Wesbank became the 13th and final club to be officially nominated for a wild card place in the 2014 Cell C Community Cup when they overwhelmed newly-crowned Boland champions Roses United on the last day of the season to finish second on the Premier League log.
The Malmesbury-based club’s 43-27 victory gave them their 15th win in 18 matches and a final tally of 73 log points – just five adrift of their great rivals Roses but five ahead of outgoing champions Villagers Worcester.
Wesbank’s name will now be added to the list of second-best eligible open clubs from all the provinces, with five of the shortlisted clubs to be chosen by SARU’s Games & Policies Committee later this month to fill the wild card slots available for the 2014 edition of SA’s flagship tournament for non-university clubs.
The wild cards will join the 15 clubs that have already qualified automatically in a 20-team field, with the opening round kicking off on Saturday 8 March 2014 with a televised opening match in the Eastern Cape town of Despatch, and featuring defending champions GAP Despatch.
The 15 confirmed qualifiers are: Welkom Rovers (Griffons), Hamiltons (WP), GAP Despatch (EP), Shumba Ferros (Mpumalanga), Jonsson College Rovers (KZN), Brakpan (Falcons), Roodepoort (Golden Lions), Sishen (Griquas), Bloemfontein Crusaders (Free State), Centurion (Blue Bulls), BB Truck Noordelikes (Blue Bulls Limpopo), Broubart Old Selbornian (Border), Rustenburg Impala (Leopards), Roses United (Boland) and Bridgton (SWD). There are four newcomers – Ferros, Bridgton, Hamiltons and Centurion.
The 13 clubs nominated as wild card candidates by their respective provincial unions, and from which the final five qualifiers will come, are (in alphabetical order): Boksburg (Valke), SA Home Loans Durban Collegians (KZN), East London Police (Border), Kimberley (Griquas), Middelburg (Mpumalanga), Mossel Bay Barbarians (SWD), Oostelikes Eagles (Blue Bulls), Glasfit Pirates (Golden Lions), Spring Rose (EP), Tygerberg (WP), Vaal Reefs (Leopards), Welkom (Griffons) and Wesbank (Boland).
The updated 2014 Cell C Community Cup draw:
Pool A – GAP Despatch (EP), Bridgton (SWD), Broubart Old Selbornian (Border), Wild Card 1, Wild Card 2.
Pool B – Jonsson College Rovers (KZN), Roodepoort (Golden Lions), Welkom Rovers (Griffons), Bloemfontein Crusaders (Free State), Wild Card 3.
Pool C – Brakpan (Valke), Centurion (Blue Bulls), Roses United (Boland), BB Truck Noordelikes (Limpopo), Wild Card 4.
Pool D – Rustenburg Impala (Leopards), Hamiltons (WP), Sishen (Griquas), Shumba Ferros (Mpumalanga), Wild Card 5.