Coastal sides edge ahead at SA Mid-Amateur IPT
KwaZulu-Natal scored a massive scalp when they thumped defending champions Central Gauteng 8.5 – 3.5 while the Eastern Province strengthened their case in the B-Section battle for promotion, despite a mixed performance in the second of the South African Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial at Durban Country Club on Tuesday.
KwaZulu-Natal won two games and halved another in the foursomes to take a 2.5 – 1.5 lead into the singles. Skipper Murray Gilson welcomed the lead, saying it gave them a welcome mental cushion, considering the blustery conditions at the course in the afternoon.
“The wind was blowing hard from the North, which made the first five holes incredibly tough,” he said.
“We were hitting 2-iron and 6-iron into the first and 4-iron into the second, so that gives you an idea of the conditions. Any time you have a foursomes lead, you take a small psychological advantage into the singles and it definitely paid off for us.”
Brendan Adlam, Keith Forde, Sean Fenger, Elton James, Bradley Davidson and the captain produced the goods for the home favourites, while Stephen Johnston and Steve Williams were the only Central players to convert for points.
“Up until the turn all the matches were pretty even, but our guys really pulled through on the home stretch,” Gilson said. “But make no mistake, Central can play, even in this kind of wind and we were made to work hard for this win.
“We celebrated for a short while, but the focus is now on our next match against North West. They were promoted last year, so they have something to prove and they will be smarting after their 8-4 loss to the Western Province. They are a really gritty bunch of competitors and we will have to bring it again to get past those boys.”
Province moved to second in the standings on four points, trailing KZN by just 1.5 game points, while Ekurhuleni is third on two points after bouncing back from their first round loss to the hosts with an 8-4 win over Boland.
Meanwhile the Eastern Province, bidding for promotion after their relegation 12 months ago, kept their heard earned first place log.
Although the side lost 6.5-5.5 to Southern Cape, they beat Mpumalanga by the same margin. The Garden Route side doubled up on victories, though, with a 7.5-4.5 result against Mpumalanga. Both teams have six points, but EP has a 5.5 edge in game points.
The log leaders would be wise, though, to keep an eye on Free State and Northern Cape, who threatens in third on five points after handing Limpopo a 10-2 thrashing.