SA Canoe Polo Champs: Emmarentia Dam March 7/8 2015
Johannesburg – The South African Canoe Polo Championships were held at Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg over the weekend of the 7 – 8 March, with the traditionally strong Gauteng sides starting as favourites.
Teams from Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape entered a mixture of men’s and mixed teams in two categories: U21 and Senior. Traditional rivals Gauteng and KZN were given more than a run for their money by the teams from the Western Cape.
Saturday 7th March was a day of pool games, which continued into the first part of Sunday 8th March. Play was competitive and entertaining for the spectators, as the teams settled in to play hard with each other and to feel out the opposition.
In the later part of Sunday morning, though, the competition became fierce as the teams entered the semif-final and then finals stage of the tournament.
In the U21 category, the Gauteng Scouts proved their mettle, playing for the first time in a competition of this nature and enjoying games of a high standard against their rival teams. The true competition in this category was between Gauteng U21 and the Aurecon Western Cape U21 teams. The final was a hotly contested game that had parents and spectators cheering loudly. After 20 minutes, there was still no score, so the game went to Golden Goal. The Western Cape team just pipped the Gauteng team to the post.
In the Senior division, there were surprises in store. KZN’s mixed team played Western Cape, who beat them in the play-off for 3rd and 4th place. The real competition and undoubtedly the match of the tournament was the Senior final, between two Gauteng teams: Gauteng Men and Gauteng Barbarians. The battle was fought between the two local sides, with the score see-sawing back-and-forth, ending in a draw. The game went to Golden Goal and the Gauteng Barbarians paddled away with the gold.
The final results for the tournament were:
U21: Gold – Aurecon Western Cape U21; Silver – Gauteng U21; Bronze – Gauteng Scouts.
Senior: Gold – Gauteng Barbarians; Silver – Gauteng Men; Bronze – Western Cape