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Bloemfontein - Southerns and the South African Under21 team won their semifinals at the men's inter-provincial hockey tournament on Friday, and will meet in the final on Saturday.
Southerns last won the title in 2000 while the junior internationals have never won it.
Both semifinals were very lacklustre affairs with none of the teams prepared to take any risks in gusty conditions.
In the match between SA Under21 and Western Province, Olympian Clinton Panther scored for the SA U21 eight minutes from the end. WP tried their hardest for the rest of the game, only getting a penalty corner 40 seconds from the end. They failed to convert and the Juniors were through.
In the other semifinal, Southerns beat Northerns 1-0.
The most exciting game of the day was between KZN Raiders and Wits. Leading 4-2 at half time, Raiders took the score to 5-2
before Wits hit back. Three goals in four minutes put Wits level and that knocked Raiders' confidence. Wits then went ahead 6-5
seven minutes later and kept the pressure right to the last minutes. KZN got a breakaway goal with 1:24 minutes left on the clock to equalise and send the game to a penalty shootout. Wits hit the post twice in the shootout that they lost 2-1.
Raiders will play KZN Inland for fifth place after they beat Eastern Province 4-1 and Wits will meet EP for seventh place.
Free State won their second game of the tournament beating North West 3-2 leaving them to face KZN Mynahs ninth after their game against WP Pens ended 3-3 with Mynahs winning the shootout 4-1. North West and WP Pens will be hoping to avoid the wooden spoon. - Sapa