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Gauteng v Coastals in final

Saturday’s final of the South African Women’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament was to be fought out┬á between defending champions Southern Gauteng and KZN Coastals.

It’s a repeat of last year’s final, which Southerns won 2-1 in a thriller.

Both semi-finals at Kat Leisure Park in East London were exciting affairs with Southerns beating Northerns of Pretoria 3-1 and KZN Coastals upsetting tournament favourites Western Province 1-0.

Northerns put up a tremendous fight against their more illustrious neighbours but goals from Pietie Coetzee, Tsoanelo Pholo and Anika Fischer to the lone goal from Sumari Kruger in the dying minutes this after the scores were deadlocked at 0-0 at the break.

KZN Coastals also refused to throw in the towel against the highly efficient, well-drilled Western Province line-up, and withstood an enormous amount of pressure before taking their best chance when Merel de Blaey netted a penalty stroke past SA goalkeeper Mariette Rix with 16 minutes to go.

The final will see Southerns as the firm favourites but Coastals have shown in their defeat of the best side at IPT, Western Province, that they are capable of beating anyone on their day.

Fifth place will be played for between North West and Witwatersrand. North West beat KZN Inland 4-0 in the cross-pool playoffs while Wits accounted for Eastern Province 5-2 in a penalty stroke shootout after the sides were locked 1-1 after regulation time.

That leaves Inland to tackle EP in the relegation match, the loser being demoted to next year’s B Section.

The promotion match between this year’s two B Section finalists sees the all-conquering Free State team, scorers of a blizzard of goals, up against the efficient, well-oiled Western Province Peninsula line-up.

The favourites are Free State, if only because of their amazing strike rate in front of goal this week.

CROSS-POOL PLAY-OFF RESULTS

A Section: (5 to 8) EP 1 Witwatersrand 1 (Wits won penalty stroke shootout 5-2); North West 4 KZN Inland 0; (1 to 4) Southern Gauteng 3 Northerns 1; KZN Coastals 1 WP 0.

B Section: Southern Cape 8 Sasko SA Country Districts B 0; WP Peninsulal 6 Sasko SA Country Districts A 0; Free State 14 Mpumalanga 0; Border 9 Namibia 0.


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