Coach Steve Evans gives his team instructions at Half time in the morning game against Southern Gauteng. Picture - SA Hockey

The 2017 South African Indoor Hockey IPT entered its second day in Durban with extra excitement as day one had given the supporters and players a taste of what to expect from day 2.  The morning fixtures completed the group stage with all focus then turning onto the Quarter Finals.

QF 1 – KZN Raiders 19-2 Mpumalanga

It was a dominant and clinical display by the defending champions as they netted goal after goal against the Witbank men.  Justin Domleo put away five goals and Jethro Eustice got a hat-trick. Scoring was shared across the team as 10 first-half goals became 19 full-time goals. Included in the scoring was a brace for Matt Fairweather, Jarryd Jones, Geoff Abbott and Wade Paton with a single goal for Robin Jones, Iain Evans, and Greg Last. Nathi Masango was the popular goal scorer of both of the Mpumalanga goals

QF 2 – Western Province 5-4 KZN Mynahs

Although they tasted a big defeat to Southern Gauteng in the morning, the Western Province boys would have been fairly confident that they would overcome the Mynahs. They were caught surprised when Cameron Mackay netted early for the Mynahs, but Jody Erasmus and a very quick second from Ryan Julius gave WP the half-time lead. That lead quickly stretched to 4-1 in the 27th minute when Craig Haley scored his second and that should have been the point that the door closed. The Mynahs fought back with Keegan Hezlett and Shaun Baker taking it back to 4-3 before Haley completed his hat-trick to make it 5. But the KZN boys refused to back down netting a fourth through Ryan Williams and setting up a nervy final two minutes. The Cape side held on and find themselves in the final four with a massive game against the Raiders tomorrow.

QF3 – Southern Gauteng 6-3 Northern Blues

Southern Gauteng looks the most likely to challenge the Raiders for the title but has shown a frustrating ability to keep their opponents in the games today, when they really should have put the game to bed earlier. In this game, it took just 9 minutes and the score was four-all. Steven Paulo for Northerns, Chad Futcher for Southerns, Kyle Marks for Southerns and then Francois Janse for Northerns meant the sides were level after a frenetic opening. PG Geldenhuys gave Southerns the lead for the second time and Julian Hykes doubled it before halftime. Hykes made it 5 for Southerns but some Richard Conradie made it a dangerous two-goal game in the 27th minute. Eventually, the nail was slammed home when Geldenhuys scored in the last minute of a game that Southerns probably wanted to win a little bit easier.

QF4 – KZN Inland 7-4 North West

There was no shortage of entertainment in the last game of the day as 11 goals were offered up by Inland and North West. Both teams would have heard news of their ladies heroics and would surely have been spurred on. Jarred Mitchell and the brilliant Matt Coombes made it 2-0 before Gavin Jelley added the third in a tremendous start for the Midlands men. Keenan du Toit, in his first tournament for Inland, and Coombes scored either side of a Pierre Bothma brace to make it 5-2 at the break. Jarred Mitchell quickly made it 6-2 at the start of the second half with a fine field goal before the game went into a sort of lull. Pierre Bothma then scored his third and fourth to put a bit of pressure on Inland for the closing minutes but Michael Horan denied them any hope with the final goal of the game. After falling short of the semi-finals last year, this would have been the minimum goal for the Inland side and they will see it as a job well done.

Men's Semi-Finals

11:00 KZN Raiders vs. Western Province

12:00 Southern Gauteng vs. KZN Inland