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Four days into the 2018 SA Hockey Women’s IPT and the semi-final line-up is close to being completed with just one day of action left to go. Southern Gauteng has now secured their place in the semi-finals after a superb tactical victory over Free State to start the day. Free State has been the impressive union so far of this year’s IPT with the result of the tournament being their victory over Tuffy Western Province. They headed into an early morning battle with Southern Gauteng to secure a top 4 spot. Although Free State had tons of possession, Southerns have a superb backline featuring Lisa Deetlefs and Kara Botes who thwarted attack after attack. Southern Gauteng was also more clinical and secured victory with a double from Lilian du Plessis and regular goal scorer Sylvia van Jaarsveldt. The 3-0 victory secured Southern Gauteng their spot in the top 4, but their joiners are not yet known. In Group A it could have been done and dusted after Northern Blues superb 7-0 win over Mpumalanga, who are running out of legs, meaning a victory for SPAR KZN Raiders over North West would secure semi-finals for both the Northern Blues and the hosts. Kelsey Minnaar was introduced into the game in the ninth minute and within 60 seconds had given the Potchefstroom team the lead. As the game opened up and the SPAR KZN Raiders tried to raise the tempo, they were caught with two goals before halftime. First Elmien Marais scored from a penalty corner before Dirkie Chamberlain, back from her short trip to UK, made it 3-0. Jacinta Jubb pulled one back for the hosts, but try as they might they could not break through the resolute defense of North West. In one of the earlier games, SA Invitational U21 team produced their best display of the tournament dismantling SG Witsies 6-1, Tegan Fourie and Stephanie Botha both netting braces, while arguably the game of the day was a 2-1 win for Eastern Province over WP Pens with Harriet Bisdee netting with the final hit of the game! Permutations – Group A Northern Blues play against SPAR KZN Raiders, while North West take on SA invitational under 21. The four teams all can still qualify and drop out of the top 4. For Northern Blues, a draw will secure progress, but depending on goal difference could still qualify regardless. For the other three teams, anything short of a win will probably see them miss out on the top 4. There is a massive pressure on they take on a team that has yet to concede a goal! Permutations – Group B Southern Gauteng has already qualified for the Semi-finals and they take on Western Province who will at least have the comfort of knowing what the result needed will be as Free State play before them. Free State themselves will look to get a win over WP Pens early in the day that will mean that WP will need a draw to qualify for the top 4! 3 massive matches to decide the top 4, it promises to be a day of superb hockey. You can follow daily updates on SA Hockey or check out the Tournament Management site through https://saha.altiusrt.com/competitions/25#matches SA Hockey would like to thank our sponsors for their continued and valuable support: Private Property, Tsogo Sun, Old Mutual, iWyze, Grays, Olympic International, SRSA, Virgin Active, Fox 40, Greenfields and Belgotex Sport.

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