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Posted on: Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Bafana end losing streak and more sports news …

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Katlego Mphela

Katlego Mphela

Bafana end losing streak with narrow victory: Bafana Bafana broke their run of six consecutive losses when they defeated Madagascar 1-0 in an international friendly played at the GWK Stadium in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon. However, it was by no means an impressive performance by Bafana who seemed to lack ideas and urgency for the majority of the match. Substitute Katlego Mphela (pictured) scored the only goal of the match in the 64th minute when the Mamelodi Sundowns striker collected a well-placed through ball from Man of the Match Richard Henyekane to steer his shot past Madagascar goalkeeper Hector Kandy …

The match was intended to form part of Bafana’s preparations for next year’s World Cup, which will be held on these sunny shores in June, but it was a rather dull and uninspiring performance by the South Africans as they struggled to find their rhythm against a team ranked a lowly 131st on the Fifa world rankings. In fact, the visitors could have come away from this match with a draw after having a goal disallowed by Botswana referee Joshua Bondo seven minutes from time.

Madagascar must have felt at times as though they were playing against 12 men with Bondo unfairly awarding a penalty to Bafana in the 42nd minute when he ruled that Henyekane was brought down by Kandy inside the penalty area. In fact, television replays clearly showed that the contact between the visiting ‘keeper and the Bafana striker was made outside the area, proving that Bondo had got it horribly wrong. However, justice was done when Kandy pulled off a brilliant save from Siphiwe Tshabalala’s spot kick to deny Bafana a goal. Based on this performance, the 73rd ranked Bafana have a long way to go if they hope to pose a threat to the major teams at next year’s 2010 spectacle. Hopefully, coach Joel Santana can get more out of his player’s for future international encounters – after all the fans deserve better.

Prince Olomu

Prince Olomu

Celtic beat Maritzburg in goal bonanza
Bloem Celtic defeated Maritzburg United at the Woodburn Stadium in Pietermaritzburg last Wednesday evening to lift themselves to fourth on the Absa Premiership Log after six outings. The visitors triumphed 4-2 in an entertaining encounter courtesy of two goals from Prince Olomu (pictured left) and one apiece from Johannes Motlhaping and Sandile Ndlovu.

Maritzburg replied with goals from Nigerian winger Felix Obada and Fadlu Davids, but it was not enough to prevent the home side from suffering their second loss of the season and dropping to sixth in the standings. Maritzburg’s next outing is against seventh placed Ajax Cape Town at Newlands today and the KwaZulu-Natalians will be hoping for a better performance against the Cape team. The match is also likely to be the pick of this week’s fixtures.

Results (left to right)
Last Wednesday
Free State Stars 3 – Golden Arrows 1
Orlando Pirates 1 – Black Aces 0
Bloem Celtic 4 – Maritzburg Utd 2
SuperSport United 4 – Moroka Swallows 2
Santos 1 – Jomo Cosmos 1
Ajax Cape Town 1 – AmaZulu 0
Bidvest Wits 4 – Mamelodi Sundowns 2

Yesterday
Jomo Cosmos 1 – SuperSport United 3

Today’s fixtures
Ajax Cape Town vs Maritzburg Utd
Orlando Pirates vs Platinum Stars
Bloem Celtic vs Kaizer Chiefs
Mamelodi Sundowns vs AmaZulu
Black Aces vs Free State Stars
Moroka Swallows vs Bidvest Wits
Golden Arrows vs Santos

Waylon Murray

Waylon Murray

Sharks stay on top with scrappy win over Cheetahs
The Sharks stayed on top of the Currie Cup standings when they defeated the Cheetahs 24-13 in a scrappy encounter at the Absa Stadium in Durban on Saturday. It was an unconvincing performance by the home side who commented a string of unforced errors, which kept the door open for the visitors to pull of an upset right to the very end. The Sharks fiddled and faffed around for most of the 80 minutes and, based on this performance, did not look like championship winners. Nevertheless, they managed to come away with a win and five important Currie Cup points, which kept them at the top of the Currie Cup log on 40 points, one clear of second placed Western Province.

