Southerns crowned IPT champions

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Johannesburg – Southern Gauteng beat Western Province 3-0 in the final to win the SA women's interprovincial hockey tournament (IPT) in Randburg on Saturday evening.

Having lost only once ahead of the final, Southerns reversed last year's result when WP outmuscled the Gauteng side 4-3 to claim the honours.

Southerns opened their account four minutes into the contest through Tsoanelo Pholo who fired home past Western Province goalkeeper Hanli Hattingh.

Genevieve Frank doubled their lead two minutes later as she picked up on a loose ball in the WP area before trying her luck with a speculative effort that snuck in and put Province on the back foot.

The second period started slowly, with WP looking determined to claw their back into the tie, enjoying the majority of early opportunities in the second half.

Southerns, however, made their chances count as the tournament's leading goal-scorer, Pietie Coetzee, scored her 13th and her side's crucial third goal of the match with 14 minutes to play.

North Gauteng recovered from their loss to WP on Friday to defeat the South African Under-21 side 2-1 in the third/fourth place playoff to claim the bronze medal.

Northerns skipper Kim Hubach opened the scoring in the last minute of the first period through a well taken penalty corner after a quiet first half in which neither side looked to take the game to their opponents.

The Gauteng side came out in the second half looking the more likely to score and were rewarded in the 40th minute as Marlene Cronje stretched the gap through a scramble in the SA U-21 team's area from Northerns' third penalty corner.

The South African juniors hit back straight away through star striker Lillian Du Plessis, who received a superb pass from Tanya Britz before rounding Northerns goalkeeper Inke Van Wyk and slotting home into an empty net.

The rest of the day's action saw plenty goals, starting with KwaZulu-Natal Mynahs who thrashed fellow coastal outfit KZN Inland 7-0, with Kelly Young netting twice to ensure Mynahs avoided the wooden spoon and finished 11th.

Inland lost every match of their campaign, finishing last in 12th position.

In the ninth/10th place playoff fixture, Amathole and Wits University had to be separated by a penalty shootout as the scores finished level at 2-2 after full-time.

Amathole held their nerve to edge Wits 4-2 in the shootouts.

Free State finished strongly, claiming seventh overall after their comfortable 3-0 victory over KZN Raiders, who settled for eighth position.

North West scored three goals in as many minutes to surprise Eastern Province with a 4-3 win, ending their campaign in sixth place. – Sapa


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