Newly crowned Varsity Hockey champions the University of Johannesburg appear to be in dangerous form ahead of next month’s national student championships after handing the University of the Free State their only defeat of the tournament in Bloemfontein.

A dominant UJ women’s team beat Kovsies 3-0 on their home astro turf to take a second consecutive victory for the university after their male counterparts claimed the title last year.

UJ captain Kaila-Ron Flemming led by example and was awarded both the Jet Striker of the Match and the FNB Player of the Match awards after her outstanding effort to score the final goal three minutes before full-time.

“I didn’t expect it at all,” said Flemming.

“I was caught up in the game and focussing on the task at hand so when I was called up after the match I was surprised and delighted, especially as it was my last year to compete.”

UJ will now prepare for the upcoming University Sport South Africa (Ussa) hockey tournament, which takes place from June 29 to July 4 in Pietermaritzburg.

“I am going into the competition with an open mind and the confidence that we will do well and that the girls will make me proud,” said Flemming.

Flemming, who has been playing for the first team since 2009, said she knew the Varsity Hockey final would be a challenge, as Kovsies proved throughout the tournament that they were a team of high standards and quality players.

They also had the home-ground advantage and a highly spirited crowd in their corner.

“As a team we realised that this mountain was one we would have to collectively climb and once we scored our first goal it was like a power switch in my team – they just kept going and getting stronger as the match continued.”

UJ midfielder Marizen Marais said that nerves had played a role in the shaky first half and that the team had come out more relaxed in the second.

“We knew that if we returned to basics and did those little things right, the outcome would go our way.”

Marais said that winning the tournament had been an unrivalled and unreal achievement.

“It was such a great feeling when that final whistle went and we achieved our goal.”

The Johannesburg team delivered strong performances throughout the tournament, dropping only two games in the round-robin portion of the competition.

Flemming added that although there were eight new players in the team, they were well balanced in terms of experience and youth.

“Our coaching, technical and management teams together with the girls have worked exceptionally hard and it’s rewarding to reap the benefits.”

2015 Varsity Hockey champions UJ during the Varsity Hockey Final match Kovsies vs UJ held at UFS Astro in Bloemfontein on May 18, 2015 ©Frikkie Kapp /SASPA

2015 Varsity Hockey champions UJ during the Varsity Hockey Final match Kovsies vs UJ held at UFS Astro in Bloemfontein on May 18, 2015 ©Frikkie Kapp /SASPA

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