The Sharks found the going tough against the Cheetahs who should have won this game had it not been for their indifferent goal-kicking and some poor finishing. The home side opened the scoring in the 11th minute courtesy of a penalty from their Argentinean flyhalf Juan Hernandez, which was quickly followed by a try from burly centre Waylon Murray (pictured) that was initiated from a breakaway by eighthman Ryan Kankowski. The mobile No 8 then fed wing Odwa Ndungane who delivered a poor pass to veteran fullback Stefan Terblanche who somehow managed to catch the ball centremetres from the turf and then loft a pass to Murray who cantered in for an excellent try. Hernandez duffed the conversion, but the Sharks were again on the scoreboard minutes later when hooker Craig Burden scored after a passage of broken play. Hernandez added the extra points and the Sharks were suddenly 15-0 up and threatening to run away with proceedings despite having been pinned in their own half for the first 10 minutes.

However, the Cheetahs had the better of the second quarter of the match and scored a try in the 35th minute through eighthman Ashley Johnson after a fine run down the touchline by wing Lionel Mapoe. Flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter missed the conversion to leave the Free Staters trailing by 10 points, but the Free State No 10 added a penalty on the stroke of half-time to cut the deficit to just seven points and set the stage for an intriguing second half.

The Sharks weren’t taking any chances in the final 40 minutes as they brought out their big guns in the form of returning Springboks John Smit, Adrian Jacobs and Ruan Pienaar, but the visitors were unfazed and continued to pressurise the Sharks although they were not rewarded with any early points for their efforts. Terblanche scored the first points of the second half when he slotted a well-taken drop goal after a solid scrum by the home side to make it 18-8 after 50 minutes.

However, the Cheetahs, never a side to lie down without a fight, scored seven minutes later after Potgieter sprinted all of 40m before offloading to centre JW Jonker who dotted down for an excellent try. Potgieter again duffed the conversion, but the Cheetahs were in striking distance at 18-13 and looking menacing. However, Hernandez kicked two penalties in quick succession in the 65th and 70th minutes to put the Sharks 24-13 to the good leaving the Free Staters too much to do to pull off a victory. The Sharks’ next outing is against the lowly Leopards in Durban on Friday evening while the Cheetahs tackle the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

Sarel Pretorius

Sarel Pretorius

Griquas on course for semis while Bulls, WP win easily
Griquas stayed on track for a Currie Cup semi-final berth when they defeated a never say die Lions outfit 36-31 in Kimberley on Saturday afternoon. The win moved the diamond miners to third on the log with 38 points, six clear of the fourth placed Bulls who thumped bottom of the log Boland Cavaliers 72-16 in Wellington in another match played on Saturday.

The Lions started well against the men from Kimberley and were ahead after just two minutes, courtesy of a well-taken try by Johan Jackson, which was converted by Earl Rose. However, Griquas fought back hard and replied with three penalties in quick succession by flyhalf Naas Olivier who had a great game with the boot. Derick Minnie scored another try for the Lions while flyhalf Herkie Kruger added a penalty to make it 15-9 in favour of the visitors before Olivier kicked his fourth penalty after 35 minutes to close the gap to just three points. And that’s the way matters stayed until halftime to leave both teams confident of pulling off a victory.

Griquas levelled matters shortly after the restart through another Olivier penalty only for Kruger to quickly reply with a penalty of his own to put the Lions 18-15 to the good. However, the home side stunned the visitors five minutes later by scoring two excellent tries in the space of just two minutes. First wing Trompie Nontshinga and then Olivier took advantage of some weak defence to cross their opponent’s line with the flyhalf converting both efforts to put Griquas 29-18 ahead.

Although clearly shocked by what had just happened, the Lions refused to lie down and replied with two penalties from Kruger and a converted try by centre Alwyn Hollenback to go 31-29 ahead. However, Griquas were not going to be denied a home victory with fullback Riaan Viljoen creating the winning try for scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius (pictured) who had just come back onto the field after 10 minutes in the sin bin.

