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Sixth league title for Maties men’s hockey

The Maties men’s hockey team beat Langa Hockey Club 5-1 on Tuesday night at the Hartleyvale hockey Astro in Rondebosch to win their sixth consecutive league title.

“I think this year we were under a lot of pressure to perform, we lost two finals, so it is good to get a title under the belt,” says Keenan Horne (26), the league captain and striker for the Maties team.

Although the end result was 5-1, it was a cagey affair with Langa equalizing early in the second quarter to make it 1-1, setting up a nervy third and fourth quarter.

“Yeah, I was a bit nervous. We tend to be late bloomers, so we always pull it off in the third or fourth chukka and truth be told, that’s what we did. Very proud of the guys,” says Alex Stewart (22), Maties vice-captain and centre link.

Before the game Maties were on 31 points after 12 games, while Western Province Cricket Club (WPCC) were on 30 points after 13 games played.

Winning on Tuesday night ensured the league title with a game to go for the men from Stellenbosch, something Horne is happy about.

“It takes a bit of pressure off us. We are playing Western Province Cricket Club away and they are our arch rivals. So to celebrate in front of them on Thursday is going to be beautiful,” says Horne.

Going into the game against Langa last night, head coach Ashlin Freddy was confident, but fully aware of the challenge which lay ahead.

“No nerves at all. The guys know what is expected of them and I have full confidence in them to see through what has been a successful league campaign to date,” says Freddy.

Stewart, who had only just secured his fourth Men’s Grand Challenge title on the trot, was already looking to his fifth next year after the game.

“I am keen to continue the legacy and to make it six, actually to make it seven next year! But, yeah, keen for the game on Thursday.

“I think we still have a lot to prove. We haven’t been playing our best hockey lately, but I am really stoked with the lads and how they performed tonight to bring the sixth league title home,” says Stewart.

Goals scorers during the match included Horne, Mbuso Mgobozi, Connor Beauchamp and youngster Clayton Saker with a brace.

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