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Two pulsating finals played at in Potchefstroom today to determine the winners of the 2017 SA Hockey Under 21 IPT.

Women’s Final – Southern Gauteng vs. Western Province Pens

It was a tentative opening half as the two sides waited for openings to capitalise. Southern Gauteng has been immense under Tsoanelo Pholo, but her charges were not going to underestimate Cindy Brown’s squad. The game, however, came to life in the third chukka as Southerns fired back-to-back penalty corners in the 36th and 37th minutes through Lezaan Janse and then Gabriella Terblanche.

The impressive defensive unit would then shut up shop and Nadia Mattana in goals would deal with whatever was thrown her way. They ended the tournament having conceded only one goal and were rightfully our 2017 under 21 IPT Champions

Result: SG 2-0 WP Pens

Men’s Final – Western Province vs. Northern Blues

If the Ladies final had distinct favourites, that was not the case in the Men’s as the Province side led by Jason Mulder and the Blues team under the tutelage of Ryan Anderson had very little on paper to separate them and the game would follow that script too.

Connor Beauchamp fired in a blistering penalty corner to give WP the early lead, a lead that would last only 7 minutes before Michael Hesse pulled one back through a field goal. We would have to wait 27 minutes after that for the next goal and this time the Blues pulled ahead from a superbly taken penalty corner by Peabo Lembethe. Province raised the temperature and were eventually rewarded with a 55th minute equaliser by Beauchamp again.

That would be the last goal of the game and so the title would be decided on showdowns. Early goals from WP through Maximillian Pike and Luke Schooling were followed by misses by Campbell, Tate and Hobson. The Blues had missed through Steven Paulo, Travis Jutronich and National player Tevin Kok, before Cody van Breemen pulled one back. Unfortunately for the Blues Nicholas Church could not beat Christopher Rhode in the WP goal and it was the Cape side that would take home the title.

Result: WP (2) 2 -2 (1) N. Blues

Final Results for the tournament

Ladies U21 IPT

 

Men’s U21 IPT

POS

TEAM

 

POS

TEAM

1

Southern Gauteng

 

1

Western Province

2

Western Province Pens

 

2

Northern Blues

3

Northern Blues

 

3

Southern Gauteng

4

Free State

 

4

Western Province Pens

5

North West

 

5

Eastern Province

6

Eastern Province

 

6

Free State

7

Western Province

 

7

KZN Coastals

8

Invitational

 

8

North West

9

KZN Coastals

 

9

Mpumalanga

10

Mpumalanga

 

10

Border

Just like that the National under 21 IPT’s are nearing their conclusion with just one day left of action. Saturday will mark all the positional playoffs before all eyes turn to the finals of both the Men’s and Ladies tournaments.

The tournament structure is two groups of five teams, with teams playing a single round cross pool to determine positions. Ultimately every group game would count as only the top two would progress to the final.

Starting with the Men’s tournament the final will be contested between two of SA Hockey’s heavy weights in Western Province and Northern Blues. Western Province’s march to the final started fairly imperiously with a massive victory over Border before they were almost stunned by KZN Coastals, twice coming from behind to save a draw.

The goal scoring dried up slightly for WP but another titanic defensive display secured a 1-0 victory over EP and a 3-1 win over their "B" team secured their spot in the final by topping Group A. Group B was topped by Northern Blues in a very similar fashion winning 3 and drawing one. Their defining game was the match against Southern Gauteng when Michael Hesse popped up with a last minute winner to seal top spot after the surprise 2-2 draw with Free State put the Blues in a precocious position.

The final takes place this evening at 19:00 and can be followed here https://saha.altiusrt.com/

In the ladies tournament, Group B was cut and dried as South Gauteng were in dominant moods and smashed in 17 goals conceding only 1. The goals evenly spread amongst the team as their top scorers are Cheneal Raubenheimer and Nomnikelo Veto with three goals apiece.

Pool A offered up a more tantalising race to the final as North West, Northern Blues and both Western Province sides were in with a chance. The place in the final was ultimately decided in one game on Friday morning. The Northern Blues scored twice to lead WP Pens 2-0 through Natalie Esteves and Megan Anderson. But as they have done all tournament, Pens fought back and pulled one back through Miche Bennett before Rozanne Compion pulled the game level and put WP Pens into the final!

Incredibly the WP “A” side is playing for 7/8 while the “B” team will be playing for the title at 17:15 this afternoon. You can follow it here https://saha.altiusrt.com/

The 2017 under 21 Men’s and Ladies Inter Provincial Tournaments are underway in Potchefstroom where the best young talent in South Africa are taking each other on in a challenge for domination. There is added excitement around the youngsters after the U21 Men’s performance at the Junior Hockey World Cup last year, finishing in 10th place.

Starting with the ladies tournament the Northern Blues, winners in 2015, have shown their determination to win again this year with a massive statement of intent in triumphing 3-1 over Western Province inspired by a brace from skipper Natalie Esteves. They followed this up with a convincing display against Mpumalanga to remain an undefeated team in Group A. Western Province Pens are also undefeated so far but missed out on a 100% record when they were held 0-0 by the host province North West.

