Western Province and Central Gauteng do Battle for Gold in 2023 SA Schools Water Polo IPT

Action during Day 4 of the Girls’ U19 Schools Water Polo South Africa Inter-Provincial Tournament, at the Grey High School Swimming Pool in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, on Tuesday, 12 December, 2023. Photos: Supplied

The final of this year’s girls’ u19 Schools Water Polo South Africa Inter-Provincial Tournament will be contested by Western Province A and Central Gauteng A at the Grey High School Swimming Pool on Wednesday in Gqeberha, Eastern Province, on Wednesday, 13 December, 2023.

Both teams have impressed all tournament long, but they’ll be eager to take it all the way across the finishing line when they go for gold.

For Central Gauteng A, the final presents an opportunity to win back-to-back titles after getting one past KwaZulu-Natal last year. Meanwhile, a rejuvenated Province side will be on a mission to exorcise the disappointment of a fifth-place finish in last year’s campaign.

The final is also a repeat of 2018 tournament, which was won by the Gauteng-based team in East London. During the week-long tournament, both sides have been viewed as the favourites, rightfully so, considering the calibre of players they have in their arsenal.

They’ve scored a combined 251 goals in their matches to underline just how dangerous their attacking abilities are, although both, at times, have shown some inconsistencies on the defensive front. To reach the final, Western Province had to execute their game plan to perfection as they faced a KwaZulu-Natal outfit that had struggled for cohesion in the first semifinal.

This Report is republished by Kind Permission of SuperSportSchools.com

KZN also played the match without their head coach, Paul Martin, who received a red card and was shown his marching orders in the quarterfinal against Nelson Mandela Bay earlier in the day.

Province, high in confidence after scoring 20 goals in their quarterfinal against their B-side, picked up from where they left off, dominating ball possession, and capitalising on KZN’s errors.

Reddam House Constantia’s Hannah Banks was influential and opened the scoring early in the first chukka. Her side kicked on from there, putting KZN under immense pressure, and despite goals from Marlise Pretorius, and Taylor Cherry, Province led 8-2 after the second chukka.

The KZN ladies showed some fighting spirit in the third chukka. They defended well and halved the deficit with goals by Emma Thornton and Amber Lewis.

However, with Martin’s voice absent on the bench, they failed to keep Province at bay, and a further six goals in the second half secured a hard-fought win for the ladies from the Western Cape.

Reacting to the contest, head coach, Nicola Barrett, said she was thrilled that her team had made the final. She was also adamant a lot needs to be fixed defensively if they are to win the title.

“I’m super chuffed. The girls worked hard in that game, and it was one of our better games in terms of being better on the ball, and moving it fast,” she told SuperSport Schools.

“I think just our blocking – we need to touch on that. Our defence was so much better today, although they did manage to get a few goals in. We want to work on that.”

The second semi-final, meanwhile, was a provincial battle between the Central Gauteng A and B teams.

The reigning champions didn’t have it easy against their provincial counterparts, who put them under pressure from the first whistle to the last.

Head coach Etienne Le Roux’s frustrations were visible from the touchline, despite his side leading for majority of the encounter.

At the halfway mark, the A team was just 7-5 ahead. It was only in the fourth chukka, when Gina Sguazzin, and Ruby Carlson doubled their tallies, that they managed to put the contest to bed.

Speaking after the match, assistant coach Kyla Moolman said the team was delighted to be afforded the opportunity to contest another final, but they will need to bring their A-game against a dangerous Province side.

“That was a bit of a rocky match, but we are pleased that we’ve made the final again,” she told SuperSport Schools.

“I think the girls underestimated the B team, and going forward we can’t do that with Western Province. The team has prepared well enough, and we are ready for the final.”

Earlier in the day, Nelson Mandela Bay lost to KwaZulu-Natal 2-3 on penalties, after the teams had ended the first quarterfinal level at 5-5. KwaZulu-Natal celebrates after a thrilling penalty shootout victory over Nelson Mandela Bay.

The home side would have felt a little let down after producing arguably their best performance of the tournament. They were sound in all departments, with all-rounder, Matipa Karimazondo, making six blocks and contributing one goal. Goalkeeper, Julia Hough, was also immense, making 13 saves.

Eastern Gauteng remained winless after a narrow 10-11 loss to Zimbabwe, for whom Erin Bent scored four and Kiara Kenny three. In the last two matches of the day, Nelson Mandela Bay beat Western Province B, while their provincial neighbours, Buffalo City, took down Zimbabwe. Teagan Harty and Anna Pinto starred for the hosts in their win over the Capetonians, scoring 10 goals between them, while Tori Voke was the stand-out player for Buffalo City, scoring another hat trick.

