Underdogs make sure KZN Inland and Free State earn their wins

2014-08-19 00:00

PROMOTION aspirants KZN Inland and Free State notched up their second successive wins in the B Section on day two of the SA Women’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament (IPT) at Greenfields Turf in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

KZN Inland had to work hard for their 2-1 victory over a motivated Zimbabwe in the midday heat while Free State’s potent combination of structure and flair cracked a stubborn nut in underdogs Eastern Gauteng.

First-half strikes from Vicky Jonker (penalty corner in the 14th minute) and Rachel Barnard (33rd minute field goal) did the trick, but Zimbabwe’s Audrey Mangwende got a field goal on the stroke of half-time.

Earlier, Eastern Gauteng goalkeeper Darné van Ballagooyen was again in brilliant form while her determined fellow defenders never gave an inch, which combined to keep the score down to 5-0 after Free State had led 2-0 at half-time.

Striker Tanya Britz scored three goals; two from penalty corners. Another well-worked PC from Britz saw skipper Liné Malan get on the scoresheet before Lisa Hawker added the final touch in the 5-0 end result. Log leaders Free State (Pool A) and KZN Inland (Pool B) both have a rest on day three.

While the two days’ B Section action has been entertaining, the big guns come out to play today in the opening round of the elite A Section.

Much interest will focus on defending champions Southern Gauteng’s clash with last year’s fifth-place finishers Eastern Province at noon.

The Johannesburg-based Southerns have 11 SA-capped players in their midst who have amassed 1 266 Test matches’ worth of experience between them that includes participation in Olympic Games, World Cups, Commonwealth Games and other world-level events. Southerns’ opponents, Eastern Province, have one Test cap between them.

Last year’s finalists Western Province, shaded 2-1 by Southern Gauteng in Port Elizabeth last year thanks to a wonder goal by current Southerns assistant coach Tsoanelo Pholo, also have an experienced side and they face last year’s sixth-place finishers Border at 10 am.

In the rest of today’s A Section action, North West, fourth in 2013, meet newly promoted Southern Gauteng Witsies at 2pm while Northern Blues, bronze medallists in PE, tackle KZN Coastal Raiders, who were seventh last year, at 6 pm.

Yesterday’s other results - B Section: WP Peninsula 2 Mpumalanga 0; SA Country Districts A 4 EP Settlers 0.

Today’s other fixtures - B Section:

Mpumalanga vs KZN Mynahs (8am); EP Settlers vs SACD B (Pape’s Astro, Maritzburg College 10am); SACD A vs Zimbabwe (Pape’s, 12 noon); WP Pens vs East Gauteng (4pm).

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