Defending champs off to solid start in Durban

Gauteng North got their South African U23 Inter-Provincial title defence off in spectacular fashion with a comprehensive first round victory at Royal Durban Country Club on Monday.

The defending champions mowed down North West Province 9.5 – 2.5 to get their foot in the door, and edged out Ekurhuleni for the top spot on the log with a single game point.

After 4-0 whitewash in the morning foursomes, the Gauteng North team raised their tally with five singles victories from Marco Loubser, Christoff Els, Andrew van der Knaap, Rosswell Sinclair, James du Preez and a half point from Adriel Poonan.

Ekurhuleni handed Limpopo an 8.5 – 3.5 drubbing to secure second place on the log and finish ahead of the Western Province and Central Gauteng, who squared at 6-all.

Meanwhile Limpopo, courtesy of their 3.5 points, pushed last year’s B-Section champions in to sixth on game points.

KwaZulu-Natal got an early start in the promotion battle with an 8.5 – 3.5 victory over Eastern Province, but the coastal side hold a slender lead on games points over Boland and Free State.

Boland defeated Mpumalanga 8 – 4, while Free State was victorious against Southern Cape, beating the Garden Route team 7.5 – 4.5.

Eastern Province did well to tie the home team 2-all in the foursomes, but their attack fell apart in the singles as Keagan Thomas, Nishalin Nelson, Gregory McKay, Matt Saulez, Malcolm Mitchell and Leorin Pillay rallied for KwaZulu-Natal.

EP number one Sieg Human halved his game against Clayton Mansfield, while Chad Evans beat Ruben Coetzer lost to 2-up.

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