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Ken Borland



Dawson has good reason to feel delighted after day of very bad weather at Fancourt 0

Posted on March 11, 2024 by Ken

GEORGE, Western Cape – After a day of very bad weather at Fancourt, with strong gales and torrential downpours, Ana Dawson was the only golfer to finish under-par after the first round of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am and she had good reason to feel delighted.

Dawson, who hails from the Isle of Man, played the Outeniqua course in one-under-par 71 and so ended the opening day one stroke ahead of another three international golfers who finished on level-par: Germany’s Carolin Kauffmann, Scotland’s Kylie Henry and Englishwoman Lauren Taylor.

If the vile weather did not dampen Dawson’s mood then even a three-putt for bogey at the par-four last hole was not going to do it either.

“It was really hard weather and with all the delays, keeping your round going was probably the trickiest bit. It’s always a shame to three-putt the last, it leaves a bit of a sour taste, but I’m still very happy,” the 22-year-old Dawson said.

“If someone had offered me one-under today at the start of the round I would definitely have taken it. I had a nice draw because Outeniqua is a bit shorter and a bit more forgiving, but you still have to play well. I honestly hit just one bad shot today, but I struggled on the greens.”

Dawson enjoyed a fast start with a birdie on the par-four first hole, but she had to stay very patient thereafter as three pars were followed by a bogey on the par-four fifth. She birdied the sixth and eighth holes, but then dropped a shot at the ninth to turn in one-under.

The back nine was more grind with birdies on the 10th and 14th holes, but another bogey on the par-three 12th.

Dawson said the tough conditions actually suited her because it allowed her to take her time.

“It was quite slow out there, but in a way that was nice because it meant I didn’t have to try and rush, which has happened to me in the past. I felt I didn’t need to hurry at all today and that helped me. I really took my time and made sure everything was ready and right before I played,” Dawson said.

Henry and Taylor both took on the Montague course that is rated as being more difficult.

Henry was excellent on the front nine, going out in two-under, but the back nine bit back as she bogeyed three of the first four holes. A birdie on the par-five 18th was a great way to end though, restoring her to level-par.

Taylor recovered brilliantly from a disastrous front nine. After three pars, a double-bogey seven at the fourth would have knocked the wind out of her sails. She also dropped shots on the sixth and ninth holes, partially offset by a birdie on the par-three eighth, but the 29-year-old was three-over at the turn.

But Taylor stormed to three birdies in the first five holes of the back nine, not dropping any more shots on her way back to the clubhouse.

Kiera Floyd and Lejan Lewthwaite are the leading South Africans, tied in fifth place on one-over-par with Alexandra Swayne of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

To finish the season with smiles on faces compared to how SA cricket was feeling in December was a tremendous achievement 0

Posted on April 12, 2023 by Ken

Compared to how South African cricket was feeling midway through the season – at the end of December 2022- to finish the summer with the smiles back on everyone’s faces and a general sense of excitement about the game in this country was a tremendous achievement by all involved.

Last year ended with the Proteas going to Australia and being put to the sword in humiliating fashion: bowled out for just 152 and 99 in the first Test in Brisbane, then thrashed by an innings and 182 runs in Melbourne. They needed the help of the weather to avoid defeat after they were forced to follow-on in the third Test in Sydney, but perhaps the first signs of renewal, the first tiny green shoots, became visible then as they did at least only lose six wickets on the final day as the batsmen discovered some defiance.

The Proteas had been in Australia in November as well, for the T20 World Cup, and a promising campaign looked set to deliver them into the semi-finals until they totally failed to pitch for their decisive game against minnows Netherlands and lost, eliminating them from the playoffs in embarrassing fashion.

The lack of form of captain Temba Bavuma caused great bother, but the sometimes ugly vitriol hurled at him was just plain ugly.

The performances of the national team cast a spotlight on the domestic game, the pipeline for the Proteas, and the inescapable conclusion that it is probably not fit to be called high performance. The quality of South African batsmanship was particularly worrying.

There were the controversies over fitness tests which, more often than not, seemed to make our teams weaker rather than better.

