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It’s Raiders v WP
- Updated: August 20, 2011
KZN Raiders and Western Province will meet in the final of the SA men’s interprovincial hockey tournament at Kaspersky Park in Randburg on Saturday.
This after the most dramatic of finishes to the second semi-final as two-time defending champions KZN Coastal Raiders beat last year’s finalists Northern Gauteng Blues 4-3 in the fourth round of a sudden-death penalty shootout after the scores were locked 4-4 at full-time and then 2-2 after the initial penalty shootout.
In regulation time, Raiders drag-flick king Gareth Carr scored four goals from penalty corner drag-flicks. Northerns’ super-shooter Justin Reid-Ross netted a penalty corner hat-trick for Northerns with the other goal going to Jonty Robinson.
Play swung from end to end in a frenetic second half that saw five goals scored inside 15 minutes.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿The teams then went into a penalty shootout and in an atmosphere of near-unbearable tension the Raiders ran out the winners by the most slender of slender margins.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿WP won the first semi-final 3-2 against Southern Gauteng in a match the host province dominated with 12 shots at goal to the victors’ six. This included the six penalty corners that Southerns earned to the two won by WP.
National captain Austin Smith scored from the two WP penalty corners with fleet-footed striker Lloyd Norris-Jones getting a superb action goal. Southerns netted through Ollie Whitely and Tebogo Lerole.
Saturday’s gold medal title match could go either way ÔÇô that’s how closely WP and the Raiders are matched.
The B Section final for promotion to next year’s A Section will feature Free State versus North West. The A Section bronze medal match will see Southern Gauteng against Northern Gauteng Blues at 10.30 am.
The A Section play-off for seventh and eighth place, effectively the match to see who will survive relegation to next year’s B Section, takes place on the B field.
A Section: WP Peninsula 5 KZN Inland 1; Witwatersrand 1, Eastern Province 1 (Witwatersrand won 5-4 in penalty shoot-out); Western Province 3 Southern Gauteng 2; KZN Coastal Raiders 4 Northern Gauteng Blues 4 (Raiders won sudden-death penalty shootout 4-3)
B Section: North West 3 KZN Mynahs 1; KZN Inland B 5 Southern Cape 0; Free State 5 Amathole (Border) 4; SA Country Districts 2 Southern Gauteng Nuggets 2.