Inland face nightmare run for semi

2010-08-25 00:00

THE disappointment on the faces of the KZN Inland team was plain to see as they found their dominance against defending champions KZN Coastals fail to turn into points in a pulsating match at the SA Men’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament in Port Elizabeth yesterday.

Coach Charlie Pereira’s boys had eight penalty corners to Coastals’ four and twice as many circle entries, but it was to no avail, as the men in black made the most of what came their way for a vital 3-1 victory that leaves the Maritzburg men with a nightmarish two matches remaining in which to claw their way back to a semi-final berth tomorrow.

Coastals scored two penalty strokes by ace flicker Gareth Carr and a well-taken field goal by SA midfielder Taine Paton, while Inland got on the board through Matt Redmead’s clinical action goal.

Coastals led 2-0 at the break in a half where they were the better side, but Inland came back with a bang in the second to crowd their opponents out the game for long periods.

Inland will rue the fact that what appeared to be a bumpy circle in parts made a mess of their attempts to trap a number of penalty corner injections, which denied ace drag-flicker Karl Oftebro and friends a number of flings at goalkeeper Gowan Jones.

But Oftebro will be the first to admit that his compass was somewhat off-key in the flicks he did get in, while Jones made a miraculous stick save on another occasion.

Pereira summed up Inland’s woes p with a simply analogy: “In cricket if you drop catches you don’t win matches. We had the chances and didn’t make them count — Coastals did.”

Jethro Eustice was outstanding in the Inland central defence. The midfield trio, Captain Darryn Gallagher, Tommy Hammond and Matt Coombes, impressed, and striker Duzo Khanyile was always dangerous. Inland must beat Border today to go to the semi-final.

RESULTS

A Section: Northerns 7 Border 1; WP 3 Peninsula 2; KZN Coastals 3 KZN Inland 1; EP 0 Kaspersky Southern Gauteng 0.

B Section: SACD 3 South Cape 0; North West 12 Mpumalanga 0; KZN Mynahs 8 Northern Cape 0; KZN Inland B 1 Wits 1.

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