Southern Gauteng too good for KZN Inland

2009-08-26 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Inland team met an on-song Southern Gauteng combination in their opening match at the Spar Women’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria yesterday.

The 10-0 final scoreline was not entirely a fair reflection of proceedings as captain Robyn Pearson’s side had a number of opportunities from field play and at penalty corners, but couldn’t convert. That said, Inland goalkeeper Patricia Marsh made some fine saves, which left the Southerns goalscorers frustrated at times.

Pearson, a relatively new resident in the KZN capital, was not dejected by the end result.

“It is good to be put in the deep end first up as it makes our players aware of the pace and skill of senior IPT hockey,” she said.

South Africa captain Marsha Marescia, leading the Southern Gauteng combination that have been losing finalists in the past three IPTs, has Pietie Coetzee back in harness — and her mere presence allowed coach Ryan Millela the pleasure of seeing his less experienced, younger players feed off the former superstar on the world stage to his team’s great benefit.

Inland coach Kegan Walters said the score was not of major concern to him.

“We always knew that our other opponents in Pool B, Western Province Peninsula and North West, were matches that we could target for points, and that is where our focus lies,” he said.

Pearson and Walters also made the point that half a dozen Inland players were in the SA Country Districts side, in the B Section Presidents Cup tournament at the same venue. They said it was frustrating that these players opted to play for SACD rather than their province.

The Inland captain and coach added that the priority should be to your provincial team first.

Inland meet North West today in a clash they must get a point from if they are to stay out of danger in this promotion/relegation format, whereby the wooden spoonists in the Spar Trophy are replaced by the winners of the President’s Cup for next year’s IPT.

In the other A Section matches, three-time defending champions Western Province beat Witwatersrand 13-0, North West accounted for WP Peninsula 6-0 and an impressive KZN Coastals Raiders beat host province Northerns Blues 3-0.

The B Section President’s Cup also saw a goalscoring glut: an impressive Eastern Province pushing for promotion back to the A Section Spar Trophy with a 12-0 drubbing of SA Country Districts; Namibia — here by invitation of the South African Hockey Association — beating Free State 7-0; Southern Cape too good for Boland (5-0); and Mpumalanga making a statement for promotion with their 3-2 defeat of Northern Cape.

DAY 2 RESULTS

A Section SPAR Trophy: Western Province 13 Witwatersrand 0; North West 6 WP Peninsula 0; Southern Gauteng 10 KZN Inland 0; KZN Coastals 3 Northerns Blues 0.

B Section President’s Cup: Eastern Province 12 SA Country Districts 0; Namibia 7 Free State 0; Southern Cape 5 Boland 0; Mpumalanga 3 Northern Cape 2.

DAY 3 FIXTURES

A Section SPAR Trophy: KZN Inland vs North West (12.20 pm); Witwatersrand vs KZN Coastals (2 pm); Southern Gauteng vs WP Peninsula (3.40 pm); Northerns Blues vs Western Province (5.20 pm).

B Section President’s Cup: Free State vs Northern Cape (Tukkies 9 am); SA Country Districts vs Southern Cape (9 am); Border vs Namibia (Tuks 10.40 am); Northerns B vs Eastern Province (10.40 am).

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