In the 12th minute Toni Marks coolly slotted the opening goal, the Southerns striker finding space and time to pick her spot (1-0).
Southerns’ dominance continued in the second quarter and in the 17th minute Taryn Mallett showed composure to make it 2-0.
Four minutes from half-time (26th) Lisa Hawker shovelled the ball in to put Southerns 3-0 up. WP disputed the decision but the ruling stood.
Turning around three goals down, WP had a mountain to climb. The first half had seen no lack of effort or skill but the disciplined Southerns defence was unyielding. Western Province’s Taryn Bright, who had to fly back to her club in Australia after the semi-finals, was sorely missed.
WP had two penalty corner opportunities early in the second half before a PC came and went for Southerns, while in the 34th minute Candice Manuel had a delicate lob at goal brilliantly pulled away from danger by Southerns defender Carmen Smith.
To compound the woes of the Capetonians, Southerns immediately scored at the other end through captain Bernie Coston for a 4-0 scoreline after 35 minutes.
Manuel got her reward in the 37th with a stunning strike to pull one back for WP (4-1).
Going into the fourth and final quarter of 15 minutes WP had a lot to do but Southerns went 5-1 up soon after the re-start (47th minute) when it was Coston once again who breached the goalline.
Southerns brought on number two keeper Chloe Keeping for Sanani Mangisa with eight minutes left. WP continued to strive mightily in a bid to narrow the margin and with five minutes left (55th) striker Tarryn Glasby scored a superb goal to make it 5-2.
Southerns had three more chances at the end but the final was in the bag anyway and the score remained 5-2 to the Johannesburg girls.
The playoff for third place and the bronze medal also saw plenty of thrills and spills, leading into a sudden-death penalty shootout. Last year’s champions Northern Blues eventually won 4-3 in the shootout against Free State after the scores were 1-1 at full-time.
Blues opened the scoring in regulation time via a Jacinta Jubb field goal in the fifth minute. Play swung from goalmouth to goalmouth with drama aplenty, and it was Free State’s Shevaun Botha who stepped up to send the match into the shootout when she netted the equaliser for 1-1 in the 45th minute.
The scores were deadlocked 3-3 after the regulation five penalty shootout opportunities before striker Dirkie Chamberlain was adjudged to have been fouled in Blues’ sudden-death shootout attempt, and the Blues player put away the resulting penalty stroke for a 4-3 lead.
Tanya Britz stepped up for Free State’s attempt to equalise in sudden death and she did well to crack the ball into the goals after her initial effort was blocked, but the ball failed to cross the line before the eight-second window was up, and after consultation the umpires ruled “no goal” and Blues were assured of the bronze medal.
The clash for fifth and sixth places saw North West and Spar KZN Raiders locked 2-2 at full-time after the teams were 1-1 at the break, and North West won an agonising penalty shootout 3-2 on sudden death.
Sinalo Jafta opened the scoring for North West in the first minute and Tegan Fourie scored the equaliser in the 21st. Raiders appeared to have the game in hand when Cardeux Nel put them 2-1 up with five minutes left (55th) but Steph Baxter nailed down the equaliser one minute from time (59th).
And it was Baxter who rescued North West with the penalty shootout equaliser for 2-2 before netting the sudden-death winner moments later, for the final shootout scoreline to read 3-2 to the host province.
South Gauteng Wits accounted for Border 3-0 in the playoff for seventh and eighth positions after leading 1-0 at half-time through a Jessica Britz field goal in the 28th minute.
Wits added two more goals after the changeover, Cheneal Raubenheimer (35th minute) and Luche Klaasen (52nd) getting on the scoresheet.
After the final presentation, Nicole Walraven (Free State) was named SA U21 Players’ Player of the Year and Lisa Deetlefs (Southern Gauteng) the senior SA Players’ Player of the Year.
Anelle van Deventer (North West) was named Top IPT Goalkeeper, Top IPT Goalscorer was Cardeux Nel (Spar KZN Raiders), the Greg Beling Memorial Trophy for Junior Player of IPT was awarded to Carmen Smith (Southern Gauteng), and Southern Gauteng star Shelley Russell was named the Top Player of IPT 2015.
The second-tier B Section, a nine-team tournament played in a round-robin format with no semi-finals or final was a close race for first place between Namibia and WP Peninsula, and it was Peninsula who emerged victorious.
A SECTION CLASSIFICATION RESULTS
(7th/8th placings) SG Wits 3 Border 0; (5th/6th) North West 2 Spar KZN Raiders 2 (NW win sudden-death penalty shootout 3-2); (3rd/4th) Northern Blues 1 Free State 1 (Blues win sudden-death penalty shootout 4-3); (Final) Southern Gauteng 5 WP 2.
* No B Section results were available at the time of this release.