Defending hockey champions Southern Gauteng and fellow favourites Western Province set the stage for a classic South Africa Women’s Hockey Interprovincial Tournament clash at Kat Leisure Park in East London on Wednesday following their comfortable Pool A victories on day one of A Section action the previous day.
Jonathan Cook reports that WP were particularly convincing in beating the exciting, yet outplayed, North West combination 6-1 while Southerns were made to work very hard for their 3-0 defeat of last year’s B Section winners Eastern Province.
Of the other fancied sides tipped to claim berths in Friday’s cross-pool semi-finals, KZN Coastal were way too good for neighbours up the N3 KZN Inland, as they cruised home 8-0, and Northerns Gauteng’s Blues were always in command in their 7-0 win over Witwatersrand.
The B Section saw lopsided victories for Free State, who thrashed Namibia 14-0, and Western Province Peninsula, 12-0 victors against Sasko SA Country Districts B, although host province Border had to work harder for their 4-0 defeat of a plucky Northern Cape and KZN Mynahs were in a tight finish against Southern Cape before coming away with the full three points in their 2-1 outcome.
But all eyes were already looking ahead to the Southerns versus Province match-up Wednesday and few observers were prepared to stick their necks out and choose a winner. It’s that close.
Southerns’ top forward Pietie Coetzee sounded a warning to the WP defence that they will have to be at their best, the former national striker impressive in scoring two penalty corners against an impressive EP defence and goalkeeper in Michelle Cremer.
Another former SA goal-getter, WP’s Henna du Buisson, also hit the back of the net twice, while current national striker Cindy Botha of KZN Coastal got two against KZN Inland and the Northerns trio of captain Kim Hubach, Dirkie Chamberlain and Jamie Porteous each got a couple in their tussle with Wits.
A Section: Northerns 5 Witwatersrand 0; Western Province 6 North West 1; KZN Coastals 8 KZN Inland 0; Southern Gauteng 3 Eastern Province 0
B Section: Free State 14 Namibia 0; WP Peninsula 12 Sasko SA Country Districts B 0; KZN Mynahs 2 Southern Cape 1; Border 4 Northern Cape 0.
A Section: EP vs North West; KZN Coastals vs Wits; Southerns vs WP; KZN Inland vs Northerns.
B Section: KZN Mynahs vs Sasko SA Country Districts A; WP Pens vs South Cape; Namibia vs North Cape; Border vs Mpumalanga.
Bye: Sasko SA Country Districts B and Free State.