Viljoen ran hard from a long way out before throwing a dummy and then passing to Pretorius who threw another dummy before stretching over for a converted try to put his team 36-31 in front with less than five minutes remaining. And it remained that way until the final whistle to give the diamond miners their eighth victory of the season in 11 outings – not bad for a team that wasn’t expected to be in contention for a semi-final berth at this late stage of the season. Griquas’ next outing is against Western Province at Newlands on Saturday. The Capetonians are still second on the log after comfortably defeating perennial losers the Leopards, 37-3 in Potchefstroom. The Lions face the Boland Cavaliers in Johannesburg on Saturday with a big win most likely being on the cards for the home side against a team who, along with fellow whipping boys the Leopards, should really not be competing in the Premier Division of the Absa Currie Cup.

Simphiwe Nongqayi

Simphiwe Nongqayi

Great week for South African boxing
This past week has been an excellent one for South African boxing with both Simphiwe Nongqayi (pictured right) and Kaizer Mabuza (22-6-3, 13KO’s) recording excellent points victories over highly rated international opposition. Nongqayi (16-0, 6KO’s) travelled all the way to Cancun, Mexico to capture the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight title last Tuesday, while Mabuza dethroned Sergey Fedchenko in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine on Thursday to take Fedchenko’s IBF Inter-Continental junior welterweight title.

Nongqayi’s win over the fearsome Mexican, Arce, was especially noteworthy considering that the diminutive South African was detained in Germany en route to Mexico for over seven hours for not having the necessary visas. However, Nongqayi shrugged off this unpleasant incident and ignored a hostile home crowd to outbox the hard punching Arce and prevail by scores of 117-112, 116-112 and 117-111. Mabuza was considered a rank underdog against Fedchenko who had never been beaten in 23 contests and was making the second defence of the title he won from Swedish based Ugandan, Peter Semo in May 2008. But he, too, was undeterred and produced a masterful display of boxing to triumph by scores of 117-112, 115-112 and 114-114 to relieve the Ukranian of his title.

Meanwhile, in local action, Macbute ‘Mac Man’ Sinyabi (55kg) retained his South African junior featherweight title in East London on Friday evening when he knocked out challenger Tendani Munyai (55.52kg) in the second round of a scheduled 12 round contest. The fight began at a frenetic pace with both men throwing lots of leather, clearly not intent on leaving matters in the hands of the judges. The Mdatsane based champion scored the first knockdown of the fight in the opening stanza, but walked into a hard right from the challenger early in the second round, which put him on the canvas.

Munyai, sensing an opportunity to end the fight, applied the pressure as soon as Sinyabi got to his feet and nearly dropped the champion for a second time. However, Sinyabi held on to the challenger as though his very life depended on it, thereby buying himself precious time to clear his head and recover. And recover he did as he landed a powerful right cross followed by a wicked left hook to put the challenger on the seat of his trunks for a second time.

Although Munyai managed to beat the count, the writing was now on the wall as Sinyabi landed another hard right cross to his foe’s jaw, which sent Munyai to the deck for a third time. The challenger beat the count once again, but this time there was to be no escape as the heavy-handed Sinyabi applied the finishing touches in brutal fashion. A pulverising right cross followed by a crushing left hook sent the hapless Munyai crashing to the canvas for a fourth and final time, prompting referee Lulama Mtya to immediately wave off proceedings at 2 min, 56 secs of the second round.

It was a very savage knockout, with ringside paramedics taking several minutes to revive the stricken Munyai who must have been left wondering what hit him. The 22-year-old Sinyabi raised his record to 13-1 (13KO’s) with the win and has now stopped 11 opponents inside two rounds or less.

“People must here me now, there is no fighter here in South Africa that will go 12 rounds with me, I am the best and I will be a real world champion one day,” said Sinyabi whose only setback as a professional was a first round knockout defeat to World Boxing Association (WBA) Pan African Bantamweight champion Bongani Mahlangu in January 2007. Munyai lost for the fifth time as a professional against nine wins and two draws and it would be a good idea for the young Limpopo fighter to take a break from the sport to allow himself time to recover from this devastating knockout.

