U18 Hockey: two KZN sides top of their pools

2011-07-01 00:00

THE U18 Boy’s Hockey IPT being held at Kearsney College has seen the two KwaZulu-Natal sides topping their pools.

KZN Coastal, the surprise winners in 2010, have been unbeaten in the pool rounds and KZN Inland have done likewise following a goalless draw in the match against Western Province. This was their toughest match, which came after having to play against Southern Gauteng in the morning. Western Province were playing their first match and their players were fresh.

Winning 3-1 against Southern Gauteng got Inland off to a positive start. Against WP the game was wide open, and with both teams playing positive hockey the game swung from end to end. Neither team could finish off the opportunities that came their way. Inland did feel that they should have scored in the first half.

In the closing stages Inland players were tiring after the tough opener in the morning, but ’keeper Lihle Mafilika (Maritzburg College) was up to the challenge of preventing WP from scoring. The cracker of a game, which had the spectators on the edge of their seats, ended nil-all.

On Tuesday Inland beat Eastern Gauteng 4-0, dominating play with superior skill and structures. Yesterday they needed to beat Eastern Province, which they did 3-0, to top the pool with Western Province coming second.

In Pool A KZN Coastals won their last match 4-0 against South Western Districts to top their pool. They had a tough match against Border on Wednesday and came from 1-4 behind with a Houdini-like effort to win 6-5.

In today’s play-offs Coastals will have a tough game against Western Province and Inland play either Border or Boland, who were playing later in the afternoon (after going to press) yesterday to see who would be the runner-up in that pool.

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