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Minnows surprise at SA Junior Inter-Provincial

14 Dec 2011

Matthew Kiewitz from Central Gauteng in action during round three of the South African Junior Inter-Provincial at Leopard Park Golf Club

The underdogs rebounded on day three of the South African Junior Inter-Provincial at Leopard Park Golf Club, delivering some unexpected blows to the frontrunners in South Africa’s premier junior team competition.

A feisty Eastern Province team handed log leaders Western Province their first loss in the tournament, tournament favourite KwaZulu-Natal was overpowered by Ekurhuleni, Boland and Mpumalanga and Southern Cape launched to fifth on the log with an inspired comeback.

A timely rain delay saw the Southern Cape side return to the course with renewed energy and focus and they wrapped up triple successes against Border, Limpopo and tournament hosts North West. The Garden Route side won all three matches 6-5 - 5.5.

“After that beating from the Western Province on Tuesday, I told the players was that every half point counts and it could make the difference at the end of the day,” said team manager Anton Nel.

“The boys really took it to heart and came back fighting after the rain delay. The guys believed in themselves and punched high above their weight. Yesterday we got beaten on the closing holes, but today they hung in their and we won all our matches with those crucial halves.

“We will bring that same kind of spirit over the last two days of the tournament.”

Log leaders Western Province beat Gauteng North 7.5 - 4.5 and crushed Central Gauteng 8.5 - 3.5 to maintain their lead, but the frontrunners were caught off guard by Eastern Province.

The two teams were level after the foursomes, but Eastern Province dominated the singles to clinch the match 6.5 - 5.5. Although they suffered a 5-7 loss to Central Gauteng, Eastern Province managed to draw with Gauteng North and jumped to sixth on the log.

Central Gauteng handed Gauteng North a solid 8.5 - 3.5 drumming to leapfrog the Northerns side to second place on the log with 51 points, but they have a lot of ground to make up on Western Province. Province leads with 66.5 points and have a healthy 15.5 point lead on Central.

Meanwhile KwaZulu-Natal, who dominated over the first two days, suffered three successive losses to the minnows. Ekurhuleni and Boland both emerged victorious against the coastal side, winning 7-5 - 4.5 each and Mpumalanga added to their woes, handing the coastal side a 7 - 5 beating.

Border got the upper hand in their match against Limpopo, winning the match 7.5 - 5.5 but Limpopo rebounded to beat North West 6.5 - 5.5.

And Boland launched from 12th to ninth in the standings after beating Ekurhuleni 6.5 - 5.5 and Mpumalanga 8-4. 

THIRD ROUND SCORES

Eastern Province 6.5 vs Western Province 5.5

Western Province 8.5 vs Central Gauteng 3.5

Western Province 7.5 vs Gauteng North 4.5

Central Gauteng 8.5 vs Gauteng North 3.5

Central Gauteng 7 vs Eastern Province 5

Gauteng North 6 vs Eastern Province 6

Ekurhuleni 7.5 vs KwaZulu-Natal 4.5

Mpumalanga 7 vs KwaZulu-Natal 5

Boland 7.5 vs KwaZulu-Natal 4.5

Boland 6.5 vs Ekurhuleni 5.5

Boland 8 vs Mpumalanga 4

Border 6 vs North West 6

Southern Cape 6.5 vs Border 5.5

Southern Cape 6.5 vs North West 5.5

Southern Cape 6.5 vs Limpopo 5.5

Border 7.5 vs Limpopo 4.5

Limpopo 6.5 vs North West 5.5

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