EP, North West pursue KZN in SA IPT promotion battle

The battle for promotion at the 56th South African Inter- Provincial will come down to a scrimmage between log leaders KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Province and North West on Friday.

Unbeaten KwaZulu-Natal top the standings with 10 points after going unbeaten this week, while Eastern Province moved into second on eight points in Wednesday’s third round. While both teams enjoyed a fourth round bye, a feisty North West team thumped Limpopo 9 – 3 at the Fish River Sun Country Club to join the scuffle at the top.

North West will challenge Free State, while KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Province face off in the final round.

North West and Limpopo halved the foursomes, but North West took command of the singles after Zabastian de Jager whipped Franco Putter 4 & 3.

Aubrey Beckley followed suit, beating Cameron Nesmith 4 & 3, and the beating continued with Riaan Swart, who defeated Peter Masehela 3 & 2, and Theunie Bezuidenhout, who downed Ricardo Loock 3 & 2.

Barend Gerber briefly hit back for Limpopo and ended Albert Britz’s winning run in this year’s championship with a 3 & 2 win, but the writing was on the wall and Christo Peens, Slade Pickering and Danie van Niekerk wrapped up their games for the last three points.

Border lost 4 – 8 to Mpumalanga, but the side whipped Free State 8 – 4 to the delight of the home crowds. Free State got their revenge, though, when they downed Mpumalanga 8 – 4.

Border halved the foursomes with Mpumalanga, but led Free State 3 – 1.

The local favourites lost the first three matches in the singles, but Lwazi Gqira stemmed the bleeding when he defeated Andrè van Zyl 2 & 1, and Steven Pope, Sean Coetzee, Ben Jonas and Niel du Preez reeled in the rest of their points.

Gqira and du Preez scored double victories when they also beat their Mpumalanga peers, but the rest of the matches went the way of Mpumalanga, with Ru-Jean Lessingh, Stephen Morrison, Kevin Smith, Andre van Heerden, Quintin Wilsnach and Peetie van der Merwe coming up trumps.

Meanwhile Free State opened up a 3 – 1 lead in their foursomes against Mpumalanga.

Therion Nel kept Free State on attack with a 4 & 3 win and Heinrich Erasmus and Juran Dreyer both won 3 & 2 to keep the ball rolling.

Lessingh beat Ivan van der Merwe 2 & 1 and Quintin Wilsnach beat Richard Maree 3 & 2 to claw two points back for Mpumalanga, but halves from Attie van Wyk and Wilco Nienaber and a win from Andrè van Zyl claimed the victory for Free State.

Mpumalanga 4 vs Free State 8
Free State 4.0 vs Border 8.0
Mpumalanga 8 vs Border 4
North West 9 vs Limpopo 3


(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)

1 KwaZulu-Natal (5, 5, 0, 0, 10, 46.5)

2 Eastern Province (5, 4, 0, 1, 8, 39.5)

3 North West (5, 4, 0, 1, 8, 38)

4 Border (6, 2, 0, 4, 4, 33)

5 Free State (5, 2, 0, 3, 4, 27.5)

6 Mpumalanga (5, 1, 0, 4, 2, 20)

7 Limpopo (5, 0, 0, 5, 0, 11.5)

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