Coach Grant Peacock’s side had to work hard for their back-to-back victories over KZN Coastal (4-0) and South Gauteng (3-1) at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf. Thursday’s final round of boys’ A Section matches – at Maritzburg College’s Pape’s Astro - see WP up against Amathole at 11am.
Even if second-placed Eastern Province beat fourth-placed South Gauteng in the 10am match and top dogs Western Province succumb to a stunning defeat at the hands of sixth-placed Amathole, which would leave EP and WP tie on 18 log points, the Capetonians have a far superior goal difference (of 16 going into the final day) than the Port Elizabeth lads in their favour.
Irrespective of Thursday’s results, EP are assured of the runners-up spot while KZN Coastal, Southern Gauteng and surprise packets North West are in a close race for third place. If KZN Coastal beat North West in the 9am match they will be certain of ending in third spot, with South Gauteng certain of fourth place and North West fifth.
In the bottom three, second-last Northerns have a chance to leapfrog Amathole for sixth position, provided they beat last-placed KZN Inland in the tournament’s closing boys' match, which starts at 12 noon. However, if KZN Inland beat Northerns, which they have to do to stave off relegation to the B Section of next year’s IPT, then Northerns will relegated.
This scenario make Thursday’s last match arguably the most important of the day in the boys’ A Section.
In the girls’ A Section, current log-leaders Southern Free State (15 log points), defending champions Western Province (14 points) and third-placed KZN Coastal (13 points) are set for a thrilling end to the tournament.
SFS take on WP at 11am on the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf. At 10am, KZN Coastal meet last-placed Amathole. Should KZN Coastal beat Amathole, as the formbook suggests, it will leave WP and Southern Free State knowing exactly what they have to do in their match, which follows directly thereafter.
At the bottom of the table, second-last KZN Inland will know what they have to do in the final match in the girls’ A Section, against Eastern Province. Should KZN Coastal beat Amathole, as expected, then KZN Inland will probably be safe from relegation and the East London-based girls will take the drop.
U13 IPT A SECTION FIXTURES (Thursday)
Boys – at Maritzburg College: North West vs KZN Coastal (9am); South Gauteng vs EP (10am); WP vs Amathole (11am); KZN Inland vs Northerns (12.00).
Girls - at AB Jackson: Northerns vs SG (9am); Amathole vs KZN Coastal (10am); WP vs Southern Free State (11am); EP vs KZN Inland (12.00).
U13 IPT A SECTION RESULTS (Wednesday)
Boys - at AB Jackson: WP 4 KZN Coastal 0; Northerns 1 EP 4; Amathole 0 SG 1; KZN Inland 0 North West 0; Northerns 1 Amathole 1; SG 1 WP 3; EP 4 NW 0; KZN Coastal 5 KZN Inland 0.
Girls - Maritzburg College: WP 1 SG 0; KZN Inland 0 KZN Coastal 2; Southern Free State 3 Amathole 0; EP 1 Northerns 0; Amathole 0 WP 1; KZN Inland 0 SFS 1; KZN Coastal 4 Northerns 1; SG 2 EP 1.
A SECTION LOGS
(all played six, goal difference, points)
Boys: 1 WP (gd27) 18pts; 2 EP (gd11) 15pts; 3 KZN Coastal (gd4) 10pts; 4 South Gauteng (gd0) 9pts; 5 North West (gd-10) 8pts; 6 Amathole (gd-4) 4pts; 7 Northerns (gd-11) 3pts; 8 KZN Inland (gd-17) 1pt.
Girls: 1 South Free State (gd8) 15pts; 2 WP (gd5) 14pts; 3 KZN Coastal (gd7) 13pts; 4 EP (gd1) 10pts; 5 Northerns (gd-4) 6pts; 6 South Gauteng (gd-5) 6pts; 7 KZN Inland (gd-5) 3pts; 8 Amathole (gd-7) 3pts.