Coastals win tense final in U18 hockey

2012-07-03 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Coastal A team won the South Africa U18 Girls’ Interprovincial Hockey Tournament (IPT) in a tense final against Southern Gauteng in Potchefstroom.

A penalty corner by vice-captain Toni McCann in extra time added the vital point after the scores were deadlocked 0-0 in regulation time.

KZN Inland finished a disappointing eighth.

Seven players from KZN were selection. McCann, Kirsty Gibbings, who was named IPT Best Defender, and Phumi Shandu were selected for the SA U18 A team after the tournament, with Amy Etherington, Donna Small, Heather McEwan and Paige Phillips chosen for the B side.

Inland narrowly lost their classification match for seventh and eighth places 3-2 against Southern Free State, with Nonthuthuko Phungula getting the two goals.

Inland had earlier lost their crosspool playoff 4-3 on a penalty shootout after the scores were 1-1. Kate Polkinghorne scored the goal in regulation time.

Coastal’s semi-final against Western Province was as nail-biting as the final, edging the Cape side 4-3 with Small’s hat-trick, including the winner, coming from field play, with Coastal’s other goal going to McCann.

What was particularly disappointing for Inland in ending eighth was that they started the IPT well, drawing 2-2 with eventual finalists Southern Gauteng on day one, with the goals going to Melissa Glutz and Phillips.

There was also a 1-0 win over Mpumalanga with Phillips scoring again.

However, Inland’s 4-1 defeat to eventual winners Coastal in the KZN derby in their pool match on day two appeared to signal that the IPT was not going to be their tournament.

Inland took the lead through a Kate Polkinghorne goal from a penalty corner in the fifth minute, but Coastal replied with four goals from field play via the sticks of Small (two), Shandu and McCann.

Inland came back with a 4-2 win over Eastern Gauteng with McEwan getting a brace, but then went down 2-1 to Southern Free State in their final pool match before losing the cross-pool against Boland.

KZN Coastal ended sixth in the B Section with the A Section bronze medal going to Amathole/Border and Western Province fourth.

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