Weakened Inland do well to finish in mid-table at Interprovincials

2013-08-30 00:00

THE two top KZN teams, Pietermaritzburg’s Inland and Durban’s Raiders, have achieved their objectives after their final round of Pool A and B matches were played in the BDO Men’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town yesterday.

Inland, who were decimated by seven late withdrawals due to injury, studies or work commitments, came to the tournament with only three of the permitted seven rolling substitutes and ending in the middle four (positions five to eight) in this 12-team A Section event is a commendable achievement.

The province has very little depth, and the lack of fresh legs exposed the team against Eastern Province yesterday.

EP only led 2-1 at half-time as Inland gave as good as they got, but the match turned after half-time when fatigue saw all facets of Inland’s play fall apart — and the Eastern Cape side helped themselves.

Gutsy captain Justin Domleo scored for Inland with EP’s goals going to captain Lyall Meyer (2), Shawn Pautz, Dalan Phillips, Darren Kimfley and Winchester Scott.

The result means that Inland will have the unenviable task of playing South Africa U21 — who were upset 3-1 by Northern Blues for a place in the semi-final — rather than a likely easier match against Witwatersrand at 12 pm today in the middle group’s first round of playoffs for fifth to eighth places.

The Raiders, with a 100% win record in Pool B, are into today’s 4 pm semi-

final against either champions Southern Gauteng or Western Province, who were playing yesterday’s late game for the right to come first in Pool A.

Already through to the semi-finals after their 3-1 win over South Africa U21 on Wednesday night, the KZN Raiders pitched up but forgot to play in the first half against a determined underdog in Witwatersrand. Among other things, basics were poor and communication was bad, and had it not been for crucial saves by their national goalkeeper Gowan Jones, Raiders might have been trailing instead of going into the second half with a slender one-goal courtesy of vice-captain Geoff Abbott

The beauty of having a stopper who doesn’t leak goals when the chips are down was borne out in the second half when the Raiders reacted well to the advice of coach Ryan Hack and senior players such as Bruce Grant to gradually get their game back on track.

The outcome was six Raiders goals in the last 20 minutes, just one being a penalty corner — by captain Wade Paton — with the rest coming via the field goal route from Northwood schoolboy Matt de Sousa, Taine Paton, Steve Wiggett (2) and Michael Botha.

Meanwhile, KZN Mynahs finished last in Pool B after losing 7-3 to Western Province Peninsula.

In the B Section, defending champs SA Country Districts, with a healthy contingent of KZN players, were blown out of tomorrow’s final after suffering a 6-1 defeat by Border, who will tackle table toppers Western Province Disas in the title match in the lower-tier event.


(All played 5 unless stated)

Pool A: (4) Tuffy Western Province (23 Goal Difference) 12 points; (4) Southern Gauteng (14 GD) 12 pts; Eastern Province (-1 GD) 6 pts; KZN Inland (-8 GD) 6 pts; North West (-13 GD) 3 pts; Free State (-15 GD) 3 pts.

* Not including WP v Southerns match, which was due to start at 6 pm yesterday.

Pool B: KZN Raiders (24 GD) 15 pts; Northern Blues (7 GD) 10 pts; South Africa U21 (20 GD) 9 pts; 4 Witwatersrand (-9 GD) 5 pts; 5 Western Province Peninsula (-3 GD) 4 pts; 6 KZN Mynahs (-39 GD) 0 pts.


A Section: North West 4 Free State 2; WP Peninsula 7 KZN Mynahs 3; KZN Raiders 7 Witwatersrand 0; Eastern Province 6 KZN Inland 1; Northern Blues 3 South Africa U21 1; Southern Gauteng vs Western Province (was due to start after going to press).

B Section: Border 6 SA Country Districts 1; Eastern Province Settlers 4 Namibia 1.

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