Hockey men face tough tourney

2012-08-25 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Inland men’s hockey team face difficult opening matches at the SA Inter-provincial Tournament that takes place at the University of the Free State Hockey Centre in Bloemfontein from tomorrow until next Saturday.

Tomorrow sees coach Charlie Pereira’s side tackle Johannesburg heavyweights Southern Gauteng followed by Monday’s outing against last year’s silver medallists, Western Province.

Captain Jethro Eustice leads an Inland team containing a useful blend of youth and experience as the province goes in search of an inaugural national title triumph that has eluded them on a number of occasions.

Also in Inland’s Pool B of the elite A-Section tournament are Witwatersrand, North West and KZN Mynahs. Pool A features three-time defending champions KZN Coastal Raiders, Northern Blues, WP Peninsula, Free State, Eastern Province and the South African U-21 team that is preparing for the Junior World Cup Africa Qualifier Tournament to be held at Randburg Hockey Stadium in October.

Next Friday sees the crosspool playoffs followed by the final classification matches on Saturday. The finals at 5 pm determines the champion province in South Africa for 2012.

The second-tier, B-Section tournament features KZN Inland B, the SA Country Districts team that contains some Inland-based players, Northern Cape, EP Settlers, Free State B and a Northern Free State invitation side.

KZN Inland: Joel Barron, Lloyd de Kock, Justin Domleo, Mxolisi Ngubo, Zamo Ngubo, Grant Christie, Sihle Ntuli, Travis Hardnick, Jethro Eustice (captain), Matt Coombes, Matthew Redmead, Chad Cairncross, Gavin Jelley, Craig Haley, Devon van der Merwe, Ian Griffiths. Coach: Charlie Pereira. manager: Harry Suckert.

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