In Group B its Southern Gauteng, under the guidance of 2004 Olympian Tsoanelo Pholo, who have started the early charge thanks to emerging victorious from a bruising encounter against KZN Coastals. Lezaan Janse popped up with a goal on the stroke of half time that would be the only goal of the game. They too had an easier second game against EP but today find themselves facing the also unbeaten Free State. The Free State ladies were disappointed to draw with the Invitational side in a match with lots of tactical defence and very few goal opportunities.

The Men’s tournament features some very exciting up and coming players of South African hockey. Goals are also more prominent with the trio of Eastern Province, Western Province and Northern Blues combining for 40 goals at an average of 5 goals a game. Border were the unfortunate team to be on the receiving end of a rampant display by Luke Schooling and Max Pike both netting hat-tricks.

Incredibly in five consecutive games in the tournament, not a game was decided by more than a goal before WP beat their “B” side Pens 3-1. This just highlights how closely matched so many of our teams are and to win this tournament and impress SA U21 coach Garreth Ewing will not be a foregone conclusion.

The game of the tournament for me so far was the EP game against the KZN Coastals as the back and forth game was eventually sealed by a dramatic 58th minute field goal from Arno van Jaarsveld to the delight of Gerrard Noah and his coaching staff.

 

Ladies U21 IPT

A

Western Province

12-1

Mpumalanga

B

Eastern Province

3-2

Invitational

B

Southern Gauteng

1-0

KZN Coastals

A

North West

0-0

WP Pens

B

Free State

5-0

Eastern Province

A

WP Pens

5-0

Mpumalanga

B

KZN Coastals

1-1

Invitational

A

Northern Blues

3-1

Western Province

B

Southern Gauteng

9-0

Eastern Province

A

Northern Blues

6-0

Mpumalanga

B

Free State

0-0

Invitational

A

North West

0-1

Western Province

 

Men’s U21 IPT

B

Southern Gauteng

2-1

Free State

A

WP Pens

3-1

KZN Coastals

A

Western Province

10-0

Border

B

Northern Blues

10-1

Mpumalanga

A

Eastern Province

9-3

Border

B

Northern Blues

2-2

Free State

A

Western Province

2-2

KZN Coastals

B

North West

3-2

Mpumalanga

A

KZN Coastals

2-3

Eastern Province

B

Southern Gauteng

0-1

Northern Blues

A

Western Province

3-1

WP Pens

B

Free State

4-1

North West

You can follow the tournament on the Tournament Management Events site here https://saha.altiusrt.com/  

JONATHAN COOK at the AB Jackson


Victorious SA U21 men's IPT champs Western Province in celebratory mood. Photo: SEAN BURKE

They were given little chance, if any, but Northern Blues came out swinging and caught out-and-out favourites Western Province with some heavy body blows before the defending champs regrouped and ultimately prevailed in the Greenfields SA U21 Men’s Interprovincial Tournament final at AB Jackson Greenfields Turf Saturday.

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JONATHAN COOK at the AB Jackson


Western Province Peninsula's Abu-Bakr Effendi (left) tracks man in possession Ashley Kemp of Northern Blues.

There was drama aplenty on day four of the Greenfields SA U21 men’s Interprovincial Tournament at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf Thursday as teams battled it out to remain in contention for Saturday’s medal matches or to snatch whatever they could to avoid the dreaded battle for last place.

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JONATHAN COOK at the AB Jackson


KZN Coastal Raiders U21 captain Ryan Wallace reflects on what might have been as WP Peninsula U21 keeper Matthew Martins breaths again during the epic encounter at AB Jackson Greenfields Turf Friday. PHOTO SEAN BURKE

VERY few fans give Northern Blues much chance of wresting the Greenfields SA U21 men’s Interprovincial Tournament (IPT) away from classy Western Province at AB Jackson Greenfields Turf Saturday, but stranger things have happened in national finals so rest assured that the defending champs won’t be complacent.

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JONATHAN COOK at the AB Jackson


Action from the WP Free State game

The game of the day at the Greenfields SA U21 Men’s Interprovincial Tournament on the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf Wednesday was the thrilling 2-2 draw between title hopefuls and Pool B frontrunners KZN Coastal Raiders and Northern Blues, which ended 2-2.

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JONATHAN COOK at the AB Jackson


It's Maritzburg College versus Maritzburg College as Peabo Lembethe of KZN Inland chases Northern Blues skipper Tim Guise-Brown on day two of the Greenfields SA U21 Interprovincial in Pietyermaritzburg Tuesday. Both represented College and SA U18 during their schooldays.

FORMER Maritzburg College captain Tim Guise-Brown, now leading Northern Blues Under-21, nailed down a hat-trick of penalty corner drag-flicks as host province KZN Inland were beaten 4-0 on day two of the Greenfields SA U21 Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf Tuesday.

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JONATHAN COOK at the AB Jackson


Wade Witbooi of Eastern Province is shadowed by Stephen Cant of Northern Blues at the Greenfields SA U21 Men's Interprovincial Tournament on AB Jackson Greenfields Turf in Pietermaritzburg Monday. Blues won 4-2.

There were wins for defending champions Western Province, as well as Northern Blues and WP Peninsula on day one of the Greenfields SA U21 Men’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf Monday.

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The Pools and fixtures for U21 Men's Outdoor IPT have been announced

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