Midlands edge out Coastals

2008-02-25 00:00

IN the most exciting of finales, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands men beat KZN Coastal on goal difference to win the U21 indoor hockey festival at Durban Varsity on Saturday night.

With just a couple of minutes to go, the Durban-based Coastals looked to have the final round-robin match sewn up — and with it the title, but Midlands dug deep to equalise and draw the match 3-3.

So instead of Coastals winning the title by three clear log points, both sides ended on the same tally and goal difference was the only way to separate the two.

It was here that Midlands were superior throughout a gruelling three days of matches played in intense heat and throat-choking humidity, and those extra goals scored here and there made the crucial difference.

It was a pity there had to be a winner, but the arch-rivals did their provinces proud.

The women’s event was no less exciting, and it was here that the KZN Midlands Schools team plus their Coastal U18A rivals played a major part.

Both gave semi-final favourites Southern Gauteng and KZN Coastal A a rough ride before succumbing to the older players, while it was KZN Midlands schools who beat their Durban opponents Coastal U18A by the margin of three satisfying goals in the third-place playoff.

In the final, the Coastal A women beat Southerns 5-2 and on balance were announced tournament winners.

RESULTS

(KZN unless stated).

Men: Eastern Gauteng 1 Coastal U18A 6; Coastal A 12 Coastal U18B 1; Midlands B 3 Coastal B 5; Eastern Gauteng 7 Coastal U18B 6; Coastal B 1 Midlands A 7;

Coastal U18A 4 Midlands B 4; Midlands A 3 Coastal A 3 (Midlands A won

round-robin title on goal difference).

Women - semi-final 1: Midlands Schools 2 Southern Gauteng 3; semi-final 2: Coastal A 3 Coastal U18A 1 (on penalty strokes); Eastern Gauteng 0 Coastal B 1 (on penalty strokes); Midlands B 0 Midlands A 3; East Gauteng 4 Midlands B 1; Coastal B 2 Midlands A 1; third/fourth playoff: Midlands Schools 5

Coastal U18A 2; final: Southern Gauteng 2 Coastal A 5.

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