Central Gauteng may still be in command, but the dynamics of the South African Interprovincial Tournament changed dramatically after Gauteng North and Western Province staged spirited comebacks in the second round at Port Elizabeth Golf Club on Tuesday.
Down 3-1 after the morning foursomes, the Blue Bulls refused to back down to Boland and piled on the pressure in the afternoon singles.
Aubrey Barnard set the tone for Gauteng North when the new cap took the first scalp. Philip Kruse and Zander Lombard both went down 54, but the rest of the side stuck in to deliver four more victories before Hendre Cilliers picked up their last point for a 7-5 result in their favour.
“We needed all the boys to be at their best this afternoon, because a five and a half point result was a huge ask,” said Gauteng North president, Jerry Few.
“They really went to town. To win six games as we did today, just proves that we deserve to be here.”
After their 6-all draw with Gauteng North on Monday, the Western Province took full advantage of the gusting south-westerly wind to get back into the tournament.
The 2010 champions added to a 3-1 foursomes lead with six singles wins to hammer Limpopo 9-3.
“After a disappointing result on Monday, we needed to get our campaign back on track,” said captain Werner Theart. “From this moment forward, every day is D-Day, so winning today and doing it well was important for our focus and confidence. Now we need to keep that momentum going.”
Meanwhile Central Gauteng strengthened their grip on their title defence with a solid showing against KwaZulu-Natal.
The defending champions took a 3-1 foursomes cushion into the singles and shut out the 2009 champions with five and a halve points for an 8½ – 3½ result.
“But it was actually a lot tighter than it looks on paper,” cautioned team manager Jock Wellington.
“At one stage we were guaranteed two big wins and two big losses. The rest of the games could have gone either way; it was very tight towards the end and KZN put up a hell of a fight ”
Michael Dixon was the first casualty, going down 75 to KZN’s Darren Gerhard, new cap Sipho Bujela stepped up again to beat James Elton 31 and Otto van Greunen and KZN new cap Leorin Pillay squared their match.
After a shaky first round, Callum Mowat turned in an inspired performance to beat Ryan Birnie 54, Louis Taylor handed KZN skipper Gavin Sole a 65 drumming and Musi Nethunzwi beat Chris van der Merwe 31.
The coastal side managed to win their third point when Gideon Pienaar downed Jaco Mouton 21, but Haydn Porteous stitched up Central’s eighth point with a 32 result over James Searson.
“We came here to do a job,” said Wellington. “We are very serious about defending out title and the boys will put everything on the line to win it again. But we still have a steep hill to climb.”
After two days and four matches, it is going to take mammoth effort to derail Southern Cape’s bid for promotion in the B-Section.
After back-to-back wins on Monday, henchman Staffie Barnard and Jovan Rebula both won 76 to set the side on course for a 10-2 white wash over Border, while their one Shaun Smith downed Gareth Patler 53 to drive home a comprehensive 8-4 result against North West Province.
Local favourites Eastern Province kept their bid for promotion alive when they dominated the singles to beat Ekurhuleni 6½ – 5½, but it was the third time the home side failed to show up in the foursomes.
Team manager Richard Hargreaves has ordered some changes to the foursomes line-up and combinations for Thursday.
“We just can’t win off the back-foot; we need to get our noses in front in our remaining matches and that means winning the foursomes,” said Hargreaves. “That means changing the order and the combinations for our next matches and giving ourselves a fighting chance.”
