Raiders play to a thrilling draw against Blues

2015-04-23 00:00

THE game of the day at the Greenfields SA U21 Men’s Interprovincial Tournament on the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf yesterday was the thrilling 2-2 draw between title hopefuls and Pool B frontrunners KZN Coastal Raiders and Northern Blues.

Western Province, the defending champions, cemented their place in Saturday’s 1 pm final with a game to spare when they beat a feisty Free State 5-0 to make certain of ending top in Pool A.

The other Pool A clash saw Southern Gauteng beat South Gauteng Witsies 7-1 while in the early Pool B match, Western Province Peninsula (Pens) edged Eastern Province 1-0 thanks to a goal by Rushin October.

The upshot is that the KZN derby at 3 pm today is crucial for Raiders, but derbies are always uncertain affairs and host province Inland will be keen to upstage their Durban rivals for local bragging rights.

Another Pool B clash of great importance sees Blues tackle Pens at 11 am. Pretoria’s Blues must make certain of victory, as it is their last match in this round. Pens, however, are punching above their weight — as is characteristic of Western Province’s second side — and the outcome is far from clear-cut.

Pens meet Raiders at 11 am tomorrow in the last round, so today is crucial.

Blues will rue missing out on three great chances against Raiders, but a draw was also reward for the Durban lads who gave everything and more in this clash.

Blues’ potent penalty corner machine was responsible for their two goals, both by captain Tim Guise-Brown, while Javed Mea followed up a penalty corner rebound for the Raiders’ first goal and the sheer grit of Tylo Remke made sure of the equaliser.

WP nailed their five goals against the Bloem lads through the usual suspects, Ryan Crowe (2), James Drummond (2) and Nqobile Ntuli. It was 3-0 inside seven minutes, and WP now stand on 21 goals with none against after three matches.

Southern Gauteng’s goals came from a Brandon James hat-trick plus strikes by Winchester Scott, James Gilbert, Kyle Lion-Cachet and Stuart Brown. South Gauteng Witsies’ lone goal was from Brandon Grant.

There were no results available from the women’s event in Bloemfontein.

RESULTS

Western Province Peninsula 1 Eastern Province 0; KZN Coastal Raiders 2 Northern Blues 2; Southern Gauteng 7 vs South Gauteng Witsies 1; Western Province 5 Free State 0.

FIXTURES

Today: 9 am WP vs Wits; 11 am Blues vs Pens; 1 pm Free State vs North West; 3 pm KZN Inland vs KZN Raiders.

Tomorrow: 9 am Free State vs Wits; 11 am KZN Raiders vs Pens; 1 pm Southerns vs North West; 3 pm KZN Inland vs EP.

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