Saturday’s A Section finalists were decided on day four of the SA Women’s Hockey Interprovincial Tournament, following the outcome of Thursday’s final round of Pool matches at the KC March Astro in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth on Friday, 23 August, 2013.
Last year’s silver medallists Western Province beat North West 4-1 in a fast-paced first semi-final that had thrills and spills galore, while in the late game reigning champions Southern Gauteng beat Northern Blues 4-0 thanks to a first-half goal by 2004 Athens Olympian Tsoanelo Pholo, and three more after the changeover by Sammy Prost, Catherine McNulty and Robyn Johnson for the 4-0 final scoreline.
Saturday’s gold medal title match between WP and Southern Gauteng flicks off at 8 pm, preceded by the bronze medal match at 6 pm between North West and Northern Blues.
Meanwhile, the tournament is set for another epic battle for Eastern Cape domination when Border, who beat Eastern Province 4-0 in Pool A on Wednesday – the highest margin in history – tackle their arch-rivals at 4 pm Saturday in the playoff for fifth and sixth places.
Friday’s gripping cross-pool playoffs saw a Toni Marks strike in the 59th minute give EP a 1-0 win over Free State, while Border edged the hapless KZN Coastal Raiders 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the scores were locked 0-0 at full-time.
In the Friday’s first semi-final, North West’s Investec South Africa women’s hockey team striker Sulette Damons set the pulses racing with a backhand that hit the post after seven minutes. Soon after, Amoré de Wet had her effort miraculously saved on the goalline by WP stalwart Leigh Boardman.
In the 10th minute former national junior sprint champion Damons opened the scoring when a blistering 40-metre run blew defenders away before the sharpshooter cracked the ball into the backboard (1-0).
After concerted pressure, favourites WP equalised when experienced former SA striker Farah Fredericks conjured up a stunning slice of skill to convert a botched penalty corner.
The teams turned around with the score still 1-1 and in the 42nd minute Fredericks drew on experience and deft stickwork to coolly slip the ball past the keeper following a goalmouth skirmish (2-1).
In the 58th minute the irrepressible Fredericks made her mark once again when she fired in a backhand pass that was converted by Rosie Lombard (3-1).
Fredericks rubbed salt into the wound with her hat-trick goal, which concluded a dream match for the Maties veteran and booked a place in Saturday’s 8pm trophy match.
KZN Inland, who earned a deserved 2-1 win over a gutsy Eastern Province Settlers in the semi-finals of the B Section, will play Witwatersrand, the other B Section side with a 100% win record, in the tournament’s lower-tier final at 2pm Saturday.
Saturday Classification Matches of the 2013 SAHA Senior Women Outdoor IPT, on Saturday, 24 August, 2013: A Section: 12:00: Seventh/eighth Place Play-Off: Free State vs KZN Coastal Raiders 16:00: Fifth/sixth Place: Eastern Province vs Border 18:00: Bronze medal match: North West vs Northern Blues 20:00: Final: Western Province vs Southern Gauteng B Section: 08:00: Seventh/eighth Place Play-Off: Southern Cape vs SA Country Districts A 10:00: Fifth/sixth Place: KZN Mynahs vs SA Country Districts B 14:00: Bronze medal match: EP Settlers vs Mpumalanga (Westering High School) 14:00: Final: KZN Inland vs Witwatersrand Section A Day 4 Cross-Pool Results of the 2013 SAHA Senior Women Outdoor IPT on Friday, 23 August, 2013: Eastern Province 1-0 Free State Border 0-0 KZN Raiders (Border won 3-2 on penalty shootout) Western Province 4-1 North West Southern Gauteng 4-0 Northern Blues Section A Day 3 Results on Thursday, 22 August, 2013: Northern Blues 3-2 Free State Western Province 2-1 KZN Raiders Kaspersky Southern Gauteng 3-2 Border North West 0-0 Eastern Province Section A Day 2 Results on Wednesday 21 August, 2013: KZN Coastal Raiders 0-1 Free State Western Province 4-1 Northern Blues Kaspersky Southerns 4-1 North West Eastern Province 4-4 Border Section A Day 1 Results on Tuesday 20 August, 2013: Northern Blues 5-2 KZN Raiders Western Province 3-2 Free State North West 7-3 Border Kaspersky Southerns 2-0 Eastern Province B Section Day 4 Results of the 2013 SAHA Senior Women Outdoor IPT on Friday, 23 August, 2013: KZN Mynahs 6-0 Southern Cape SA Country Districts B 2-1 SA Country Districts A KZN Inland 2-1 EP Settlers Witwatersrand 3-1 Mpumalanga Section B Day 3 Results on Thursday, 22 August, 2013: SA Country Districts A 6-0 Southern Cape KZN Inland 7-2 Mpumalanga EP Settlers 1-0 SA Country Districts A KZN Mynahs 2-0 SA Country Districts B Witwatersrand 4-2 EP Settlers Section B Day 2 Results on Wednesday, 21 August, 2013: KZN Inland 5-0 KZN Mynahs Witwatersrand 8-0 Southern Cape SA Country Districts B 4-4 Mpumalanga SA Country Districts A vs EP Settlers (Delayed for inclement conditions) Section B Day 1 Results on Tuesday, 20 August, 2013: KZN Inland 8-2 SACD B Pool A Mynahs 1-2 Mpumalanga Kaspersky Wits 7-0 SACD A Southern Cape 0-6 EP Settlers A Section Final Logs: Pool A: 1. Southern Gauteng 9 points 2. North West 4 pts 3. Border 3 pts 4. Eastern Province 1 pt Pool B: 1. Western Province 9 pts 2. Northern Blues 6 pts 3. Free State 3 pts 4. KZN Coastal Raiders 0 pts B Section Final Logs: Pool A: 1. Witwatersrand 9 pts 2. EP Settlers 6 pts 3. SA Country Districts A 3 pts 4. Southern Cape 0 pts Pool B: 1. KZN Inland 9 pts 2. Mpumalanga 4 pts 3. KZN Mynahs 3 pts 4. SA Country Districts B 1 pts
(With editing by gsport)