Central gets defence underway at SA Mid-Amateur IPT
Defending champions Central Gauteng signalled their intentions with a first round A-Section victory, while Eastern Province threw down the gauntlet in the B-Section at Durban Country Club to top the log at the South African Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial on Monday.
Central got their title defence underway with a three and a half point lead over North West in the morning foursomes and held on in the singles to take the match 8-4.
KwaZulu-Natal kept pace, though, defeating Ekurhuleni by the same margin with a strong showing in the singles to join the 2012 champions Central atop of the A-Section log with two points and eight games points each.
The Western Province, gaining two points from defeating Boland 7-5, took third, lagging one games point behind.
Meanwhile the Eastern Province made a case for promotion with a spirited opening campaign against Limpopo and Border.
The newly relegated side made it look deceitfully easy as they claimed four points after handing Limpopo an 11-1 drubbing and taking Border 8.5 – 3.5.
Southern Cape and Free State and Northern Cape had the chance to join the pacesetters at the top of the log, but Southern Cape came up all square against the Free State side and Gauteng North and settled in third place on two points.
The Free State and Northern Cape side defeated Gauteng North, though, nipping into second on three points with their win and draw.
Mpumalanga, the final team competing the B-Section match, enjoyed a bye.
Defending champions Central Gauteng got a fast start from Neil Fusedale and Sean Quigely, who got the ball rolling in the foursomes with a 2&1 win over North West’s Gary Church and Nico Fenner.
Neil Homann and Stephen Johnston quickly added second point and Steve Williams and Norman Raad halved their match to put the defending champions in charge. Kevin Sharp partnered David Muller to a 6&5 win against Ettienne Bates and Douglas McCabe to give the team a three point cushion heading into the singles.
Johnston, Quigely, Sharp and Raad all collected victories, while Fusedale halved his game against Dawie Blaauw to put the full stop a strong opening effort from Central.
Ekurhuleni halved one foursomes match and won another, but they were no match for the coastal onslaught in the singles.
Kevin Monk and Craig Bell, playing at eight and seven, won the first two games for Ekurhuleni, but once Dave Brown got their first point on the board with a 3&2 win over Jan Delport, KwaZulu-Natal proved unbeatable.
Although the matches all went down the wire, Murray Gilson, Sean Fenger, Elton James and Bradley Davison clinched victories to put KZN in front, while Lyall McNeil claimed a halve in his match against Ekurhuleni’s Rowan du Preez.
Results – Day 1
Team Grid – Day 1