In other fights on the bill, Mandisi Mkile (48.85kg) scored a second round technical knockout over Thobani Mbangeni (47.75kg) in a junior flyweight contest while Phathutshedzo Nemukongwe (when confronted with names like this I’m glad I’m a sports writer and not a ring announcer) outpointed Simphiwe Mabona (48.25kg) on points over eight rounds in another junior flyweight bout. Nemukongwe (48.98kg) raised his record to 12-3-1 (4KO’s) with the win while Mabona dropped to 15-12-3 (9KO’s).

In upcoming action, Soweto’s Takalani ‘Panther’ Ndlovu (29-5, 18KO’s) takes on Spaniard Kiko Martinez (20-2, 15KO’s) in an eliminator for the IBF featherweight championship at the Nasrec Indoor Arena in Johannesburg on Friday evening. The 31-year-old South African has been a professional fighter for over a decade now, but has never really lived up to his considerable potential despite challenging for a number of fringe world titles. Should Ndlovu lose on Friday, he will more than likely be regulated to the status of a journeyman, with younger fighters viewing him as a stepping-stone to further their pugilistic ambitions.

Dale Steyn

Dale Steyn

Sri-Lanka and the rain spoil South Africa’s party
Proteas captain Graeme Smith won the toss and elected to bowl against Sri-Lanka in the host nations opening ICC Champions Trophy match at SuperSport Park in Centurion yesterday. It proved to be the wrong decision as the Lankans carted the Proteas all over the park to notch up an impressive 319 for eight wickets off their allotted 50 overs.

Tillakaratne Dilshan plundered 106 runs off just 92 balls to lay the foundation for the Sri-Lankan victory and was well supported by Kumar Sangakkara (54) and former skipper Mahela Jayawardene (77), who piled on the agony for the Proteas. Paceman Dale Steyn (pictured) was the pick of the South African bowlers, capturing three wickets for 47 runs off nine overs.

The Proteas could only manage 206 for seven wickets in response, before the heavens opened, forcing the umpires to call a halt to proceedings after 37.4 overs with the Proteas 55 runs behind the required Duckworth/Lewis score. Smith weighed in with a well played 58 from just 44 balls and master batsmen Jacques Kallis with 41, but a lack of big partnerships meant the Proteas were unable to get going against a well organised and disciplined Sri Lankan attack. Spinner Ajantha Mendis was the destroyer in chief for the visitors, capturing three wickets for 30 runs off seven overs.
It was a disappointing performance by the South Africans who were hoping to start their campaign on a high note, but they were outclassed by the Lankans who outplayed them in every department. Indeed, the win has now established Kumar Sangakkara’s men as the early favourites for the tournament, while the loss has placed enormous pressure on Smith and his team ahead of tomorrow’s encounter against New Zealand, at the same venue.

Scoreboard
Sri Lanka
T Dilshan c Morkel b Steyn 106
S Jayasuriya lbw Steyn 10
K Sangakkara c and b Duminy 54
M Jayawardena c Duminy b Parnell 77
T Samaraweera c Van der Merwe b Parnell 37
A Mathews b Steyn 15
T Kandambi c Duminy b Parnell 6
D Kulasekara run out (Van der Merwe/Steyn) 1
M Muralidharan not out 0
Extras (5lb, 5w, 3nb) 13
Total (for 8 wkts) 319  (50 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-16, 2-174, 3-181, 4-297, 5-297, 6-314, 7-317, 8-319
Bowling: Steyn 9-2-47-3, Parnell 10-0-79-3, Kallis 7-0-43-0, A Morkel 4-0-39-0, Botha
9-0-53-0, Van der Merwe 10-0-42-0, Duminy 1-0-11-1

South Africa
G Smith b Mendis 58
H Amla b Mathews 2
J Kallis c Mathews b Mendis 41
A de Villiers c Jayasuriya b Malinga 24
J Duminy b Mendis 0
M Boucher lbw Mathews 26
A Morkel not out 29
J Botha c Mathews b Malinga 21
R van der Merwe not out 3
Extras (2w) 2
Total (for 7 wkts) 206  (37.4 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-9, 2-90, 3-113, 4-113, 5-142
Bowling: Malinga 7.4-0-43-2, Kulasekara 7-0-44-0, Mathews 8-1-43-2, Muralidharan 8-0-46-0, Mendis 7-0-30-3
Result: Sri Lanka win by 55 runs on Duckworth/Lewis method.

