Rivals set for epic showdown at SA Mid-Am IPT

Western Province are in a strong position to celebrate South African Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial glory on Friday after making the most of their penultimate match against Gauteng North, while Mpumalanga took back the prime spot in the promotion battle on day four at Rustenburg Golf Club.

Central Gauteng might rue their third round loss to Western Province when they line up against KwaZulu-Natal in an all-or-nothing clash in Friday’s final round.

The Cape side obliterated Gauteng North 10 – 2 to rocket to the top of the log with 10 points and 42 games points, pulling two points and 7.5 games points clear of the title rivals.

Western Province scored three points in the foursome with two halves and pair of victories, and continued to pound the Daisies in the Singles.

Brent Kirstein pummelled Craig Collins to win 6 & 5 and set the ball rolling for the 2013 champions.

Weyers Janse van Rensburg, Stefan Blommaert, Cameron Johnston, Elton James, Werner Theart and Gerlou Roux delivered the rest of the crushing blows, while Gerhard Scheepers denied the side a clean sweep in the singles when he knocked out Riaan Lewis 3 & 2.

That means the stage is set for a major showdown in the title fight between the long-time rivals on Friday when Western Province go up against Ekurhuleni and Central Gauteng face the defending champions.

Central Gauteng will have to back themselves to win the final match to get to 10 points, but only a convincing victory to boost their games point count will get the job done. Of course, if Ekurhuleni can do to Western Province what they did to Eastern Province on Thursday, Central Gauteng are in with a real shout.

Although the side went down 6.5 – 5.5 to North West, they pulled out all the stops to mow down Eastern Province 10.5 – 1.5 to get off the bottom rung. Its game over for Eastern Province, as last year’s B-Section winners has a final round bye, and Ekurhuleni lives to fight another day.

The final A-Section match will be between North West and Gauteng North, ranked third and fifth with six and four points respectively.

For a fourth successive day the lead in the promotion battle changed hands and first round leaders Mpumalanga are back at the top of the stack after felling Northern Cape 9 – 3 and mowing down Free State 8 – 4.

Free State trailed 2.5 – 1.5 and Northern Cape 3.5 – 0.5 after a superb opening set from Mpumalanga in the foursomes.

Neither team was able to regain the momentum in the singles nor stop the Mpumalanga Express as the side gathered 3.5 points from Free State and took 5.5 against Northern Cape to close out a pair of spectacular victories.

Mpumalanga leads Boland, who extended their winning run with a 9 – 3 result against Limpopo, by one point and 3.5 games points and sit two points clear of third-placed Free State, who drew 6-all against Northern Cape.

The chief point makes for Mpumalanga in the foursomes were Chris Zietsman and Edward Wilken, who won both their matches.

Zietsman went two-for-two in the singles and Wilken defeated Andries Kori from Northern Cape 4 & 3 to add another point to the team’s tally. RFJ Nel, Jan Combrink, Brian Naidoo, Eddie and Gary Daniel boosted the score line with victories, while Naidoo halved against Nico Reyneke from Free State.

Free State will face off against Limpopo, Southern Cape takes on Border and Mpumalanga goes into battle with Boland in the final scuffle for promotion.

Western Province 10.0 vs Gauteng North 2.0
North West 6.5 vs Ekurhuleni 5.5
Ekurhuleni 10.5 vs Eastern Province 1.5
North West 6.5 vs Eastern Province 5.5

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Western Province (5, 5, 0, 0, 10, 42)
2 Central Gauteng (5, 4, 0, 1, 8, 34.5)
3 North West (5, 3, 0, 2, 6, 30)
4 KwaZulu-Natal (5, 2, 0, 3, 4, 28.5)
5 Gauteng North (5, 2, 0, 3, 4, 28)
6 Ekurhuleni (5, 1, 0, 4, 2, 29.5)
7 Eastern Province (6, 1, 0, 5, 2, 23.5)

Free State 4 vs Mpumalanga 8
Mpumalanga 9 vs Northern Cape 3.0
Free State 6 vs Northern Cape 6
Boland 9 vs Limpopo 3

(Pos-Union-Played-Won-Drawn-Lost-Points-Matches won)
1 Mpumalanga (5, 5, 0, 0, 10, 44.5)
2 Boland (5, 4, 1, 0, 9, 40)
3 Free State (5, 2, 2, 1, 6, 29)
4 Southern Cape (5, 2, 0, 3, 4, 32)
5 Northern Cape (6, 1, 1, 4, 3, 32.5)
T6 Border (5, 1, 0, 4, 2, 19)
T6 Limpopo (5, 1, 0, 4, 2, 19)

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

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