The AB Jackson Greenfields Turf was the stage, and going into Friday’s final round, girls’ A Section log-leaders Southern Free State (15 points), WP (14 points) and third-placed KZN Coastal (13 points) were in the running for the coveted trophy.
In the 10am match, KZN Coastal met last-placed Amathole and had to win well if they were to have a shot at upsetting the favourites. Even a big victory margin might not have been enough, though, as SFS were due to take on WP at 11am and a victory for either team would have knocked the Durban girls out of title contention.
KZN Coastal duly beat Amathole 5-0 with captain Tayler-Jade Weiss netting a brace from penalty corner (PC) play, while Erin Armstrong also bagged two goals – one from a set-piece and the other from field play – and Jenna Stichelbout nailed the fifth goal, also via the PC route.
That left WP and Southern Free State knowing exactly what they had to do in their match, which followed directly after. Both needed to win, but as fate would have it the key match ended in a 0-0 stalemate, which left KZN Coastal the 2015 championship team on goal difference over the Free State girls, both sides having ended on 16 points, while WP were just a point off the pace.
At Maritzburg College, defending boys U13 champions Western Province underlined their quality with a 5-0 win over Amathole to finish off as IPT winners by six points from runners-up Eastern Province.
This WP team is widely regarded as one of the best sides yet to be seen at U13 IPT.
In the last boys’ match of the tournament, hosts KZN Inland had to beat Northerns to stay in the A Section and were 2-1 up at one point, only to be edged out 3-2 at the final whistle.
Winning promotion from the B Section to next year’s top-tier A Section are Boland (boys) who replace KZN Inland, and Mpumalanga (girls) who replace Amathole.
U13 IPT A SECTION RESULTS (Thursday)
Boys – at Maritzburg College: North West 2 KZN Coastal 4; South Gauteng 1 EP 1; WP 5 Amathole 0; KZN Inland 2 Northerns 3.
Girls - at AB Jackson: Northerns 1 SG 3; Amathole 0 KZN Coastal 5; WP 0 Southern Free State 0; EP 1 KZN Inland 0.
FINAL A SECTION LOGS
(all played seven, goal difference, points)
Boys: 1 WP (gd32) 21pts; 2 EP (gd11) 16pts; 3 KZN Coastal (gd6) 13pts; 4 South Gauteng (gd0) 10pts; 5 North West (gd-12) 8pts; 6 Northerns (gd-10) 6pts; 7 Amathole (gd-9) 4pts; 8 KZN Inland (gd-18) 1pt.
Girls: 1 KZN Coastal (gd12) 16pts; 2 South Free State (gd8) 16pts; 3 WP (gd5) 15pts; 4 EP (gd2) 13pts; 5 South Gauteng (gd-3) 9pts; 6 Northerns (gd-6) 6pts; 7 KZN Inland (gd-6) 3pts; 8 Amathole (gd-12) 3pts.