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Mpumalanga throws first punch at SA Mid-Amateur IPT

10 Oct 2011

Stephan Potgieter helped Mpumalanga to a decisive victory over defending champions Ekurhuleni

Just 12 months after claiming promotion to the A-Section, Mpumalanga sounded an ominous warning by beating defending champions Ekurhuleni in the first round of the South African Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial in Port Elizabeth.

Having drawn the foursomes in the morning, the minnows stepped it up in the afternoon singles at the testy links layout of
Humewood Golf Club to claim a decisive 7-5 victory by winning five of their matches.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that we could start the tournament on such a high note,” said team manager Marius Kok. “Our new caps, Justin van Dyk and Theo Bleeker, were a little worried coming into their first IPT but they performed especially well.

“This victory puts us ahead early in the game and that’s a team can hope for.”

Bleeker beat Craig Bell 4&3 and Van Dyk drummed Lawrence Joubert 6&4. The other wins came from Johan van Staden, Stephan Potgieter and Henry Human.

Buoyed by their victory, Kok said his charges are looking forward to their match against KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday.

“You can’t plan much for a battle like this, because we don’t know the KZN team well at all,” he said. “So, we will keep the batting order the same and see how we fare. But everyone on the team is looking forward to a great clash between the Boers and the English.”

While Ekurhuleni’s bottom players went down in smoke, captain Hugo Delport managed a 1-up win over Eddie Daniel and new cap Tyrol Auret won his match against Jan Jacobs 3&2. Rowan du Preez justified his selection at number one with a 5&3 win over Teddy Mathebula.

In the B-Division, the Eastern Province team got their campaign for promotion underway with a roaring start.

The tournament hosts trailed Gauteng North 1½-2½ after the foursomes, but won five singles outright to crush Northerns 7½ - 4½. In their game against Free State & Northern Cape, the Eastern Province side lost just one foursomes match and won another five singles for a crushing 9-3 victory.

“In this format it’s always important to lay down your marker early in the competition,” said EP captain Karl du Preez. “We
wanted to start strong to give ourselves a chance of finishing the week at the top and the boys are thrilled to have pulled it off.”

Click to here go to the tournament website

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