Woodlands surprise

2017-09-12 06:00

“The team has reached a new level. Let’s hope the momentum stays with us.”

This was the match summary of over-the-moon Woodlands High School captain Chazley Cocha after his team caused a stir by beating favourites Oval North High 1-0 in the MRP Foundation high schools league at the Rocklands sports complex on Saturday.

The pace of the game was frenetic. Play went from end to end without either team able to penetrate the opposition defence for a shot at goal. It was a very even contest, although Woodlands High controlled the ball at times in the latter part of the first half. The half ended 1-0.

“We felt we weathered the harder of the two halves really well, given we would have the slight advantage of a blustery wind in the second half. We spoke about how we’ve managed this challenge after picking up three points from our mid-week clash against Glendale, which we won 1-0.

“No matter what the scoreline, we remained positive and encourage each other. We knew we had the game plan and ability to get a result, so long as we stuck to our structure and shared the ball around, particularly out wide.”

A first-half strike by Charl Julie turned out to be sufficient as Woodlands High upset the apple cart with a well-deserved victory.

It was Woodlands High’s second win of the season in four days. The seven points from their 11 matches played lifted them from the bottom of the log to 13th spot in the 16-team competition. “All of a sudden, our defence did superbly well and our midfield clicked into gear. We weren’t allowed much space when going forward but after a fine corridor attack and wide ball from Charlton van der Walt, our striker Julie slammed in the all-important goal to enable us maximum points,” said Cocha.

Oval North High mentor Faeed Williams wasn’t in the best of moods after the result and neither were their potent match-winners Curwyn Barry, Cody Moses, Jade Magerman and Leanan ­Cornellissen.

This Saturday Woodlands High will square up to Lentegeur High.

All eyes will be fixed on the defending champions, Beacon Hill High (currently in third spot on the log with 25 points after 11 outings) and pace setters Cloetesville High.

The Stellenbosch side is unbeaten with 31 points after 11 games and in a very good position to win their fourth league title. If Wilbur Beukes’s Beacon Hill players cannot stop Cloetesville from piling on the points, then Cloetesville High will be a sure bet to win the crown.

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