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KZN and Central share pole position at SA Mid-Amateur IPT

12 Oct 2011

Lyall McNeill from KwaZulu-Natal in action against Central Gauteng

The South African Mid-Amateur Interprovincial has nearly turned into a two-horse race with KwaZulu-Natal and Central Gauteng are neck-in-neck at Humewood Golf Club.

After today’s third round resulted in a 6-all draw, the leading contenders - with two wins apiece - share the top of the log on five points and 22 games.

KZN looked to have Central’s number with a 3-1 lead after the foursomes, but in a tightly contested battle, the afternoon singles delivered welcome outcome for the upcountry team.

Central’s Grant Wood managed to gain half a point against Barry McGhee and Brett Langston beat Simon Taylor 2-up to close the gap to 3½ - 2½, but the tenacious Murray Gilson used all 18 holes to beat the Norman Raad to give KZN back a two point lead.

Then David Muller stemmed the bleeding for Central with a comprehensive 4&3 win over Sean Fenger. Stephen Johnston and Lee Johnson added two more points to Central’s tally by beating Gerry Coetzee 3&1 and Elton James 5&4 respectively. Kevin Sharp lost to KZN’s Lyall McNeill at the 18th, but Steve Williams claimed a crucial half point against David Brown to level the scores.

Meanwhile defending champions Ekurhuleni beat Western Province 6½-5½ to move to third place on the log with four points after two wins and a loss.

Although Boland thrashed Mpumalanga 9½-2½, both teams are on two points, but despite Mpumalanga’s decisive victory on Monday over Ekurhuleni, Boland has the edge with 18½ games to Mpumanlanga’s 13½.

After three successive losses, the Western Province have dropped to the bottom of the log. They are on serious ground and will have to bring their A-game to avoid relegation.

In the B Section, Eastern Province is looking strong in their campaign to challenge for promotion.

Although the hosts had a bye today, they still top the log with six points and 25½ games after a very successful opening round against Gauteng North and Free State & Northern Cape and beating Southern Cape 9-3 on Tuesday.

“We are facing Limpopo and North West next and we need to beat both those teams to ensure we are in the battle for promotion on Friday,” said Eastern Province’s Anton Prinsloo.

“The weather forecast calls for a bit of wind on Thursday, which can only help us playing two inland teams. Hopefully we can put our home course advantage to good use.”

But the home side could face some tough opposition from Free State & Northern Cape, who are second on the log.

Skipper Josef Fourie’s side found some much needed form today to beat Southern Cape 6½-5½ and score an 8-4 victory North West.

“We’ve moved up to second with Border but we are both on the same game points, so we will have to step it up to really challenge Eastern Province,” said Fourie. “I just hope we haven’t left it too late.”

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