Inland’s victory a bitter-sweet affair at Interprovincial tourney

2010-08-28 00:00

THERE was no denying the sense of frustration on the part of the KZN Inland team after they had crushed Peninsula 8-1 at the SA Men’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at the KC March Stadium in the Port Elizabeth suburb of Gelvandale yesterday.

The demolition job was cold comfort for captain Darryn Gallagher and the team, as they could so easily have been playing in the semi-finals instead.

Yet although they dominated their Pool A matches against defending champions KZN Coastals Raiders and Northerns Blues, coach Charlie Pereira’s men could only manage a 3-1 defeat and 2-2 draw respectively.

After leading 2-1 at half-time against a side that had taken Western Province all the way before losing 3-2, the KZN Inland side turned on the taps yesterday and rattled in another six goals before the umpires mercifully blew the final whistle. Inland netted six field goals and two penalty corners, the men troubling the scorers being Dalan Phillips (2), Karl Oftebro, Craig Haley, Duzo Khanyile (2), Matthew Redmead and Jethro Eustice.

And it was a bitter-sweet feeling watching the passionate hockey played in yesterday’s semi-finals for the Maritzburg lads, knowing they had the beating of the last-four teams.

Yet that is the nature of this cut-throat competition where a penalty corner here, a mis-trap there or a contentious umpiring decision can mean the difference between medal matches and making up the numbers.

In the semi-finals, Northerns Blues, including PMB-schooled Ben Mbana, Matt Guise-Brown, Mark Holiday and top-notch coach Dave Viney, beat Western Province 3-2.

The Northerns’ goals came from Justin Reid-Ross, Francois Pretorius and Michael Sykes. Austin Smith and David Wilson scored for WP. The Pretoria lads will meet defending champs KZN Coastal Raiders in the final.

The scores were 2-2 at full-time with Gareth Carr getting both Raiders’ goals from penalty corner flicks. Miguel da Grace and Rickey West netted for Southerns in the same manner.

The penalty stroke shoot-out saw the scores at 4-4 before Carr did the honours for Raiders with the winning flick.

RESULTS

A Section playoffs (5/8): Eastern Province 3 Border 2; KZN Inland 8 WP Peninsula 1. (1/4): Western Province 3 Northerns Blues 2; KZN Coastal Raiders 7 Southern Gauteng 6.

B Section: SA Country Districts 5 KZN Inland B 2; Free State 9 Mpumalanga 0; North West 4 Northern Cape 2; EP Settlers 6 Southern Cape 0

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