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Western Province open campaign with 5-1 win
- Updated: August 26, 2013
Boasting a brand new title sponsor, Tuffy Western Province punched holes in the North West defence to open their BDO men’s interprovincial hockey campaign with a 5-1 win after leading 2-1 at half-time in Cape Town on Sunday.
Province withstood an early setback at the Hartleyvale venue when North West’s Essex Mbekeni got on the scoresheet in the 15th minute. Captain and double Olympian Andrew Cronje drew WP level in the 21st minute with a penalty corner drag-flick that cannoned into the backboard and Lloyd Norris-Jones gave the home side a 2-1 lead on half-time with a brilliant solo effort that left three defenders in his wake.
Cronje stretched his side’s advantage with another set-piece strike six minutes after the break before national strikers Craig Haley and Norris-Jones added the extras to the 5-1 final scoreline.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿Defending champions Southern Gauteng made it clear that they are not going to relinquish the national title without a fight. Star-studded Southerns’ 5-0 win against Fain Eastern Province was built on a 2-0 half-time lead and the dozen nationally-capped players in coach Rob van Ginkel’s Johannesburg-based side have been around the block enough times to know how to repeat the success of last year in Bloemfontein.
Two goals within three minutes of each other by Clint Panther (open play) and Dean Symons (from a penalty corner) midway through the first half were followed by a Julian Hykes effort from the penalty spot three minutes after the changeover, then an own goal, and finally a Hykes strike from field play three minutes from the end.
The Durban-based KZN Raiders played accurate, precise hockey characterised by impressive ball speed as they stretched their second-string side, KZN Mynahs, to the limit and beyond, which resulted in a 11-1 victory after coach Ryan Hack’s side had led 5-0 at half-time.
The Raiders’ ability to relay the ball across the back at pace resulted in the Mynahs defence becoming overloaded at times and the spaces soon opened in the middle for strikers and midfielders to latch on to accurate crosses from the left and right.
With the composed Bruce Grant co-ordinating the direction and flow of play at centre back, outside halves Calvin Price and Stephen Wiggett were prominent down the flanks, while captain Wade Paton (3), Greg Last (2) and vice-captain Geoff Abbott , Matt de Sousa, Matthew Boote, Taine Paton, Keagan Robinson and Ryan Williams got onto the scoresheet. Davyn Keuter scored a consolation goal for Mynahs.
The special dispensation team, South Africa Under-21, who are due to play in the Junior World Cup in Delhi, India in December, enjoyed a solid 5-0 win over a Witwatersrand side that refused to lie down.
James Drummond broke the deadlock after a goalless opening 25 minutes and his success was followed by an own goal shortly after, for the 2-0 half-time lead. Matt Brown and Grant Glutz scored via penalty corners in the second half with striker Ignatius Malgraff netting the fifth goal a minute from the end.
Coach Fabian Gregory’s KZN Inland side were made to work hard for a 4-1 win over a determined Free State line-up coached by Atlanta 1996 Olympian Allistar Fredericks. Jan Ras had opened the scoring for Free State, while Inland’s first-half equaliser went to Gavin Jelley. The team from the KZN capital added three more in the second half through Devon van der Merwe, Satchi Reddy and Zamo Cele.
Western Province Peninsula led Northern Blues 1-0 through a Bradley Venter goal before Richard Pautz drew the Pretoria side level four minutes from half-time. Northerns (Matt Guise-Brown) and Peninsula (Dale Isaac) traded goals in the 46th and 47th minutes respectively before Stephen Cant nailed the winner six minutes from full-time.
The pick of Monday’s matches could well be the battle between Tuffy Western Province and Fain Eastern Province at 6pm. The semi-finals and cross-pool playoffs are on Friday with the final and the classification matches on Saturday.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿The second-tier B Section tournament kicks off Monday.
A Section: KZN Raiders vs WP Peninsula (10am); Southern Gauteng vs Free State (12pm); South Africa U21 vs KZN Mynahs (2pm); Northern Blues vs Witwatersrand (4pm); Tuffy Western Province vs Fain Eastern Province (6pm).
A Section: KZN Inland vs North West (11am).
B Section: EP Settlers vs Border (2pm); Western Province Disas vs Namibia (4pm).