College hockey cement top spot

2014-08-19 00:00

IN their last match of the year, coach Devon van der Merwe’s Maritzburg College 1st team cemented their position as the top schoolboy hockey side in South Africa with a convincing 4-2 victory over a determined Grey College in Bloemfontein.

The respected website has College top and Westville second, a fine effort by KZN schools as a whole and the respective 1st team mentors Van der Merwe and Sharmin Naidoo.

“It was a quality encounter between two schools with a rich history,” Van der Merwe told The Witness yesterday.

“It was interesting to see how College would go considering this was their first time playing on a Friday evening as opposed to the traditional Saturday morning.

“The challenge was also to see if they could gel as a team without their seasoned regulars, SA U18 players Tevin Kok, Tyson Dlungwana [both at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China] and Byron van der Merwe, plus Michael Forrest.”

In customary fashion, Maritzburg College attacked from the outset, opening the scoring in the fourth minute, Courtney Hallé stepping up to the plate for the first time this season. His well-taken flick beat the Grey College (Grey) goalkeeper and the visitors had the advantage.

In the 11th minute, College striker David Small received a through-ball from SA U18 midfielder Paebo Lembethe and tapped in around the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.

“The game was tight with end-to-end attacking from both teams,” said Van der Merwe.

College nailed their third goal of the night when Small was again on the button and one minute before half time, Grey managed to pull one back with a deflection from open play.

Turning around 3-1 up, College were put under immense pressure and Grey pulled a second goal back midway through the second half via a penalty corner. Feeling the game was in reach and sensing victory, Grey continued to attack but College goalkeeper Wesley Vezasie was equal to the task, ensuring he kept his team 3-2 ahead.

With full time up and College awarded a penalty corner, Amkelwa Letuka scored to ensure a 4-2 win.

Coach Van der Merwe said goalkeeper Vezasie and Landon Campbell were College’s standout players on the night.

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