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North West and KZN in epic battle for SA U23 IPT promotion

18 Apr 2013

KwaZulu-Natal’s number one Siyanda Mwandla beat Mpumalang’s Bongani Mabilane 7/6 to help his side to an 8-4 victory in the fourth round of the South African U23 Inter-Provincial at Nelspruit Golf Club; credit Deon Smit.

Gauteng North held on to their A-Division lead despite a fourth round draw, but the battle for promotion in the B-Division will come down to a titanic battle between North West and KwaZulu-Natal at the South African U23 Inter-Provincial on Friday.

Gauteng North was cruising after three straight victories, but the leaders nearly met their match when they took on Ekurhuleni at Nelspruit Golf Club on Thursday.

The Ekurhuleni side managed to win three matches in the foursomes to take a 3-1 lead into the afternoon singles. Although Gauteng North’s Keegan de Lange, Matthew Bright, Jason Smith, Werner van Niekerk and Teagan Gauche added five points to their total, the Ekurhuleni team claimed the remainder of the singles to square the match 6-all.

Gauteng North still leads the log with seven points, but Western Province and Ekurhuleni are just two points adrift.

Both teams are on five points but Province edged into second on games points (25.5 to 25) after defeating Limpopo 9-3.

Gauteng North will take on Limpopo in the final round, while Western Province will face the defending champions Central Gauteng and Ekurhuleni will tackle Southern Cape.

While Gauteng North look a shoe-in to take A-Division glory, all eyes will be on the battle for promotion in the B-Division between log leaders North West and second-placed KwaZulu-Natal.

Destined to meet in Friday’s final round, one thing is certain: one team will celebrate promotion, the other will have to nurse their wounds.

It is bound to be an epic battle that will go down to the wire.

Both sides have seven points, but North West has just the slightest edge - half a game point for the lead on 30.5 games to 30.

Having taken pole with one game point over KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday, the North West Province held on to the tenacious lead when they defeated Boland 7.5 – 4.5, but the gritty coastal side scored  a decisive 8-4 result against hosts Mpumalanga to finish within striking distance.

In the remaining B-Division match, the Eastern Province won their first game when they beat Free State & Northern Cape 8.5 – 3.5.

A SECTION LOG

(Position, Union , Played, Win, Draw, Lose, Points, Games)

1 Gauteng North (4, 3, 1, 0, 7,28.5)

2 Western Province (4, 2, 1, 1, 5,25.5)

3 Ekurhuleni (4, 1, 3, 0, 5,25.0)

4 Limpopo (4, 1, 2, 1, 4,21.5)

5 Central Gauteng (4, 1, 0, 3, 2,23.5)

6 Southern Cape (4, 0, 1, 3, 1,20.0)

B SECTION LOG

(Position, Union , Played, Win, Draw, Lose, Points, Games)

1 North West (4, 3, 1, 0, 7,30.5)

2 KwaZulu-Natal (4, 3, 1, 0, 7,30.0)

3 Mpumalanga (4, 2, 0, 2, 4,25.0)

4 Eastern Province (4, 1, 1, 2, 3,25.0)

5 Boland (4, 1, 1, 2, 3,21.5)

6 Free State & Northern Cape (4, 0, 0, 4, 0,12.0)

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