THE Eastern Province mid-amateur team are facing a fight for survival in the top flight of the SA Mid-Amateur inter-provincial at Schoeman Park, Bloemfontein, this week.
EP gained the right to compete in this week's A Section by winning the B Section at Humewood in last year's event. But without local knowledge and conditions to give them the edge, the EP side has struggled in Bloemfontein and have yet to win a match in two starts.
They were outplayed by defending A Section champions KwaZulu-Natal to the tune of 9-3 on Monday and then crashed to a 10-2 drubbing against Central Gauteng on Tuesday.
Eastern Province play Boland today and the result of that match looks likely to determine which of the teams avoids relegation.
Meanwhile, Ekurhuleni, along with Central Gauteng, also continued their winning run while Western Province got a lucky weather break to secure their first win on Tuesday
Western Province took a healthy 3-1 lead over KwaZulu-Natal into the singles, but the defending champions fought back to close the gap before play was suspended due to inclement weather.
Province manager Eric Lefson said: "We are all squared, and if the siren had sounded 10 minutes earlier, we could even have lost by one but Jerry Coetzee missed a three-foot putt at the 16th that let us back into the match."
"That gap gave our guys the momentum to finish the match 7-5 in our favour," Lefson said.
Ekurhuleni, the champions in 2010, were 2½-1½ down after the foursomes, but clawed back to take control in the singles against Boland. They led in six games when play was suspended
"The Boland players came at us guns blazing when play resumed and the momentum swung their way again," manager Martin Saaiman said. "Our guys scrambled exceptionally well to give us a 6½-5½ win."
Tuesday's results were:
Ekurhuleni bt Boland 6½-5½; WP bt KwaZulu-Natal 7-5; Central Gauteng bt EP 10-2
Mpumalanga bt Gauteng North 6½-5½; North West bt Mpumalanga 8-4; Gauteng North beat North West 7-5; Free State & Northern Cape beat Limpopo 9-3
Standings after two rounds
A section: 1. Central Gauteng (4 points; 17 games); 2. Ekurhuleni (4 points; 15.5 games); 3. KwaZulu-Natal (2 points; 14 games); 4. Western Province (2 points; 10 games); 5. Boland (0 points; 10.5 games) 6. Eastern Province (0 points; 5 games)
B section: 1. Free State & Northern Cape (5 points; 23 games); 2. Mpumalanga (4 points; 22.5 games); 3. Border (3 points; 12.5 games); 4. Gauteng North (2 points; 12 games); 5. Limpopo (2 points; 14 games); 6. Southern Cape (2 points; 13 games); 6. North West (2 points; 13 games)