Last four settled after exciting day 5

2008-05-09 00:00

THERE were two remarkable matches on day five of the Men’s Interprovincial Tournament at the Absa NWU-Puk Hockey Stadium in Potchefstroom yesterday.

Last year’s finalists KZN Midlands, meanwhile, avoided the dreaded nine-to12th-place playoffs with a comfortable 5-1 victory over KZN Mynahs, who appeared to be flat after the heroics of the previous day’s 2-2 draw with SA U21.

Durban’s KZN Raiders put together passages of scintillating hockey involving four or five players at a time to rack up four goals in the opening 25 minutes against Eastern Province.

It was apparent, though, that EP’s multiple circle entries in the same time period had to turn into something tangible sooner rather than later. And it did, skipper Lyall Meyer notching up a memorable hat-trick via the penalty-corner and penalty-stroke route. Add a Hedley Kok field goal and EP were level-pegging at 4-4. But Raiders hit back through the excellent Gareth Carr and Marvin Harper, and set a 5 pm date today with Southern Gauteng in the last four.

Province, though they were already through to the semis, were given a huge fright by North West, who rose to the challenge to lead 2-1 with a quarter-hour to go. Parity was restored when Michael Kruger scored via a PC variation, but the boys from Potch were the toast of the vociferous home crowd at the end of a highly entertaining match.

Southerns thrashed a disappointing Northerns, who will find the going tough on this form against WP in Friday’s 7 pm semi-final.

THURSDAY’S RESULTS

Namibia (0) 1 Pens (3) 7; KZN Midlands (3) 5 KZN Mynahs (1) 1; EP (2) 4 KZN Raiders (4) 6; Northerns (1) 1 Southerns (2) 7; WP (1) 2 North West (1) 2; EP Settlers (1) 1 SA U21 (5) 9.

* Full final logs unavailable at time of going to press.

FRIDAY’S PLAYOFFS

Positions 9-12: Namibia vs Mynahs (9 am); Pens vs Settlers (11 am).

Positions 5-8: EP vs SA U21 (1 pm); North West vs Midlands (3 pm).

Positions 1-4: Raiders vs Southerns (5 pm, umpires Ayden Shrives and Zain McLaren); WP vs Northerns (7 pm, umpires John Wright and Andy Dewar).

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