The Social Justice and Nation-Building fiasco thankfully came to an end in 2022, but there was still a bitter taste in many cricket-lovers’ mouths as Cricket South Africa’s inquest into alleged racist behaviour by Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher fell apart.

CSA also spent much of 2022 trying to remedy their poor financial situation, which saw them make a R200 million loss in the previous year. The search for sponsors and trying to play more international cricket (especially Tests) in a jam-packed schedule with constrained coffers were only adding to the strain.

The financial battle is ongoing for CSA, but the improved performances of the Proteas, the better image enjoyed by the board and administrators and, crucially, the tremendous success of the SA20 tournament provides hope that those coffers will be enjoying more inflow in the near future.

The Proteas are very much the shop window for CSA and the appointments of Shukri Conrad and Rob Walter as dual national coaches has certainly worked in the short-term. While both coaches will be pleased with how their tenures have started, they have both stressed that South African cricket is on a journey and there will still be many obstacles ahead to overcome.

It is not exaggerating to say that journey probably began when CSA stopped trying to chase Graeme Smith away and instead gave him control of the SA20, the former national captain and director of cricket turning the tournament into an unmitigated success.

“We must not underestimate the impact the SA20 had,” Walter said when asked how he felt the turnaround had happened. “With all the crowds and the quality cricket being played, there was definitely momentum coming out of that. The Proteas jumped on the wave and played really well.

“We have played some nice cricket but that does not mean we’re at our best yet, which is exciting. It’s a process in which a lot of people are involved. We’re trying to create a platform from which we can play, this team is still young, but it’s nice to see the positive signs. I kept a close eye on South African cricket while I was in New Zealand, and one thing that really rings true is that the playing resources are very significant,” Walter said.

The change in mood has not just been seen at the macro level of the team and the organisation though; individuals such as Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Sisanda Magala and Heinrich Klaasen have turned their summers around in remarkable fashion.

Bavuma shoved aside his injury problems and loss of form, as well as the rabid critics clamouring for his head, to enjoy a triumphant end to the season, making career-best centuries in both Tests and ODIs. Taking T20s off Bavuma’s plate, but giving him the Test captaincy taken from Dean Elgar, would have been a tough call for Walter and Conrad to make, but it has been shown to be the correct move.

Magala’s season began with CSA banning him from playing for the Central Gauteng Lions because he failed a fitness test; he ended it with a five-wicket haul at the Wanderers as the Proteas beat the Netherlands 2-0 in their ODI series to keep alive their hopes of automatic qualification for the World Cup later this year. From being ruled unfit to play by CSA, Magala attracted buyers from T20 leagues all over the world and is now playing for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

Markram was unequivocally backed by Conrad and Walter in all three formats and had blossomed into the player we all knew he could be by the end of the season. So too Klaasen, in and out of the team previously, had become a first-choice player in white-ball cricket.

The Proteas Women’s team also deserve credit for their major role in the turnaround, reaching the final of the T20 World Cup hosted by South Africa and given a wonderful reception.

Persistent rain leaves NGC organisers under pressure as leaders could only complete 3 holes 0

Posted on February 10, 2023 by Ken

Leaders Ryan Fox and Luke Donald were only able to complete three holes on the second day of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City on Friday as thundershowers and persistent rain washed out play, leaving tournament organisers under pressure to finish the second and third rounds on Saturday.

Overnight leader Fox birdied the par-five second hole, but then immediately gave the stroke back with a bogey-five on the third to sit at eight-under-par when play was suspended at 11.49am due to lightning. Steady rain had already been falling for some time and it never relented, leading to the course being waterlogged.

Donald had joined Fox on eight-under as he birdied the second hole and parred the first and third holes.

“We would need two hours of no rain just to start to get the course reasonably playable,” tournament director David Williams told media after play was called off for the day at 3.30pm.

“If we could have got a couple more hours in today then that would have been great, but we felt it was better to make a decision. We will start again at 7.45am on Saturday and the third round will be played in the same groups.

“The golfers will get a half-an-hour break after the second round and then go again. That way we can save two hours, maybe more, with the forecast not being marvellous for Saturday either.

