East Grinstead's drag-flick supremo steps up in England hockey league final

2010-05-13 00:00

MARITZBURG College product ­Gareth Carr, the KZN Coastal and SA defender and drag-flick supremo, played a pivotal role in his club winning the coveted England Hockey League.

KZN Coastal and Southern Gauteng won the men’s and women’s crowns respectively at the KZN Invitational tournament, and Maritzburg Varsity’s men top the KZN Super League as Pietermaritzburg readies itself to host four national tournaments next month.

Yes, it’s been busy and it’s going to get busier.

Carr, with East Grinstead trailing Beeston 4-1 with 11 minutes of the EHL Championship final left, netted three stunning penalty corner drag flicks inside eight minutes to force the match to golden goal.

No score resulted, and with the two sides trading goals in the penalty stroke shoot-out, Carr revealed his typical big match temperament to net the winner.

Beeston, in the pound seats, were absolutely gutted.

The triumph gave East Grinstead an amazing three English titles and one European crown in one season. Best club side in the world? Maybe.

Taking place at the A.B. Jackson Greenfields Turf and Maritzburg College’s Pape’s Astro, the SA U13 boys’ and girls’ Inter-Provincial Tournament runs from June 10 to 12, the U16 boys’ IPT from June 14 to 18 and the U18 boys’ IPT from June 21 to 25. Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School will host the Country District Women’s IPT from June 20 to 26.

KZN Coastal men beat Southern Gauteng 5-4 to win the KZN Invitational, with Mynahs third and Border fourth. Southerns’ women overturned a shock defeat to North West in the preliminary round by beating them 3-2 in the final. KZN Coastal finished third — a disappointing outcome — and Border fourth.

KZN Coastal’s women’s High Performance squad, with the likes of Cindy Botha, Catherine Morris, Kelly Madsen, Jen Wilson, Lenise Marais, Lee-Anne Keet and Terri-Lee Chelin, have been training for two months and it’s no secret that coach Lennie Botha is going all out to win the IPT in East London, from July 20 to 24. Great Britain international Crista Cullen, who made a huge contribution to last year’s finalists, Coastal, won’t be returning as her national coach has forbidden it.

Last year’s champs, Southern Gauteng, a hurting Western Pro­vince, whose glut of SA players could see them finish only among the also-rans, North West and Northerns have other ideas. KZN Inland, if they work extremely hard over the next two months, could finish higher than last year’s seventh. But it’s a big “could”, as whether or not they have got the character to put in the hard yards on and off the training pitch for the entire build-up to IPT remains to be seen.

Inland women’s trials at 7.30 pm at the A.B. Jackson today should prove interesting.

The men’s IPT, from August 24 to 28 in Port Elizabeth, looks an open race between Inland, reigning champs KZN Coastal, finalists Southerns, WP and Northerns.

Men’s and women’s KZN Super League hockey at Riverside Turf on Sunday sees PMB Varsity’s and Collegians’ men and women take on Riverside men’s and women’s firsts and seconds respectively.

Varsity and Riverside firsts’ men are top with Durban Varsity placed third. PMB Varsity women meet table-toppers Riverside firsts, who are unbeaten alongside Rovers firsts. PMB Collegians’ sides have a chance to pick up points against Riverside seconds.

The strong Riverside club was known as Durban North Hockey Club until this year, when they changed name to align with mother club Riverside Sports.

At the A.B. Jackson on Saturday, the KZN Inland Women’s Premier League clash between Varsity A and Standard A at 4 pm looks the pick.

KZN Inland’s Greenfields Golf Day is on Saturday at Maritzburg Golf Club. Contact Janet Edwards at edwardsj@futurenet.co.za for more information and four-ball entries.

RESULTS

KZN Super League – Men: Round 1 - PMB Varsity 13 PMB Collegians 0; Durban Varsity 4 Pinetown 2; Riverside I 5 Riverside II 0; Rovers 7 Toti 0. Round 2: P Var 6 Rov 0; R’side I 11 Toti 0; D Var 9 P Coll 0; R’side II 2 Ptn 6.

Women – Round 1: P Var 3 P Coll 2; D Var 2 Durban Collegians 3; Rover I 7 Rov II 0; R’side I 4 R’side II 0. Round 2: P Var 0 Rov I 2; R’side I 11 Rov II 0; D Coll 1 P Coll 3; D Var 6 R’side II 0.

KZN Inland Premier League – Men: Coll I 3 Var II 0; Var I (walkover) Coll II.

Women: Coll A 6 Standard A 0; Var A 14 Coll B 0.

FIXTURES

Sunday: KZN Super League Week 3 (Queensmead, Riverside) Men: 9.30 Durban Varsity vs Toti (Q); 15.30 Rovers vs Pinetown (Q); 12.30 Riverside II vs PMB Collegians I (R’side); 15.30 Riverside I vs PMB Varsity I (R’side).

Women: 11.00 Rov II vs DBN Coll (Q); 14.00 Rov I vs D Var (Q); 11.00 R’side II vs P Coll (R’side); 14.00 R’side I vs P Var I (R’side).

KZN Inland Premier League (all AB Jackson Greenfields Turf) Women – Friday: 19.15 Country Districts vs Varsity B; Saturday: 16.00 Varsity A vs Standard A.

Men – Sunday: 11.00 Varsity II vs Coll II.

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