South Africa have emerged victorious in the Quadrangular that they hosted at Mooi River. They topped the group after the round robin stage, having beaten all the other three countries reasonably comfortably and then overcame a battling Zimbabwean side again in the final. The UK ended third after they beat Zambia by 20 goals to 19 in the third-fourth play off, but they had previously lost to them in the group stages by three goals, becoming Zambia’s first ever scalp in an World Cup or Quadrangular competition.
The host nation, South Africa, were always favourites to win and they set off to do just that right from the start, beating Zambia by 23 goals to 10. However, in that very first match there was a sign of what was to come as Zambia were expected by many to suffer a far worse defeat. In the World Cup in 2011 they suffered defeats by margins double that size but on the opening day in Mooi River they battled and fought and though they lost they showed the world that they had improved a great deal in the last two years.
The other opening day match saw Zimbabwe come from three goals down in the last chukka to win by one goal as they emerged victorious against the UK by 17 goals to 16. Zimbabwe lead at the start of the match by the UK pulled level and then their ladies gave them a three goal cushion going into the last. However, in the last chukka the ball ran the way of Zimbabwe and their men took every opportunity they got as they put in a huge final chukka to grab victory from the jaws of defeat.
On day two Zimbabwe took on Zambia and again many expected a reasonably routine victory for Zimbabwe. How wrong they were as Zambia matched them goal for goal early on and then built themselves a lead of four goals at the end of the third chukka. However, Zimbabwe fought back and got within two goals by the end of the fourth and one goal by the end of the fifth. Then, in the sixth, they again performed an escapology act, turning a 13-14 deficit into an 18-16 victory. In the other match on day two South Africa beat the UK 23 goals to 16, they lead from the start and though the UK stayed in touch South Africa always just kept outscoring them.
With the results from days one and two going the way they did the results of day three were fairly irrelevant for determining who would go into the final but there was always pride to play for and South Africa and Zambia did just that. South Africa fairly routinely beat Zimbabwe 22-12 in their final group game but Zambia did what they had threatened to do the day before and claimed their first ever win in a World Cup or Quadrangular competition as they beat the UK by 18 goals to 15 goals in a very close match.
In the final on Sunday, South Africa again defeated Zimbabwe but Zimbabwe kept it very close early on. However, from the half way point South Africa started to build a lead and ended up winning by 31 goals to 21 to keep their current ranking as number one in the world. In the third / fourth play off, the UK grabbed revenge and some consolation by defeating Zambia by 20 goals to 19.
In the ‘B’ grade Quadrangular, which was running alongside the main competition, the two South Africa presidents sides finished first and second in the group stage and played each other in the final. The Irish rovers team, which unusually consisted of four ladies and two men, beat Zimbabwe B in the third fourth play off.