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Southern Gauteng keep title

Southern Gauteng met KZN Coastals in the South African Women’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament final at Kat Leisure Park in East London Saturday — and what a final it was.

Coastals were also last year’s finalists, beaten 2-1 in Pretoria, so their 3-1 defeat in East London Saturday evening after trailing 2-1 at half-time has been a case of another disappointment for the girls from Durban but they put up another fantastic display to make for a pulsating final.

Southerns dominated the first half and drew first blood midway through when the outstanding Roxanne Turner rounded her defender on the right side of the circle and earned a penalty corner. After a variation from the set piece, Turner deflected in Pietie Coetzee’s initial attempt. Coastals protested vehemently but umpire Lesley Pieterse confirmed her decision after consulting with colleague Annelize Hattingh.

Not a minute later Coastals drew level when striker Cindy Botha netted a brilliant goal after great build-up play on the right-hand side.

But Southerns weren’t done and Pieterse awarded a penalty stroke with six minutes left after a collision between Bernie Coston and Coastals captain Jen Wilson in the circle that again drew howls of protest from the Durban side, but the decision stood and Coetzee stepped up to send keeper Eveline de Haan the wrong way.

A goal down at the changeover, Coastals launched a more attacking game plan and threw everything at Southerns, who absorbed enormous pressure, their back four and player of the match, goalkeeper Leandri Janse van Vuuren, drawing high praise from head coach Ryan Milella.

Time and again Coastals were stopped, and against the run of play, Southerns sealed the match in the second-last minute when Tsoanelo Pholo combined with Turner, who layed off for Coetzee to finish Coastals off.

KZN Coastals coach Lennie Botha had nothing but praise for his side and said they have proved they can compete with the best in the country.

The A Section Player of the Tournament was Southerns captain Marsha Marescia with the B Section accolade going to Border’s captain Marcelle Keet.

The top A Section goalscorer was Coetzee with six and the B Section’s top marksman was Hettie Oosthuizen with 20.

CLASSIFICATION MATCHES

A Section: (7/8) EP 4 Inland 2; (5/6) North West 2 Wits 1; (3/4) Northerns 0 WP 4; (final) KZN Coastals 1 Southern Gauteng 3.

B Section: (9/10) Sasko SA Country Districts B 5 Namibia 5 (SACD B won penalty stroke shootout 5-4); (7/8) Sasko SA Country Districts A 0 Northern Cape 1; (5/6) Southern Cape 3 Mpumalanga 0; (3/4) KZN Mynahs 1 Border 1 (Border won 4-2 on penalty strokes); (final) WP Peninsula 1 Free State 5.


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