Pretoria - Western Province won the final of the South
African men’s interprovincial hockey tournament (IPT), beating Southern Gauteng
3-1 in the final at Tuks Astro on Saturday.
The difference was essentially the brilliant finishing of WP
striker Lloyd Norris-Jones, who stunned the big hockey crowd with three
breath-taking first-half goals.
Norris-Jones opened the scoring in the sixth minute off a
penalty corner variation.
In the 15th minute the fleet-footed marksman took advantage
of a counter-attack after concerted Southerns pressure to make it 2-0 with a
Southerns then had six chances to WP’s three during the
remainder of the second quarter but once again it was Norris-Jones who
delivered a lesson in lethal finishing on the cusp of half-time (30th minute)
for a memorable hat-trick.
Southerns ‘keeper Rassie Pieterse made two top saves soon
after half-time to match WP shot-stopper Jacques le Roux’s outstanding work in
the first half.
Southerns then had a purple patch for the rest of the third
quarter but couldn’t breach the WP defence.
The goal finally came for Southerns in the 50th minute, with
10 minutes left, after the pacey Julian Hykes earned a penalty corner. Lance
Louw delivered the corner injection, Gonsalves effected the trap at the top of
the strike zone and Miguel da Graca sent the ball soaring into the net.
Southerns got in two direct shots in the last 10 minutes,
while Pieterse made a fine save from Pierre de Voux but Southerns’ dominance in
the dying minutes could not be converted into the goals they so desperately
(11th/12th) KZN Mynahs 4 North West 2; (9th/10) Free State 4
KZN Inland 2; (7th/8th) SG Wits 6 WP Peninsula 2; (5th/6th) KZN Raiders 3 EP 2;
(3rd/4th) Northern Blues 2 SA U21 0; (Final) WP 3 Southern Gauteng 1.