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To close to call at SA IPT

23 Sep 2011

Central Gauteng captain Graham van der Merwe

Central Gauteng may have gained a slight edge over Gauteng North in this morning foursome’s but it is still all to play for at the South African Inter Provincial at Bloemfontein Golf Club.

Central rookies Damien Naicker and Muzi Nethunzwi combined for a 2&1 win over Pedrie Oosthuizen and Herman Minnie to put Central Gauteng ahead, but Michael Dixon and Callum Mowat threw away the chance to put the team two up when they messed up a great opportunity at the 18th and handed victory to Jacques van Tonder and Coenie Bester.

Seasoned IPT campaigners Ruan de Smidt and Danny Hammond squared off against Hendre Celliers and Zander Lombard, but IPT debutants Haydn Porteous and Graham van der Merwe put Central back on course with a 2&1 victory over their opposite numbers, Brandon Stone and Conway Kunneke.

With the countries top amateurs spread between Central Gauteng and Gauteng North, captain Graham van der Merwe expects a titanic battle for victory.

“Northerns have some of the top amateurs in their side and so do we, so it’s going to be a titanic battle out there this afternoon,” he said. “It’s really a match made in heaven.”

Gauteng North skipper Minnie said now is not the time to relax. “We know what we need to do this afternoon so it’s a question of every man on the team giving their all,” he said. “No-one plays to lose in this game, so we know we are in for a very tough battle.”

The rank outsiders, KwaZulu-Natal, also edged ahead with a 2½-1½ result over defending champions to keep their title hunt alive. “It’s just a slight, slight margin, but we are still alive,” said manager Ivan Curlewis.

In the final A-Section match, Boland thumped Southern Cape 3-1 to take a reassuring cushion into the singles as both teams fight for survival.

“Having seen what Southern Cape pulled off against Gauteng North on Thursday after losing three matches in a row, we won’t be complacent just because we have a 3-1 lead,” said Boland manager, Servaas de Kock.

Although Limpopo clinched the B-Section honours and promotion on Thursday, the Far North side intend to pull out all the stops against North West to finish their week in spectacular fashion.

Limpopo manager Johan Krugel said: “We are 2-all after the foursomes, but we still have eight chances to win our match and go out in the blaze of glory. That’s what the whole team wants, so we’ll give it everything we’ve got.”

Meanwhile Border, with a 2½-1½ lead, hopes to stop the bleeding with a positive outcome in their match against Ekurhuleni.

And hosts Free State and Northern Cape finally got their foursomes pairings working and pulled 3-1 clear of Eastern Province

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