Free State pull off a fortuitous 1-0 victory over KZN Coastal Raiders

2013-08-22 00:00

“THE scoreboard doesn’t have a comments column,” was how Free State coach Braam van Wyk summed up his side’s rather fortuitous 1-0 victory over the KZN Coastal Raiders in a must-win Pool B match at the South African Women’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at the KC March Astro in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth yesterday.

The winner came in the 13th minute when Shevaun Botha scrambled the ball over the line after a goalmouth melée resulted from a penalty corner.

The young, inexperienced Free State girls showed a lot of maturity in not going into defensive mode.

While Free State did have other chances as well, it must be said that the numerous Raiders efforts amounted to nought, which cost them dearly. The Raiders, with this defeat following their 5-2 loss to Northern Blues on Tuesday, are now out of the running for a semi-final berth.

The Durban side will now be playing for positions five to eight in the crosspool playoffs tomorrow and then in Saturday’s final classification matches.

The Raiders will be looking for their first win when they have the unenviable task of tackling WP today.

Meanwhile, high-riding KZN Inland, who thumped SA Country Districts “B” 8-2 on day one, beat KZN Mynahs 5-0 in the lower-tier competition, the B Section, after leading 3-0 at half-time.

Inland’s goals came from Confidence Mashau, the consistent Vicki Jonker, a Mynahs own goal, and one each from their outstanding Grade 11 schoolgirls, Natalie Esteves of St John’s and Sarah Dixon of The Wykeham Collegiate.

“The better side won,” said Mynahs assistant coach Trevor Madsen, a legend in the South African game.

“The Inland side play together, you can see that, their structures are good, discipline good, they know each other well, but you know we [Mynahs] only came together two weeks before the tournament, not good enough for a tourney of this calibre,” said Madsen. “But full marks to Inland, they work as a unit, letting the ball do the work and not dying with it as individuals.”

Inland meet Mpumalanga in their last Pool A match today and if all goes well are likely to play EP Settlers in tomorrow’s B Section semi-finals and then probably Witwatersrand in Saturday’s B Section final. Mynahs, who lost 2-1 to minnows Mpumalanga, will be looking for their first win against SA Country Districts “B”.

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