KwaZulu-Natal Inland disappointing at interprovs

2010-05-07 00:00

THERE are many variables in sport — and hockey is no different.

A poor umpiring decision here or an open goal missed there can make all the difference between winning and losing and can destroy a team’s aspirations of going further in a tournament.

That said, the KZN Inland U21 men’s and women’s sides were a disappointment at the respective interprovincial tournaments (IPTs) in Potchefstroom and Pietermaritzburg.

Again, such is the brutal nature of tournament competition. For example, if the Inland men had beaten Western Province Peninsula instead of losing 2-0 in a crucial pool game, they might have been playing off for fifth and sixth place instead of 11th and 12th. Thankfully the wooden spoon was avoided after beating Border, while the Inland women ended ninth in Pietermaritzburg.

Looking ahead to the senior IPTs later this season, this is a wake-up call to Inland provincial players that much work lies ahead.

KZN Coastal, with bigger player numbers, were also disappointing with the women finishing seventh and the reportedly ill-disciplined men eighth.

Inland’s strength is its schools’ players, but understandably the coaches at these hockey schools are reluctant to let their youngsters play due to their many academic and hockey commitments.

Nevertheless, as Witness reader Alison Guise-Brown pointed out, six Merchiston old boys (Rohn Barron, David Zwemke, Craig Morrison, Marc Fourie, Abe Ras and Matthew Guise-Brown) took part in the men’s U21 IPT and there were around 19 ex-Maritzburg College boys either playing, umpiring or managing in Potchefstroom.

There were a host of local girls playing for other provinces as well as the three from Inland. It is a noteworthy contribution to South African hockey on the part of PMB schools.

In KZN Super League PMB Varsity’s first women lost to Rovers firsts 2-0 in Durban.

“It was a very good game with our team playing well, but not taking their chances, whereas Rovers did,” said Varsity hockey sports officer Reggie Smith. “The second goal was scored 10 seconds from the end. This was a good performance, considering that Rovers had players like Cindy Botha.”

Smith said the Varsity men beat Rovers 6-0, with a number of chances missed. “The score could have been more than double. This was a good performance considering the team never practised as a group for two weeks due to U21 IPTs. The players from those IPTs were also still recovering from a hectic week.”

There are no inter-city matches this weekend as KZN Coastals are hosting a three-day interprovincial tournament — from Friday to Sunday’s finals — that includes Southern Gauteng, North West and Border, as well as the Raiders men’s and women’s sides, plus KZN Mynahs. Most of the provinces are bringing men’s and women’s teams.

Apparently Inland were left out as KZN Coastal, the hosts, who felt that they were not sufficiently prepared, did not take it seriously enough and didn’t field their best teams as in previous years.

In local premier league results, the Maritzburg Collegians men beat their second string 9-1 and the Collegians A women beat their second side 12-0.

This weekend’s Inland Premier League clashes pit Collegians A women against Standard A at 4.15 pm tomorrow at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf. On Sunday at the same venue, the Varsity first men’s side tackle Collegians II at 2 pm with Varsity seconds taking on Collegians I at 3.30 pm.

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