College’s hockey wonderkid Tevin Kok has crowd blinking in disbelief

2014-04-15 00:00

THE absence of the holidaying Independent schools meant there was just a smattering of high-profile matches in the KZN boys’ hockey programme. But one match that caught the eye for the stunning display by an individual and the well-oiled collective effort of a team was home side Maritzburg College’s 9-1 demo­lition of a hapless Pretoria Boys’ High School (PBHS), who didn’t know which way to turn by whistle-end.

The slightly built yet deceptively fast Tevin Kok, a striker who offers so much more, nailed a sublime hat-trick inside the initial 12 minutes, including his first (a wonderful solo effort down the middle from the first whistle) inside the opening seven seconds, which had spectators in the Pape’s Astro hockey pavilion blinking in disbelief.

Kok ended with four goals, while the red, black and whites’ other successful strikes went to the accomplished Tyson Dlungwana (2), Peabo Lembethe, Michael Forrest and David Small.

A mark of College’s carving the PBHS defence apart was the number of simple tap-in goals, which pleased new coach Devon van der Merwe no end.

“A key focus was looking for extra passes in the circle [strike zone] and further emphasis on slowing play down in the final [attacking] third [to ensure maximum advantage could be gained from those incursions].”

Van der Merwe told The Witness that Kok, who unsurprisingly hails from Kokstad, was “exceptional”.

“Kok’s ability to link up with the midfielders and other strikers showed that he knew he wasn’t always going to score from first phase, understanding that if he made the pass he would get much better goalscoring opportunities from the second or third phase.”

College, who led 4-0 at half time, were impressive in their cohesion and combination play for much of the match.

Van der Merwe said it was “a great collective effort, from the goalkeeper through to the strikers”.

PBHS, who it must be said had a number of goalscoring opportunities, are surely a better side than the bewildered outfit on Saturday, but the saying that you are only as good as your opponent allows you to be could never have been truer than in this clash.

Next up, College tackle King Edward VII School (KES) in Johannesburg on May 10. The PMB lads drew 2-2 with KES at the Nomads Festival in Johannesburg in the first week of the holidays.

College’s other results were a 4-1 defeat of St Alban’s College of Pretoria, a 1-0 win over Jeppe and a 1-0 shading of St John’s College. The blot was a 4-1 defeat to a very good Wynberg Boys’ High and, if Nomads is anything to go by, which it is, the Cape Town school could well finish the season ranked as the top side in the country yet again.

It was actually a closer match than the score would suggest, said Van der Merwe. “On the day they took their chances and we didn’t, especially the good opportunities we had early on.”

Indeed, if College had got on the scoresheet early, the outcome may well have been different.


Clifton 2 DHS 2; Kingsway 0 Hillcrest 1; New Forest 0 Kloof 4; Thomas More 1 Westville 8; Westville 6 DHS 1.

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