2014 LASER JARVIS/KAPLAN INTER-PROVINCIAL
Another sunny day in Cape Town greeted the players, as they prepared themselves for more battles on the courts of WPCC, UCT and Kelvin Grove. The A sections moved to UCT, where, by and large, it was ‘business as usual’ for most favoured teams.
In the battle for the Kaplan Cup trophy, favourites and defending champions WP steam-rollered over KZN, winning all 5 matches 3-0. Only former pro Lauren Briggs managed some resistance against Line Hansen, whose crisp and decisive hitting simply proved too much for the Englishwoman. WP showed their strength in depth by bringing in Karen Schultz (for captain Karen Blom) at no. 5, who easily accounted for Collette Ferguson.
EP’s Jacqui Ryder set the hearts a-flutter with a decisive 3-0 win over former teammate, twin Elani Landman, now playing for Central Gauteng. However, none of her current teammates were able to capitalise on this great start, and Central Gauteng ran out easy 4-1 winners. Northerns A would have expected to beat SACD A, but they have been weakened by an injury to no. 2 Farah Sterne, who could be out of the tournament with a hamstring problem. Carin Pretorius, Mikaila Westmoreland and Alexa Pienaar secured victories for SACD after Sonica Fritz had won the first duel on court. Some drama unfolded when Lauren Siddall was forced to concede her match against Milnay Louw, “retired hurt”, albeit when she was 2-0 down.
In the Jarvis Cup competition, the three power-house teams made short work of their respective opponents, with only a couple of the many anticipated close match-ups occurring. Despite Jason le Roux bolstering the Border ranks from yesterday, only Michael Shean at no.5 managed to scrounge a game off WP. Central Gauteng were similarly efficient against Northerns, who must be looking forward to the imminent arrival of Jan-Hendrik Mulder to give them more depth – Central Gauteng winning 5-0. In the final fixture of the afternoon, KZN rested no.2 Mark Krajcsak, who has a slight groin strain, yet nevertheless managed to see off the threat of SACD, although not before a couple of real good tussles. At no.3, Andrew Martin won a marathon encounter against JP Brits, winning 11-8 in the 5th; Jimmy Schlebusch gave Adrian Hansen a few scares before succumbing in 4 games; and Gary Wheadon outlasted the ever-entertaining Christo Potgieter – 11-9 in the 5th.
Despite two of the top players in the world facing each other on centre court, the undoubted match of the day belongs to the Men’s B section! In the fixture between EP A and Midlands A, matches were tied at 2-2 when Greg La Mude for EP and Justin Gouweloos for Midlands took to court. The first 3 game scores were all 12-10, with the EP man edging ahead 2-1. Gouweloos staved off a match-point at 9-10, and then clinched the game on his 5th game-ball 16-14. In the 5th, neither player resorted to the normal practice of ‘playing safe’ and the nick was regularly attacked, much to the appreciation of all the spectators. When La Mude finally managed to force a scrambled mistake from his diving opponent to win the game 11-8 – thereby the match and the fixture – both players lay sprawled on top of each other, hugging on the ‘T’, which is great testament to the camaraderie and spirit of Jarvis/Kaplan.
Tomorrow (Wednesday), the A section once again is played at WPCC, starting at 1:00pm. Highlight will be between KZN A and C Gauteng in the men’s A section, whereas the extremely competitive Men’s B section are fighting out for pool positions at Kelvin Grove in the morning!