Mpumalanga and North West make merry at SA Senior IPT

They stewed over their relegation for 12 months, but Mpumalanga are back in the A-Division after a mighty push in the battle for promotion at the 28th INDWE SA Senior Amateur Inter-Provincial, while North West edged out Free State to claim the Super Seniors title at Killarney Country Club on Friday.

A year after they took the wooden spoon in the prestigious national team event, former senior Francis Themane guided his charges to victory in the B-Section. The side beat Free State 7.5 – 4.5 in the final round to cap an undefeated campaign and Themane believes they are back where they belong.

“Last year was the first time Mpumalanga ever got relegated and it was a huge embarrassment for the team,” Themane said.

“Since we didn’t have enough players for a super senior team, I asked to manage the team. I was gutted after our demotion and it was a point of pride for me to get us back into the A-Division.

“You are only as strong as your team and these guys really batted for each other all the way. We knew we needed to make a statement in our first match out and we laid a solid foundation with our victory over Boland in the first round.”

After Mpumalanga mowed down Limpopo 9.5 – 2.5 and handed Northern Cape an 8.5 – 3.5 hiding, Themane pushed his team to take it to the max.

“Even though we virtually had the promotion sealed, the guys never took their foot off the gas,” he said. “We wanted to finish the week undefeated to prove to ourselves and everyone else that we belong in the A-Section and we did it. I am absolutely delighted for this team. Their fighting spirit and determination was unbelievable and they really deserve this promotion.”

Northern Cape had an outside chance to win the B-Division if Free State upset Mpumalanga and they brought everything they had to the round. The side defeated Boland 7.5 – 4.5 and thumped Limpopo 10 – 2, but had to settle for second in the standings on six points. Northern Cape finished two points ahead of Boland, who beat Limpopo 9.5 – 2.5 in their final round clash.

North West also sealed an unbeaten victory in the Super Senior section. They finished at the top of the pile with eight points after giving Northern Cape a 5 – 1 hiding and beating title rivals Free State 4.5 – 1.5 in the final round. Free State whipped Northern Cape 4.5 – 1.5 to take the runner-up spot in the log on six points.

Mpumalanga 7.5 vs Free State 4.5
Northern Cape 10 vs Limpopo 2
Northern Cape 7.5 vs Boland 4.5
Limpopo 2.5 vs Boland 9.5

(Position, Union, Played, Won, Draw, Loss, Points, Games Points)
1 Mpumalanga (4, 4, 0, 0, 8, 33)
2 Northern Cape (4, 3, 0, 1, 6, 29)
3 Boland (4, 2, 0, 2, 4, 25.5)
4 Free State (4, 1, 0, 3, 2, 20.5)
5 Limpopo (4, 0, 0, 4, 0, 12)

North West SS 5 vs Northern Cape SS 1
Free State SS 1.5 vs North West SS 4.5
Free State SS 4.5 vs Northern Cape SS 1.5
Limpopo SS 3 vs Eastern Province SS 3

(Pos, Union, P, W, D, L, Pts, Games)
1 North West SS (4, 4, 0, 0, 8, 20.5)
2 Free State SS (4, 3, 0, 1, 6, 15.5)
3 Eastern Province SS (4, 1, 1, 2, 3, 10.5)
4 Limpopo SS (4, 1, 1, 2, 3, 7.5)
5 Northern Cape SS (4, 0, 0, 4, 0, 6)

PHOTO – 2016 INDWE SA Senior Amateur Inter-Provincial B-Section Senior champions; credit Taryn Broeders CGGU.
(Back, fltr – Sarel van Heerden, Kobus Clarence, Gavin Light, Steve Smit, Andre Basson and Steve Cullen; front fltr – Brian Naidoo, team manager Francis Themane and Sakkie de Lange)

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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