“Sunday morning is also not so good, so we need to get as much completed on Saturday as we can. Hopefully we get the third round done, but there’s a lot in the air at the moment,” Williams said.

Perhaps the golfer most frustrated by the delay was Englishman Ross Fisher, who had a great round going and had climbed into a tie for third place on six-under-par with Rasmus Hojgaard and Guido Migliozzi.

Fisher birdied the first two holes and then the ninth, and had just eagled the par-five 10th when the golfers were pulled off the course. Being five-under through 10 holes has lifted the five-time DP World Tour winner to just two strokes off the lead.

Hojgaard was also going well on three-under through six holes.

Veteran Richard Sterne is the leading South African, birdieing the first two holes to go to three-under.

Sharks take a while to turn from fish into apex predators, but finish strong 0

Posted on January 03, 2023 by Ken

The Sharks took 50 minutes to turn from fish into apex predators, but a strong finish to their United Rugby Championship match saw them hammer the Glasgow Warriors 40-12 at Kings Park on Saturday.

The Sharks led 13-7 at halftime, but it had been an arm-wrestle for the home side, and it looked like Glasgow would push them to the final whistle when the Warriors scored three minutes into the second half. In a horror start after the break, the Sharks conceded consecutive ruck penalties and then missed the contest at the five-metre lineout, allowing a relatively easy maul try for the visitors, flank Thomas Gordon dotting down for the second time.

But the Glasgow defence was relatively slow to get off the line and the Sharks began finding the gaps as they cut down on the handling errors, and the fluency of their attack started to become apparent. It started in the 52nd minute with a well-worked try, slick hands by replacement prop Ox Nche, flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain and fullback Aphelele Fassi sent wing Anthony Volmink finning down the touchline for the Sharks’ second try.

Volmink had scored the first, in the 33rd minute, when Chamberlain burst through on a wrap-around move and sent the speedy wing racing away.

The Sharks had struggled to get their maul going, partly because Glasgow were allowed to swim up the side, but they got around that by changing the contact point in the 63rd minute and replacement hooker Bongi Mbonambi powered over for the try.

Neat interplay between forwards and backs then saw Fassi knife through and score to clinch the bonus point with 11 minutes remaining, before the Sharks rounded off the win with Chamberlain producing a precise crosskick for right wing Werner Kok to run on to and score.

Lock Eben Etzebeth, on Sharks debut, was a deserved man of the match, carrying the ball strongly and ruling the lineouts, making some crucial steals.

The Sharks are clearly a dangerous side when they get their attacking momentum going, but they will be disappointed in a first half where they made too many mistakes.

Defensive lapses are also a worrying feature and, having dominated the opening stages and taken a 3-0 lead through a Chamberlain penalty, the Sharks then allowed Glasgow an easy score as Gordon picked the ball up at a ruck and roared away as there was no pillar defence, sidestepping Fassi for the opening try.

Battling to get return from the maul, the Sharks struggled to break down a Glasgow defence who are canny and attack the breakdown hard.

The Sharks will be disappointed they didn’t get more from the referee, but they took matters into their own hands in the second half by just increasing their accuracy, to great effect.

Scorers

SharksTries: Anthony Volmink (2), Bongi Mbonambi, Aphelele Fassi, Werner Kok. Conversions: Boeta Chamberlain (3). Penalties: Chamberlain (3).

Glasgow WarriorsTries: Thomas Gordon (2). Conversion: Tom Jordan.

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    John 15:16 – “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

    Our Christian experience begins when the Holy Spirit starts working in our imperfect lives. An inexplicable restlessness and a feeling that nothing can give you the satisfaction you yearn for, could be the Spirit working in you.

    Even when God calls you and chooses you to serve him, there may be inner conflict and confusion because you are not always willing to do what God is asking of you.

    But this inner struggle is part of spiritual life … Commit yourself to God and open yourself to the inflowing of the Holy Spirit.

    It is by great grace that you were chosen by God to serve him and to live to the honour and glory of his name. Surrender unconditionally to the Lord and you will discover that your life gains new meaning and purpose.



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