HOCKEY-SA

JOHANNESBURG June 10 Sapa

SA LOSE TO CLINICAL GERMANY

(EDS: UPDATES TO FINAL)

The South African women's hockey team lost 6-2 to clinical Germany in their Investec London Cup bronze medal match at the English capital on Sunday.

The Germans, who are third in the world, scored through Natascha Keller, Kristina Hillman, Julia Muller, Janine Beermann (2) and Katharina Otte.

South Africa found the net with Dirkie Chamberlain and world record scorer, Pietie Coetzee.

South Africa, who are 12th in the rankings, carried their chances in the encounter but were overdone by a master class finishing and sound defensive play from the Europeans.

The half-time score was 2-1 to Germany with their goals coming from a Keller penalty corner and Hillmans field goal.

Sandwiched in between the 10-minute goal fest was Chamberlain's goal after having pounced on Coetzees initial strike.

While SA continued to conjure up a steady supply of goal opportunities after the changeover, they only had Coetzees 241st goal in 245 Test matches to show for it.

The Germans replied back with four goals in a 19-minute period.

Despite the result, SA's assistant coach Fabian Gregory still praised the display as the team winded down preparations ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games that start next month.

"We played very well against Germany in the first half today and while they got four goals in the second half, we had more goal shots," said Gregory.

"If we are more clinical in our finishing and defend well there is no reason why we cant get a medal at the Olympics.

"I am happy with what we achieved and am excited about what we can still achieve in the build-up to the Games."

The side's captain Marsha Marescia was named Player of the Tournament at the conclusion of the tournament after Holland beat Australia 4-1 in the final.

The SA players will now go into a three-week physical training programme at Cape Town and Johannesburg bases before returning to Europe in early July.

They will play two unofficial Test matches apiece against Holland and Great Britain before a Four Nations event in Germany.

It will feature the hosts, and fellow Olympic gold medal hopefuls, New Zealand and Belgium.

Sapa

/sm