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Hockey aces in action
- Updated: August 15, 2011
The annual South African Men’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament (IPT) gets under way at the Kaspersky Park Randburg Astro Stadium on Monday morning with the B Section taking a momentary centre stage before the elite A Section kicks into gear on Tuesday.
In all 18 teams will be in action and the 10 teams in the B Section will battle it out until Saturday’s play-offs, with the highlight being the final, which doubles as the promotion match, the winner earning automatic entry into next year’s IPT A Section.
Pool A of the B Section includes last year’s relegated A Section side, Amathole (formerly Border) who have two national players in their midst, forwards Julian Hykes and Geowynne Gamiet, who has moved across the Eastern Cape from the Eastern Province team.
Also in Pool A are the ambitious Free State line-up, who will be wanting to emulate the success of their province’s women’s side, which won the B Section at the equivalent IPT in East London last year and are now in this year’s A Section when the women’s IPT takes place at the University of Free State Hockey Centre in Bloemfontein from Monday week.
Another team in Pool A is the South African Country Districts’ squad, along with the Kaspersky Southern Gauteng Nuggets and Eastern Gauteng.
Pool B includes KZN Mynahs, the B side of the KZN Coastal Raiders, the reigning champion Raiders being the two-time IPT A Section title winners (2009 and 2010) who are going all-out for a rare hat-trick of gold medals this year. Also in Pool B are the competitive North West squad from Potchefstroom, the Pietermaritzburg-based
KwaZulu-Natal Inland B, Southern Cape and Kaspersky Southern Gauteng Shumbas.
While the B Section teams have their place in the spotlight Monday, they will be relegated to the B field come Tuesday when the country’s hockey heavyweights swing into action in quest of the 2011 title.
Monday’s B Section fixtures
Randburg Astro Stadium A field: ┬áFree State vs Kaspersky Southerns Nuggets, North West v Southern Cape, SA Country Districts v Eastern Gauteng, KZN Inland B v Kaspersky Southern Gauteng Shumbas.