South African Interprovincials : Double for SACD
Previously known as the Jarvis/Kaplan Cup, South Africa’s Inter Provincial Team Championship takes place this year in Durban with, as usual, many international stars joining the local players in their quest for the titles.
Day Five : SACD take both titles
Lobbans lead SACD to double triumph
Husband and wife combination Greg and Donna Lobban, ranked 30 and 65 in the world, spearheaded the powerful SACD teams to a double victory in the 2019 GrowthPoint Squash Championships played in Durban this past week.
In July 2017 in Pretoria , the SACD men notched their first victory in the Jarvis Cup which started 60 years ago, only to see Central Gauteng return victorious in 2018 in Johannesburg. For the SACD women’s team it is the first time in the 60 year old history of the Kaplan Cup that they engrave their name on the trophy while Central Gauteng has been victorious 7 times in the last decade.
Both finals went down to the wire with fortunes oscillating throughout the final round of matches.
In the women’s final, Lizelle Muller, a member of the 2018 National Women’s team, clinched the first points for SACD when she outplayed Lume Landman, presently coaching in the USA. in 4 games 11-9 11-3 2-11 12-10. Gautenger, Adel Sammons also coaching in the USA, levelled matters when she defeated Cara Fourie in straight games. In the number 1 slot on paper Donna Lobban (SACD) should have defeated Elani Landman , but spirited determination saw Landman , ranked 235, turn in a sparkling display winning 9-11 12-10 11-9 11-9 to give Central Gauteng a narrow 2-1 lead.
Then followed a battle royale between Jenny Preece, a student at UJ and Danell Douglas, studying at Potchefstroom University. Preece took a 11-9 12-10 lead before Douglas started turning the tables running away with the third game 11-7. In a tightly contested 4th game Preece held match points before Douglas edged through 13-11 to level the score at two games all. Points seesawed in the decider but it was Douglas, who again took the game 13-11 to level the final match score.
Universities champions Alexa Pienaar , also a UJ student, defeated Cheyna Wood in straight games to give SACD a well deserved victory.
Playing on the adjacent court the SACD/Central Gauteng men’s team were engaged in an equally fascinating tussle.
SACD’s JP Brits, ranked 1 in South Africa and 2019 S A Nationals winner, won the first two games 11-6 11-6 against USA’s Trinity College student, Thoboki Mohohlo. Naturally talented, Mohohlo who represented South Africa at the 2017 World Championships, unleashed a number of accurate drives and pinpoint placings to capture the next two games 11-9 11-9 but a super fit Brits regained control to win the fifth game 11-3 and give SACD valuable points.
The next encounter saw Dylan Groenewald level matters when he notched a reasonably comfortable straight game win over Rudi van Niekerk. The clash between the number 1’s – Greg Lobban, ranked 30 in the world and Gauteng’s Fares Dessouky. ranked 15 provided some entertaining squash with Dessouky demonstrating his superior racket skills . After losing the first game 9-11, Dessouky turned up the pressure taking the next 3 games 11-2 11-7 11-9 to give central Gauteng the lead, but this proved temporary.
SACD’s Dewald van Niekerk evened matters for SACD when he defeated Makho Ntuli, a product of the Egoli Squash Programme in 4 games leaving the match between Christo Potgieter (SACD) and Devon Hendrikse to provide the Jarvis Cup victor . Potgieter, a bronze medallist with Brits in the recent World Doubles in Australia, lost the first game 8-11, but gaining in confidence and fairly confident of victory, raced through the next 3 games 11-8 11-5 11-1 giving SACD the title.
In the respective men’s and women’s B Sections KwaZulu Natal and Central Gauteng were winners and will be promoted in 2020 to the A sections.
Day FOUR : Down to the final round
SACD A and bizHub Central Gauteng will clash in the final of the Growthpoint Interprovincial Squash Championships on Friday afternoon at the Westville Country Club, following their respective victories against Northerns A and Western Province A.
SACD’s Christo Potgieter and Rudi van Niekerk drew first blood when they defeated Adam Shean and Jacques Duminy in 4 games, respectively. For Western Province, Miguel Lombard registered a well earned 3-1 win against Dewald van Niekerk before SA National champion, JP Brits sealed SACD’s win with an emphatic 11-3 11-4 11-5 victory against Gary Wheadon. Greg Lobban, ranked 30 in the world dropped a game against Western Province’s Rodney Durbach to finalise the 18-6 scoreline.
In the bizHub Central Gauteng /Northerns clash captain, Devon Hendrikse , Dylan Groenewald and Makho Ntuli put the Central Gautengers 9-0 ahead beating Kyle Maree, Andrew Martin and Nell van der Merwe . A student at Trinity College Thoboki Mohohlo added another 3 points to the score accounting for Gary Naidoo in straight games. It was left to Egyptian Fares Dessouki ,ranked 15 in the world, to add the final nail to Northerns ‘ coffin when in an entertaining clash with both players displaying their exceptional racket skills, he beat fellow Countryman Mazen Hesham in 4 games.
The other A section clash saw Midlands A defeat the SACD B team 19-5.
In the Kaplan Cup – the women’s A section – SACD and Bizhub Central Gauteng showed no latitude toward their opponents, Northerns and Eastern Province cantering through 20-1 and 20-2 respectively.
In the SACD/Northerns clash Donna Lobban ranked 65 in the world, took the first game 11-6 against Milnay Louw, ranked 82 . Louw edged through the second game 11-9, but Lobban once again gained control taking the next 2 games 11-4 11-7. Lizelle Muller, finalist in the 2019 GrowthPoint S A Nationals, dropped only 4 points against Helena Coetzee while Universities champion, Alexa Pienaar also had an easy straight games win against Tukkies student Kimberley McDonald. SACD’s Cara Fourie and Danelle Douglas added to the whitewash accounting for Nthando Ntimane aand Amy Farrell respectively.
In the final SACD will again clash with bizHub Central Gauteng A who also registered an easy win against Eastern Province A. Only Haylay ward playing at 1 and Janet Byrnes at 4 pushed their respective opponents, Elani Landman and Adel Sammons, both presently coaching in the USA, to 4 games.