Boland 5.0 vs Gauteng North 7.0
(Boland players are listed first in each match)
Hess / Ochse beat Oosthuizen / Kruse 4 3;
Oosthuizen / Spies beat Barnard / Lombard 3 2;
Scholtz / Bruyns beat Du Preez / Goosen 2 1;
Rooi / Mahoney lost to Kunneke / Celliers 2 1;
Anton Oosthuizen lost to Aubrey Barnard 1Down;
Jacquin Hess beat Philip Kruse 5 4;
Karl Ochse lost to James Du Preez 1Down;
Philip Spies lost to Kenny Goosen 5 4;
Cedric Rooi lost to Pedrie Oosthuizen 4 3;
Armandt Scholtz lost to Conway Kunneke 5 4;
Drikus Bruyns beat Zander Lombard 5 4;
Mark Mahoney lost to Hendre Celliers 2Down;
Limpopo 3.0 vs Western Province 9.0
(Limpopo players are listed first in each match)
Hughes / Du Plessis beat Erasmus / Theart 3 1;
De Beer / Myburgh lost to Raubenheimer / Loppnow 4 3;
Du Plessis / Bronkhorst lost to Turner / Ehlers 5 4;
Kruyswijk / Diedericks lost to Roux / Strydom 3 2;
Hilton Hughes beat Delin Erasmus 4 3;
Hennie Du Plessis lost to Werner Theart 5 3;
Nico Myburgh lost to Dylan Raubenheimer 5 4;
Paul De Beer beat Michael Loppnow 4 3;
Jannie Bronkhorst lost to Le Riche Ehlers 6 5;
Tiaan Diedericks lost to Gerlou Roux 3 2;
C.J Du Plessis lost to Jean-Paul Strydom 5 3;
Jacques Kruyswijk lost to Justin Turner 3 1;
KwaZulu-Natal 3.5 vs Central Gauteng 8.5
(KwaZulu-Natal players are listed first in each match)
Gerrard / Van der Merwe beat Dixon / Mowat 3 2;
Birnie / James lost to Nethunzwi / Bujela 1Down;
Pillay / Sole lost to Mouton / van Greunen 4 3;
Pienaar / Searson lost to Porteous / Taylor 4 3;
Darren Gerrard beat Michael Dixon 7 5;
Elton James lost to Sipho Bujela 3 1;
Leorin Pillay halved with Otto van Greunen;
Ryan Birnie lost to Callum Mowat 5 4;
Gavin Sole lost to Louis Taylor 6 5;
Christiaan Van der Merwe lost to Musiwalo Nethunzwi 3 1;
Gideon Pienaar beat Jaco Mouton 2 1;
James Searson lost to Haydn Porteous 3 2;
Eastern Province 6.5 vs Ekurhuleni 5.5
(Eastern Province players are listed first in each match)
Taverner / Adam lost to Mackie / Froneman 2Down;
Zingela / Kana halved with du Preez / Callaghan;
Human / Ferreira lost to Arnoldi / Cronje 3 2;
van Staden / Claassen beat Kukard / Myburgh 5 4;
Andile Adam lost to Rae Mackie 5 4;
Mzuyanda Zingela beat Jason Froneman 4 3;
Ray Taverner beat Ross Callaghan 4 3;
Fezekile Kana beat Rowan du Preez 2 1;
Ryno Ferreira lost to Stephan Cronje 1Down;
Siegmund Human beat Waylon Kukard 3 1;
Naldo Claassen lost to N J Arnoldi 4 3;
Andre van Staden beat Gert Myburgh 4 3;
Southern Cape 8.0 vs North West Province 4.0
(Southern Cape players are listed first in each match)
Rebula / Sutherland beat Beckley / Bates 2Up;
Barnard / Cloete lost to Viviers / Potgieter 4 3;
Mitchell / Smith halved with Van Der Berg / Botha;
Light / Meyer beat Petler / Campher 2 1;
Matthew Sutherland lost to Ettiene Bates 3 2;
Stafie Barnard halved with Aubrey Beckley;
Jovan Rebula beat Pierre Viviers 2 1;
Jacques Cloete beat Wynand Potgieter 1Up;
Nicholas Mitchell lost to Eduard Van Der Berg 4 3;
Andrew Light beat Martin Botha 3 1;
Breyten Meyer beat SP Campher 2 1;
Shaun Smith beat Gareth Petler 5 3;
North West Province 10.5 vs Border 1.5
(North West Province players are listed first in each match)
Beckley / Bates halved with Nel / Gordon-Grant;
Viviers / Potgieter beat Stander / Gobey 8 7;
Van Der Berg / Botha beat Nel / Buitendag 4 2;
Petler / Campher beat Meister / Ngantweni 4 3;
Ettiene Bates beat Andre Nel 3 2;
Aubrey Beckley beat Conrad Gordon-Grant 4 2;
Pierre Viviers beat Roy Gobey 5 4;
Wynand Potgieter beat Alec Stander 4 3;
Eduard Van Der Berg beat Jade Buitendag 2 1;
Martin Botha lost to Pieter Nel 2 1;
SP Campher beat Justin Meister 3 2;
Gareth Petler beat Fellow Ngantweni 2 1;
Southern Cape 10.0 vs Border 2.0
(Southern Cape players are listed first in each match)
Rebula / Sutherland beat Nel / Gordon-Grant 2Up;
Barnard / Cloete beat Stander / Gobey 7 6;
Mitchell / Smith beat Nel / Buitendag 5 4;
Light / Meyer beat Meister / Ngantweni 6 5;
Matthew Sutherland lost to Andre Nel 2 1;
Stafie Barnard beat Conrad Gordon-Grant 7 6;
Jovan Rebula beat Roy Gobey 7 6;
Jacques Cloete beat Alec Stander 4 3;
Nicholas Mitchell lost to Jade Buitendag 4 3;
Andrew Light beat Pieter Nel 4 3;
Breyten Meyer beat Justin Meister 2 1;
Shaun Smith beat Fellow Ngantweni 5 4;