WITH a brand new title sponsor, Tuffy Western Province punched holes in the North West defence to open their campaign with a 5-1 win after leading 2-1 at half time in the A section of the BDO men's interprovincial hockey tournament at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town yesterday .
WP withstood an early setback when North West's Essex Mbekeni got on the scoresheet in the 15th minute.
Captain and double Olympian Andrew Cronje drew WP level in the 21st minute with a penalty corner drag-flick that cannoned into the backboard, and Lloyd Norris-Jones gave the home side a 2-1 lead on half time with a brilliant solo effort that left three defenders in his wake.
Cronje stretched his side's advantage with another set-piece strike six minutes after the break before national strikers Craig Haley and Norris-Jones added to the 5-1 score.
Defending champions Southern Gauteng's 5-0 win against Fain Eastern Province was built on a 2-0 half-time lead.
Two goals within three minutes of each other by Clint Panther (open play) and Dean Symons (from a penalty corner) midway through the first half were followed by a Julian Hykes effort from the penalty spot three minutes after the changeover, then an own goal, and finally a Hykes strike from field play three minutes from the end.
The KZN Raiders beat KZN Mynah 11-1 after coach Ryan Hack's side had led 5-0 at half time.
The special dispensation team, South Africa U21, who are due to play in the Junior World Cup in Delhi in December, enjoyed a solid 5-0 win over Witwatersrand.
Coach Fabian Gregory's KZN Inland side were made to work hard for a 4-1 win over a determined Free State line-up coached by Atlanta 1996 Olympian Allistar Fredericks.
Western Province Peninsula led Northern Blues 1-0 before Pretoria levelled four minutes from half time. Goals were traded and Blues nailed the winner with six minutes left.