By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
At Peter Mokaba Stadium, Polokwane
The Golden Lion came from a 17-19 deficit to register a dramatic 20-19 victory over Free on Day 4 of the Coca Cola Under-18 Craven Week under-way at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, Limpopo.
The victory, of course a hard-fought one saw the Lions booked their third final match in this competition which celebrates its 50th year anniversary.
The match was a closely contested with either sides showing determination to emerge as victors, however it was the Lions stole who stole the limelight as the game in the first half progressed but only to disappoint their roaring supporters by dropping the balls when it looked easy to convert them into goals.
Whatever the Free State side’s coach told his players at the break seemed to have worked wonders as they came back strongly in the second half Free State and they completely stole the show from their opponents. It looked like they (Free State) were going to be run away victors as they forced the Lions to chase their own shadows.
At the end however it was the Lions who had the last laugh after lady luck smiled on their face when they were awarded an injury time penalty that separated men from boys.
The Lion will meet the high-riding Western Province in the final match on Saturday, kick-off is at 3.15pm.
Western Province earned their passage through to the final match after they went on a rampage against Blue Bulls whom they beat 36-6 in another match which was played earlier on.
In the other matches SWD beat Eastern Province 40-14 with Leopards registering their biggest victory, 64-0 over incompetent Border while Valke and Griffons registered 44-24 and 26-20 victories over Griquas and Eastern Province respectively.
Tomorrow all the teams take a deserving rest day and it will be back to business again on Saturday when Zimbabwe who had a good tournament this year take on Zambia at Field A. Limpopo Blue Bulls will play EP Country at Field B while Border CD play Griquas at Field C. All the three matches start at 8.45am.
The three matches will be followed by three more which will see Border taking on KwaZulu-Natal at Field A at Griquas Country v Leopards at Field at 10.15am
The rest of Saturday’s fixtures are: Blue Bulls v SWD (Field A, 11.45am), Free State v Pumas (Field A, 1.15pm) and then the final match between The Golden Lions v Western Province at 3.15pm