GN juniors thrash Limpopo to save SA Jnr IPT

2014GautengNorthJIPT_CropGauteng North had their backs against the wall after four successive losses in this year’s South African Under-19 Inter-Provincial, but the young guns put everything on the line in their final match at Krugersdorp Golf Club to protect their A-Division status for the 2015 edition at Worcester Golf Club.

The team went down 9.5 – 2.5 to Ekurhuleni in round one, lost 7.5 – 4.5 to Central Gauteng in round two, was beaten 7.5 – 4.5 by Southern Cape in the third round and survived an 8.5 – 3.5 drubbing from Western Province in round four.

However, when Andre Louw needed it the most, each one of his charges stood up to be counted.

“We knew a loss to Limpopo in the final round would mean relegation,” Louw said. “The guys were pretty beat up after four losses, but I asked them to dig deep one more time and give the final round everything they had left.”

And the team responded by whipping Limpopo 11 – 1 on Friday.

Kifenste Nukeri, a last minute call-up, stepped up to partner Nicholaus Frade to a 6 & 4 victory against Robert Fatana and Franco Putter in the first Foursomes game.

Cliffie Thompson and JP Cooper combined to sweep Gerhard Pepler and James Vorster 6 & 4, while Estiaan Conradie and Stefan Wears Taylor picked up the third point with a 4 & 3 victory against Franco van Zyl and Jaco Linde.

In a titanic tussle that nearly ran the full 18 holes, Albert Venter and Rosswell Sinclair went down 2 & 1 to Limpopo’s one and two, Cameron Nesmith and AJ Smit, but the pair had their revenge in the Singles.

Venter defeated Nesmith 2-up, while Sinclair took down Pepler 5 & 4.

Meanwhile Cooper triumphed 5 & 4 against Van Zyl and Conradie, playing at two, handed Smit a drubbing by the same margin.

Nukeri gave Fatana a 4 & 2 hiding, Frade downed James Vorster 4 & 3, Thompson beat Putter 2 & 1 and Wears-Taylor ensured the clean sweep when he defeated Linde 3 & 2.

Gauteng North’s runaway victory secured two crucial points for the team and left Limpopo holding wooden spoon.

“Some people might say too little, too late and they could be right, but I am incredibly proud of the way the guys rallied when the stakes were heavily stacked against us,” Louw said.

“We didn’t have a lot of experience on the team and the youngsters were very nervous to start with. Their confidence slowly built over the course of four rounds and when they needed to, every member of the team played to their potential.

“This is a great young team to build on in the future, because they showed incredible tenacity and commitment beyond their years throughout the tournament, and especially in the final round.”

PHOTO – Gauteng North team; credit Catherine Kotze / SASPA
Front, fltr: Nicholas Frade, Ross Sinclair, Andre Louw (manager), Stefan Wears-Taylor, Albert Venter
Back, fltr: Kifentse Nukeri, Estiaan Conradie, Clifford Thompson, JP Cooper