Scorers and Results on Day 4 of the Girls’ U19 Schools Water Polo SA IPT at Grey High School in Gqeberha, Eastern Province, on Tuesday, 12 December, 2023

KwaZulu-Natal 5 (3) – 5 (2) Nelson Mandela Bay

KwaZulu-Natal – Emma Thornton, Amber Lewis (2), Caitlin McMurray (2).

Nelson Mandela Bay – Matipa Karimazondo, Teagan Harty (3), Anna Pinto.

Western Province A 20-7 Western Province B

Western Province A – Tyra Penney (3), Tayla Kreymborg, Emily van Heerden (2), Hannah Banks (3), Isabella Roche (2), Roxanne Uys, Amy van Breda, Emma Catto (2), Erin-Belle Nordgaard, Olivia Geddes, Tetra Hollenbach (2), Alexa de Villiers.

Western Province B: Isabella Tooley (4), Jemma Stearns, Tara Roos, Amy Pettipher.

Central Gauteng A 20-2 Zimbabwe

Central Gauteng – Jenna Penny (3), Gina Sguazzin (2), Georgia Eccles (3), Charlotte Crick (2), Kara Wicht (3), Georgia Cope (2), Ruby Carlson, Mia Loizides (3), Michaela Boaventura.

Zimbabwe – Lauren Ashwin, Erin Bent.

Central Gauteng B 15-8 Buffalo City

Buffalo City – Tori Voke (2), Alex Albers, Jenna Tarr, Gabbi Whitebooi, Alison Woodin, Julianna Saffy, Tatum Knox.

Central Gauteng B – Amy Smith (3), Amy Mather, Jessica Black (2), Emma van Rensburg, Morgan Harrison (3), Emma Morely (2), Humairaa Bodiat, Amy Stubbs (2).

Western Province A 14-9 KwaZulu-Natal

Western Province – Hannah Banks (5), Tyra Penney, Roxanne Uys, Emma Catto (2), Amy van Breda, Roxanne Uys, Alexa de Villiers, Morgan Christian, Emily van Heerden.

KwaZulu-Natal – Marlise Pretorius (2), Taylor Cherry, Emma Thornton (2), Amber Lewis, Caitlin McMurray (3).

Central Gauteng A 15-7 Central Gauteng B

Central Gauteng A – Jenna Penney (2), Gina Sguazzin (2), Georgia Eccles (4), Kara Wicht, Ruby Carlson (2), Lauren Fox (2), Mia Loizides, Charlotte Crick.

Central Gauteng B – Amy Mather (2), Morgan Harrison, Amy Smith (2), Cecilia Petersen, Emma Morley.

Western Province B 29-4 Northern Tigers

Western Province B – Jemma Stearns (2), Leilla Hibling (6), Isabella Tooley (6), Claire Dekker, Keisha Delaney, Kate Formby (4), Amy Pettipher (8), Abigail Bester.

Northern Tigers – Christien Steenekamp, Ngandu Darina Muzungu, Mulan Perring (2).

Zimbabwe 11-10 Eastern Gauteng

Zimbabwe – Kiara Kenny (3), Erin Bent (4), Erin van Hoof (2), Charlotte Martell, Zoe Denslow. 

Eastern Gauteng – Maddison Griffin (4), Megan Keira Venter, Emma Nicole Spronk (4), Myra Strydom.

Nelson Mandela Bay 13-7 Western Province B

Western Province B – Jemma Stearns, Leila Hibling, Isabella Tooley, Kate Formby, Amy Pettipher (2), Nicole Bantom.

Nelson Mandela Bay – Teagan Harty (4), Jasmine Witthuhn, Anna Pinto (6), Jamie Lacey, Jorja Ross.

Buffalo City 10-8 Zimbabwe

Buffalo City – Tori Voke (3), Roxy-Lee van Eek, Alex Albers (2), Chelsy Hendry (2), Julianna Saffy, Jasmine Koch.

Zimbabwe – Lucy Wood, Erin Bent (3), Charlotte Martell, Shannon Cooke, Lauren Ashwin, Bailey Knox.

Original Copy: Avuyile Sawula for SuperSportSchools

Photos Caption: Action during Day 4 of the Girls’ U19 Schools Water Polo South Africa Inter-Provincial Tournament, at the Grey High School Swimming Pool in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, on Tuesday, 12 December, 2023. Photos: Supplied

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