Johannesburg – The Gauteng Barbarians produced an upset win over the Gauteng Men’s team at the end of the South African Canoe Polo Championships on the weekend, winning the final of the Senior Men’s division at Emmarentia dam.
Teams from Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape entered an assortment 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.
The Saturday’s action involved the teams fighting it out during the pool stages of the competition which continued into the early part of Sunday before the teams moved on to the semi-finals and finals later in the day.
The competition was fierce as teams vied for a place in the play-off games with spectators being treated to some hard-fought matches on both days and culminated in an all Gauteng final in the senior category and a north-south derby in the Under-21 age group final.
In the Under-21 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 much to the delight of their supporters.
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
All images: Jane Ballot/Gameplan Media