 15 minutes. They had to come back from behind after struggling to put the ball in the net.
With five penalty corners and several one-on-ones with the MCC goalkeeper, the game looked set for an MCC win.
Wits’ strategy of playing with a high court press finally paid off as defender Matthew Povall managed to break the drought with a pair of neat goals late in the first half. Wits piled extreme pressure on the opposition’s defence who struggled to get the ball into the midfield from their back line.
MCC conceded a penalty shortly after the second-half whistle, which Wits converted to reduce the deficit to 3-5.
MCC adopted a more attacking approach putting in a high lying striker, Tim Schultz, who caused difficulties for the Wits back line. MCC managed to score a field goal immediately after the re-start making the score 6-3 to MCC.
In a good passage of play the Witsies’ strike force took full advantage of its scoring opportunities and managed to bring the score line back to 6-6. Leg work by the Wits forwards created a series of turnovers which resulted in more shots on target.
MCC were able to get a few counter-attack opportunities but a stalwart defence by the Wits goalkeeper, Cole Zondagh, kept the ball out of the net.
Wits continued to hassle the opposition defence. With three minutes of play left Morris put in the final goal of the game to put the Wits side ahead for the first time.
In a final-minute twist, Wits’ defence was broken and forced into a last-line save that was converted in a penalty corner. The shot was saved by Zondagh giving Wits the win.
The win is Wits’ second on the trot since the beginning of the season and puts them in a safe mid-table position.