The 2013 SA Women’s Interprovincial Tournament takes place at the KC March hockey venue in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth from Tuesday until Saturday and the likelihood is that last year’s medallists – champions Southern Gauteng, finalists Western Province and bronze winners Northern Blues – will again be among the medals.
Among a number of notable absentees is triple Olympian and Investec South Africa women’s hockey team captain Marsha Cox (née Marescia) who was unable to get time off work.
Cox has starred for Southern Gauteng for many years but fellow triple Olympian, Pietie Coetzee – the world record Test match goalscorer – will be going all-out to ensure that she steps up to collect the winners’ trophy for Southerns, as she did last year in Randburg.
Among the other absentees are double Olympians Tarryn Bright and Shelley Russell of Western Province, as well as Dirkie Chamberlain of Northern Blues.
Apart from Coetzee, Southerns have national players Sanani Mangisa and Lisa Deetlefs, as well as experienced former SA players Tsoanelo Pholo and Roxy Turner. The exciting Sammy Prost is just another of the quality players that make up the strong Southerns unit, while in coach Garreth Ewing the Johannesburg-based province have one of the best in the country.
Southerns face Eastern Province Tuesday, and much faith will be put by the vociferous, loyal home supporters in seeing a good showing from the host province this week. EP have in 2004 Athens Olympian Liesel Dorothy a highly intelligent, knowledgeable campaigner.
With the support of the likes of 2013 Junior World Cup forward Toni Marks, EP can spring surprises but it is the responsibility of each and every one of the home team to take ownership of their individual roles in the side.
Western Province, who lost 3-0 to Southerns in last year’s gold medal match to reverse the 2011 result, will again mount a strong challenge with players of the calibre of current SA striker Jade Mayne, London 2012 Olympian Illse Davids as well as experienced former national players in Hanli Hattingh and Farah Fredericks. WP face the young Free State side on day one.
Northern Blues coach Gregg Hesom surely has a mantelpiece top-heavy with silver and bronze medals and will be determined to reverse the trend. On a good day, Northerns have the ammunition to unsettle South African hockey’s heavyweights, Southerns and WP.
In the experienced former SA defender Kim Hubach, London 2012 Olympian and much-capped SA player Nicolene Terblanche, as well as two of the young crop of national players in striker Lilian du Plessis and goalkeeper Phume Mbande, Northerns have the core that could make the difference.
The Pretoria-based province open their campaign against Durban’s KZN Raiders.
Border, whose side contains the three Keet sisters, national player Marcelle as well as Samantha and Lee-Ann, meet North West. The Potchefstroom-based province will be strong favourites and have hugely experienced, yet still very young players in 100-plus Test match striker Sulette Damons and Celia Evans.
In the B Section – the second-tier competition that runs alongside the title tournament – one team determined to win promotion back into the A Section is KZN Inland.
The cross-pool playoffs are on Friday with the finals on Saturday.
A Section Pools for the 2013 SAHA Senior Women Outdoor IPT: Pool A: Kaspersky Southerns North West Eastern Province Border Pool B: Western Province Northern Blues Free State KZN Raiders Fixtures for Section A of the 2013 SAHA Senior Women Outdoor IPT: Tuesday 20 August, 2013: 12:00: A01 Northern Blues vs KZN Raiders 14:00: B01 Western Province vs Free State 16:00: B02 North West vs Border 18:00: A02 Kaspersky Southerns vs Eastern Province Wednesday 21 August, 2013: 12:00: B03 KZN Raiders vs Free State 14:00: B04 Western Province vs Northern Blues 16:00: A03 Kaspersky Southerns vs North West 18:00: A04 Eastern Province vs Border Thursday 22 August, 2013: 12:00: A05 Northern Blues vs Free State 14:00: B05 Western Province vs KZN Raiders 16:00: B06 Kaspersky Southerns vs Border 18:00: A06 North West vs Eastern Province Friday 23 August, 2013: 12:00: A4 vs B3 14:00: A3 vs B4 16:00: A2 vs B1 20:00: A1 vs B2 Saturday 24 August, 2013: 12:00: 7th/8th Place Play-Off: Loser A4/B3 vs Loser A3/B4 14:00: 5th/6th Place Play-Off: Winner A4/B3 vs Winner A3/B4 16:00: Bronze Medal Match: Loser A2/B1 vs Loser A1/B2 20:00: Final: Winner A2/B1 vs Winner A1/B2 B Section Pools for the 2013 SAHA Senior Women Outdoor IPT: Pool A: Kaspersky Wits Southern Cape SACD A EP Settlers Pool B: Mynahs KZN Inland Mpumalanga SACD B Fixtures for Section B of the 2013 SAHA Senior Women Outdoor IPT: Tuesday 20 August, 2013: 8:00: A01 KZN Inland vs SACD B Pool A 10.00 B01 Mynahs vs Mpumalanga 14.00 B02 Kaspersky Wits vs SACD A 20.00 A02 Southern Cape vs Ep Settlers Wednesday 21 August, 2013: 8.00 B03 Mynahs vs KZN Inland 10.00 B04 Kaspersky Wits vs Southern Cape Pool B 14.00 A03 SACD B vs Mpumalanga 20.00 A04 SACD A vs Ep Settlers Thursday 22 August, 2013: ￼8.00 A05 KZN Inland vs Mpumalanga 10.00 B05 Southern Cape vs SACD A 14.00 B06 Mynahs vs SACD B 20.00 A06 Kaspersky Wits vs Ep Settlers Friday 23 August, 2013: 8.00 A4 vs B3 10.00 A2 vs B1 14.00 A3 vs B4 20.00 A1 vs B2 Saturday 24 August, 2013: 8.00 7 & 8 Winner A4/B3 vs Winner A3/B4 10.00 5 & 6 Loser A2/B1 vs Loser A1/B2 14.00 3 & 4 Loser A4/B3 vs Loser A3/B4 20.00 1 & 2 Winner A2/B1 vs Winner A1/B2 Tournament Officials: A Tournament Director: Kokkie Sieling (SAHA) B Tournament Director: Daphne Delport (SAHA) Umpires Manager: Jean Buchanan (SAHA) Umpires Manager: Martie Booysen (SAHA) Umpires Manager: Vossie Van Schalkwyk (SAHA) Video Analyst: Samantha Friend (SAHA) Umpires: Chantelle Britz (WP) Claire Cowan (WP) Leandre French (Southerns) Lyndal Robertson (KZN Inland) Tanja Schafer (KZN Coastals) Mareike Potgieter (North West) Wanri Venter (KZN Coastals) Petra Anderson (Southerns) La-Roche Potgieter (Northerns) Chanell Meijer (NFS) Tanya Pepler (KZN Inland) Mariana Putter (Northerns) Lorinda Thomas (Amatola) Melissa Taylor (NFS) Kim Strauss (KZN Coastals) Lee-Ann Whitehead (WP)
(With editing by gsport)