Jeff Coetzee

Jeff Coetzee

Somdev shines as India sink South Africa
India’s Somdev Devvarman defeated South African Rik De Voest 3-6, 6-7(3-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, 6-4 in the opening reverse singles rubber of the Davis Cup World Group playoff in Johannesburg on Sunday to book his country a place in next year’s Davis Cup World Group. Devvarman’s victory put India in an unassailable 3-1 lead in the tie and Yuki Bhambri rubbed salt into South Africa’s wounds when he outplayed Izak van der Merwe in the final singles match to make the final score 4-1 in India’s favour.

The visitors won both singles rubbers on Friday when Devvarman defeated Izak van der Merwe 7-6(7-5), 6-3, 6-4 and Rohan Bopanna dispatched Rik de Voest 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. The South Africans won the doubles rubber on Saturday when Jeff Coetzee (pictured) and Wesley Moodie turned back the challenge of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna by default after Bhupathi suffered a pulled groin muscle in the third set. It was the first time in ten years that South Africa has reached the World Group playoffs – what a pity they couldn’t produce the goods against a team deprived of their top player in Leander Paes who withdraw from the tie at the last minute, citing injury.

Darren Fichardt

Darren Fichardt

Darren demolishes the field at Selborne
Darren Fichardt (pictured) was far too good for the rest of the field at the Vodacom Business Origins of Golf Tour when he cruised to victory by seven strokes at the Selborne Golf Estate on the KwaZulu Natal south coast on Friday. The 34-year-old made it look all too easy on his way to a record-equalling biggest victory margin on a wet and windy final day. The Pretoria professional now ties Thomas Aiken, who won the Final at The Links in 2004 by seven strokes, for the biggest victory margin on the series.

Fichardt simply destroyed the competition, closing with a superb 67 to win on 18-under-par with Jbe’ Kruger and Keenan Davidse sharing second place on 11-under-par. Fichardt went into the final round with a three-stroke lead and was never challenged although several players, including defending champion Jean Hugo, did their best to make a contest of it on the final day. However, none of their efforts could prevent the experienced Fichardt, a man with seven Sunshine Tour and two European Tour victories to his credit, from securing a well-deserved victory.

Final Scores (Top 10 finishers only, RSA unless specified)
198 – Darren Fichardt 65 66 67
205 – Jbe’ Kruger 68 69 68, Keenan Davidse 70 67 68
207 – Adilson da Silva (BRA) 70 70 67
208 – Jaco Ahlers 65 74 69, Peter Karmis 70 67 71, Thabang Simon 69 68 71
209 – Tyrone Mordt 71 70 68, Jean Hugo 68 70 71, Reggie Adams 66 68 75

Photo Credits:
Bafana end losing streak with narrow victory: Photo – Katlego Mphela – Source – www.soccerbible.com
Celtic beat Maritzburg in goal bonanza: Photo – Prince Olomu Source – www.psl.co.za
Sharks stay on top with scrappy win over Cheetahs – Photo – Waylon Murray Source – www.daylife.com
Griquas on course for semis while Bulls, WP win easily – Photo – Sarel Pretorius Source – www.netprosolutions.com
Great week for SA boxing – Photo – Simphiwe Nongqayi Source – www.boxingmexico.blogspot.com
Sri-Lanka and the rain spoil SA’s party – Photo – Dale Steyn Source – www.seshdotcom.wordpress.com
Somdev shines as India sink SA – Photo – Jeff Coetzee Source – www.zimbio.com
Darren demolishes the field at Selborne Photo – Darren Fichardt Source – www.daylife.com

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