KZN seals promotion at SA Country Districts

KwaZulu-Natal completed their undefeated march to promotion in the 2016 South African Country Districts Tournament at Nelspruit Golf Club on Friday.

KwaZulu-Natal also came into the final round undefeated, but unlike North West, the coastal side took their winning run all the way to the finish line to claim a four point victory on 10 points.

KZN mowed down Eastern Province 10.5 – 1.5 to lay a solid foundation in the first round, and kept up the pressure to defeat Limpopo 9.5 – 3.5 in round two. Southern Cape was next to join the casualty list and went down 3 – 9, and KZN protected their spot at the top of the log with an 8 – 4 result against Northern Cape in round four.

In the final round, Border won two games in the Foursomes, but the 2014 champions were no match for KZN in the Singles.

Number one Louis Albertse took the first scalp when he defeated Patrick Ludick 4 & 2. Sean Baker downed Fellow Ngantweni 3 & 1, Ryno Crous won 2 & 1 against Charl Stotter and Corne van Deventer took care of Jarred Scharneck to secure a 6 – 2 lead for KwaZulu-Natal.

Ian Thomas briefly stemmed the bleeding for Border when he downed Johan Pienaar 4 & 2, but Jens Hillerman, Derek Scullard and Combrinck Smit put the seal on the team’s victory when they squared the last three games.

Van Deventer finished second in the Most Valuable Players List behind frontrunner Lukas Steyn from Southern Cape. Albertse took third, Smit and Baker tied for fourth, and Hillerman shared sixth.

“This was a massive team effort and every guy on the team can take pride in this victory,” said KZN manager Wynand de Swardt.

“More than half our team finished in the top 10 on the Most Valuable Player’s List and that says everything about these guys’ commitment to the team. After two failed attempts, we got the job done this year. We are back in the A-Section and next year the guys are coming to play in our back yard. They better know that we will be ready for them.”

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Kwazulu-Natal (5, 5, 0, 0, 10, 44.5)
2 Border (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 30.0)
3 Northern Cape (5, 1, 3, 1, 5, 31.0)
4 Southern Cape (5, 2, 1, 2, 5, 29.5)
5 Limpopo (5, 0, 2, 3, 2, 23.5)
6 Eastern Province (5, 0, 2, 3, 2, 21.5)

PHOTO: 2016 SA Country Districts B-Section champions KwaZulu-Natal; credit SAGA.
Back, left to right – Jens Hillermann, Ryno Crous, Combrinck Smit, Wynand de Swardt (manager), Louis Albertse
Front, left to right – Sean Baker, Johan Pienaar, Derek Scullard, Corne van Deventer (captain)

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