A FIRED up Border women's outfit celebrated a shock 4-0 victory over hosts Eastern Province at the SA Women's Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at the KC March Astro in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth, yesterday.
An unforgiving gale-force wind and driving rain fuelled earlier speculation that the battle of the Eastern Cape sides would have to be called off, but it was Border who enjoyed a shock 3-0 lead at half time before going on to secure a 4-0 victory.
However, the elements did enough to postpone the late-evening game, a B Section clash between SA Country Districts A and Eastern Province Settlers. It will be played at a later date.
A defensive lapse cost EP the first goal, while the second came off a penalty corner rebound and the third from a straight penalty corner shot.
The strikes, from captain Kirsten Pio in the 8th minute and Charnene Sampson and Luche Klaasen in the 10th and 24th minutes respectively, undid much of the memory of EP's brave 2-0 defeat to the star-studded defending champions Southern Gauteng the previous evening.
Five minutes into the second half, Border wasted a good chance to go four clear and then conjured up a brilliant move that saw Klaasen tip in a stunning goal for a scarcely believable 4-0 after 43 minutes.
EP had a couple of chances but it was a little too late. To be fair, though, EP had played with the extreme wind and rain clattering into their faces, making balance, ball control and speed almost impossible to achieve. The second half was Border's turn to face the music but a 3-0 winning margin would prove impossible for EP to overturn.
What were anticipated to be tight matches in two of the earlier A Section encounters turned out to be comfortable 4-1 victories for Western Province and Southern Gauteng over Northern Blues and North West respectively.
The one tight affair was the 1-0 win by Free State over KZN Coastal Raiders.
A Section: Free State 1 KZN Coastal Raiders 0; Western Province 4 Northern Blues 1; Southern Gauteng 4 North West 1; Eastern Province 0 Border 4.
B Section: KZN Inland 5 KZN Mynahs 0; Witwatersrand 8 Southern Cape 0; SA Country Districts B 4 Mpumalanga 4; SA Country Districts A v EP Settlers (postponed).
(KC March Astro unless stated)
A Section: Northern Blues v Free State (noon); Western Province v KZN Coastal Raiders (2pm); Southern Gauteng v Border (4pm); Eastern Province v North West (6pm).
B Section: KZN Inland v Mpumalanga (8am); Southern Cape v SA Country Districts A (10am); KZN Mynahs v SA Country Districts B (Westering High School, 2pm); Witwatersrand v EP Settlers (8pm).