Inland let lead slip against resolute Pens

2015-04-21 00:00

THERE were wins for defending champions Western Province, as well as Northern Blues and WP Peninsula on day one of the Greenfields SA U21 Men’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf yesterday.

Western Province stamped their mark with a comprehensive 5-0 defeat of Southern Gauteng.

Blitzes, in the 33rd and 34th minutes, and another double strike in the 55th and 59th, were complemented by the match opener in the 24th.

All five were field goals, which is in part indicative of the space and time coach Bruce Jacobs’s WP ­line-up were able to create for themselves. James Drummond bagged a brace with Ryan Crowe, Nqobile Ntuli and Ryan Julius getting the rest.

The final match between KZN Inland and Peninsula was a hard-fought affair.

The first chukka was played at a furious pace with turnovers upsetting the teams’ rhythm at both ends of the pitch.

Inland earned a penalty corner in the 12th minute but the opportunity was lost.

Three minutes into the second chukka, Pens skipper Ed Reed flashed a rising, full-blooded shot wide.

Just over a minute later Inland broke out fast and the combination of Tevin Kok, Pambili Gada and Amkelwe Letuka saw the latter add the finishing touch for a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute. Inland keeper Tim Kirkman denied Rushin October soon after.

And in the 28th Kok timed a rising shot to perfection but the ball’s direction didn’t match the quality of the strike.

Inland started superbly after half time, creating room for Gada to nail a rasping shot that on another day might have flown goal-side of the post.

The third quarter saw Inland put together some fine combinations, but the goal didn’t come, which came back to haunt them.

Inland’s inability to finish saw Pens come back to take a 2-1 lead with eight minutes left in the match after fine goals from Reece Arendse and Jordon Groenewald in the 50th and 52nd minutes respectively.

With seven minutes left, Amkelwe Letuka was just wide as Inland sought the equaliser. Both sides came close to adding to the goal tally, Pens keeper Antoni van Loggerenberg making a match-winning tackle on Kok with two minutes to go.

Due to concerns about load shedding, today’s matches have each been brought forward by two hours. Inland tackle Northern Blues in the 3 pm clash.

Northern Blues came back from a goal down to take a 3-1 lead before running out 4-2 winners against a gutsy Eastern Province.

Blues’ goals came from Stephen Cant, Stephan van Vollenhoven, Ashley Kemp and Dario Lourenco, while Patrick Bailey and Dillan Langeveld breached the Pretoria team’s defence for EP.

In the early match, Southern Gauteng Witsies let slip a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 with a never-say-die North West.

Witsies scored through Grant Perry (2) and Keagan Fraser while Ruan de Jong, Petrus Bothma and captain Sinoxolo Mbekeni got on the scoresheet for North West.

RESULTS

Southern Gauteng Witsies 3 North West 3; Northern Blues 4 Eastern Province 2; Western Province 5 Southern Gauteng 0; WP Peninsula 2 KZN Inland 1.

FIXTURES

Tuesday 9am KZN Coastal Raiders vs Eastern Province; 11am Free State vs Southern Gauteng; 1pm Western Province vs North West; 3pm Northern Blues vs KZN Inland.

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