Southerns stake their claim at Boys under 18 IPT

2008-07-09 00:00

DEFENDING champions Southern Gauteng took big strides towards retaining their Boys U18 hockey interprovincial tournament title when they beat nearest challengers KZN Midlands 2-0 at the AB Jackson GreenFields Turf yesterday.

This was always going to be a pivotal match on day three, as up to that point Midlands had won four from four, while Southerns had three wins and a draw to their name. As it turned out, though, a disappointing Midlands were hardly in this game.

After a cautious start, Southerns assumed the upper hand and kept the momentum from thereon.

The opener came with 36 seconds to half-time after umpire Calum Crichton awarded a disputed penalty stroke, and outstanding striker Dean Symmons stepped up to net past Midlands goalkeeper Thuthuka Goba.

Three minutes after the changeover, the lightning-quick hands of Ryan Roberts saw him wriggle past several would-be tacklers with the minimum space at his disposal on the left-hand baseline, and Nic Heyns buried the rebound off the goalkeeper’s pads.

On the infrequent occasions they got hold of the ball, Midlands looked dangerous and excellent Southerns goalkeeper Michael Smith had to be at his best to repel the efforts of Jason Trautman and Louis Taylor.

As can be imagined, a match of this nature was not without its controversy, and while Midlands may have been on the wrong end of some key decisions, Southerns were deserved victors.

DAY 3 RESULTS

A Section: KZN Midlands 3 Boland 0; South Gauteng 4 Border 0; EP 2 WP 2; KZN Coastals 4 Free State 2; South Gauteng 2 KZN Midlands 0; WP 4 Boland 1.

B Section: Mpumalanga 2 East Gauteng 0; North Gauteng 6 North Free State 1; North West 9 Limpopo 0; North Cape 2 SWD 1; North Gauteng 6 Mpumalanga 3; Limpopo 6 East Gauteng 1.

A SECTION LOG(Matches played, goal difference, points)

1 South Gauteng P5, GD15, 13 points; 2 KZN Midlands P5, GD6, 12 pts; 3 Western Province P5, GD4, 10 pts; 4 KZN Coastals P4, GD1, six pts; 5 Free State P4, GD-1, four pts; 6 Eastern Province P4, GD-6, four pts; 7 Border P4, GD-7, one pt; 8 Boland P5, GD-13, one pt.

DAY 4 FIXTURES: At AB Jackson: FS v Border (8 am); KZN Coastals v EP (9.20 am); South Gauteng v Boland (10.40 am); KZN Midlands v WP (12 pm); North Cape v NFS (1.30 pm); KZN Coastals v Border (2.40 pm); EP v Free State (3.50 pm).

On Pape’s: SWD v NFS (8 am); North Cape v North West (9.20 am); North Gauteng v East Gauteng (10.40 am); Mpumalanga v Limpopo (12 pm); North West v SWD (3 pm).

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