KZN Coastal lucky to take win in semis

2014-07-05 00:00

A PERFECT winter’s day set the scene for two magnificent semi-finals in the A section of the SA U18 Boys Interprovincial Hockey Tournament on Papes Astro at Maritzburg College yesterday afternoon.

In the final analysis, KZN Coastal were somewhat fortunate to beat underdogs Southern Gauteng 2-1 in the first semi-final after the score was 2-0 at half-time, while a relieved Western Province edged a desperately unlucky KZN Inland on golden goal in the second period of extra time after the scores were level 1-1 at the end of regulation time. The scores were deadlocked 0-0 at the changeover.

The first and second semi-finals in front of a sizeable, vociferous crowd, were match-ups of a high intensity and today’s final has a lot to live up to.

The title match between KZN Coastal and WP is at noon on Papes today. The third/fourth place clash ­between KZN Inland and Southern Gauteng is at 10.15 am.

Western Province’s Luke Schooling got that vital golden goal that sent the Cape Town lads’ spirits soaring and took the home province into the depths of sporting despair.

The goals in the second half that led to the 1-1 final scoreline at the end of regulation time went to Ryan Crowe of WP and Peabo Lembethe of KZN Inland.

Both goalkeepers, Michaelhouse’s Justin Miller for Inland and Fairmont High School stopper Matt Martins of WP, were superb as the last line of ­defence, but the PMB lads will be kicking themselves for letting so many chances go astray.

The earlier last-four clash saw big Glenwood striker Andile Phehlukwayo and Brandon Watkins of Westville get the goals for Coastal, while the hugely impressive Brandon James netted for Southerns via a penalty corner.

However, Southerns could so easily have gone 1-0 up in only the third minute when James’s perfectly executed body swerve and left-right tuck had decimated the Coastal defence, only to suffer the mortification of seeing his shot hit the post and stay out, while the Durban boys also saved two shots on the goalline.

The dreaded battle to save relegation to the B section between Northern Blues B and Southern Free State is scheduled for 8.45 am on Papes.

At the A.B. Jackson, the B section final for promotion to the A section sees KZN Inland B taking on Southerns B at 9.45 am.

Down at Kearsney in Hillcrest, today’s gold medal match in the SA U18 Girls IPT features KZN Inland and Southern Free State at noon, after both sides emerged victorious following tenacious, at times nail-biting, semi-finals against Southern Gauteng and KZN Coastal respectively.

The curtain-raiser bronze medal match sees KZN Coastal tackling Southern Gauteng.

Both the boys and girls finals could have been KZN derbies, but credit must go to the teams from outside the province who emerged victorious and, in most cases, played the key moments better.

RESULTS:

Boys

A section: Northern Blues B 0 WP B 6; NB A 4 Southern Free State 1; Eastern Province 4 South Western Districts 1; Boland 1 Border 0; Southern Gauteng 1 KZN Coastal 2; WP 2 (golden goal) KZN Inland 1.

B section: EP B 4 Northern Cape 2; Mpumalanga 2 Border B 0; KZN Coastal B 1 KZN Inland B 3; East Gauteng 0 SG B 6.

Girls

A section: EP 4 Border 0; Mpumalanga 2 South Gauteng B 1; Boland 4 WP 3; NB 2 WP B 1; KZN Coastal 4 SFS 6; SG 0 KZN Inland 3.

B section: NC 2 Border B 1; EG 4 KZN Coastal B 2; North West 5 Mpumalanga B 3; SFS 2 NB B 3; Limpopo 0 SWD 2; Northern FS 0 Boland B 1.

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