It proved to be a great afternoon for both the men’s and women’s KZN Raiders sides as they advanced their causes in the A-section of the Greenfields Senior Interprovincial Nationals at the Randburg Hockey Stadium on Thursday.
A 2-1 win by the women earlier in the day over the South Africa Under-21 side was followed up by a 4-1 victory for the men over Eastern Province in the game immediately afterward as both sides continued their march.
The results mean that both sides are likely to take on Southern Gauteng depending on how they go in the respective clashes, the men take on Free State while the women meet Witsies, later on Thursday.
Raiders managed to convert sustained pressure into a penalty corner and it was duly converted by Ross Hetem and barely a minute later the lead was 2-0 as Stephen Wiggett fired one in from left of goal after being given too much space by the Eastern Province defence.
A Dalan Phillips drag-flick pegged one back for EP in the 46th minute but two quick goals from Raiders killed off the contest which was scrappy at times.
The Kwa-Zulu Natal outfit were guilty of losing possession too easily but once they strung passes together they whipped through the defence and it showed in the goals by Damien Kimfly and the effort from Cameron Mackay. Both players were able to round off brilliant build-up wth their strikes in the 51st and 52nd minutes.
But while the KZN sides had reason to cheer it was the complete opposite for both Tuffy Western Province sides as first their women crashed out of contention, losing on penalty strokes to North West, and then the men suffered a 3-1 defeat to Northerns.
Province managed to score first in the 16th minute thanks to a Lloyd Norris-Jones field goal and they held their lead right up to the halftime break.
It remained close after the changeover before a Matthew Guise-Brown double strike, once from a penalty stroke and the second from a short corner, in the space of nine minutes put the defending champions on the back foot.
They pressed for an equaliser but it never came and their fate was sealed four minutes from time as Grant Glutz made it 3-1.