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KZN Raiders win again

Reigning champions, the KZN Coastal Raiders retained their title at the SA Men’s Inter Provincial Hockey Tournament when they beat Gauteng North 2-1 in the final at Port Elizabeth.

The half-time score was 1-1 with the early goals coming from penalty corners by the Raiders’ Gareth Carr with Justin Reid-Ross replying for the Blues.

SA Hockey World’s Jonathan Cook reports that Tim Drummond put Raiders 2-1 in front after 16 second-half minutes following a pass from Michael Botha and that was the only goal of the second half.

Tayla Western Province and Kaspersky Southern Gauteng played in the bronze medal match, and the 2007/08 title winners from Cape Town won 1-0 with national captain Austin Smith scoring the goal in the early minutes.

The play-off for fifth and sixth place was a titanic struggle between hosts Eastern Province and KZN Inland.

The Pietermaritzburg-based team led 2-1 at half-time but the red and blacks were spurred on by their vociferous crowd support and it ended 4-4 at the final whistle. But KZN Inland held their nerve in the penalty stroke shootout and converted all five while EP missed two for an eventual 9-7 victory.

The seventh-and-eighth position play-off in the top eight A Section, which is also effectively the relegation match, was won 8-7 by Western Province Peninsula against a dejected Border, who had won promotion the previous year. Border had held a 2-1 lead before Pens fought back to 3-3 and then won the shootout 5-4.

The B Section final, which also serves as the A Section promotion match saw favourites Witwatersrand and KZN Mynahs dish up an exciting encounter, the spoils going to Wits 3-1 in the end and they replace Border for the annual event next year.

RESULTS

A Section ÔÇô final: KZN Raiders 2 Northerns Blues 1; (3/4) Western Province 1 Southern Gauteng 0; (5/6) KZN Inland (4) 9 Eastern Province (4) 7; (7/8) WP Peninsula (3) 8 Border (3) 7

B Section ÔÇô final: Witwatersrand 3 KZN Mynahs 1; (3/4) EP Settlers 4 North West 3; (5/6) Free State 6 SA Country Districts 0; (7/8) Northern Cape (3) 7 KZN Inland B (3) 6; (9/10) Southern Cape 3 Mpumalanga 1