Gap between stronger and weaker schools narrows

2010-04-20 00:00

THE standard of hockey in all the major schools appears to be improving, as the gap between the better schools and the weaker ones narrows. It was an interesting set of results on the opening week of the winter term.

Michaelhouse vs Kearsney

Michaelhouse started slowly, giving their visitors a chance to dominate, which they did, scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes. The first was scored by Nathan Pillborough, who picked up a square ball from Josh Perry, who had broken down the left. The second was scored by Ryan Schmidts, who had picked up a loose ball, dribbled along the base line and caught the Michaelhouse keeper out of position.

This goal shook Michaelhouse out of their slumber and they started finding their rhythm, enabling them to force a number of penalty corners. David Watson laid a good pass into the circle which was stopped, but in the melee Kieran­ Allen scrambled the ball into the goal to open the home side’s tally.

Michaelhouse continued to dominate and were soon on equal terms, when Pieter Pelser outpaced the Kearsney defence and with a powerful shot made the score two all.

Just before the break, Kearsney regained the lead when a penalty-corner variation, the ball was slipped to Robbie Veldhuizen, who converted with a drag-flick. After even contests between the two sides in the third quarter, Michaelhouse drew level midway through the half when Richard Ashforth beat a few defenders and the keeper with a reverse stick shot. Play then became frenetic, with both sides looking for the winner. With just a few minutes remaining, a Kearsney penalty corner was saved, but the rebound was picked up by Richard­ Pentecost, who made no mistake, giving his side a 4-3 win in an entertaining match.

Glenwood vs Maritzburg College

Maritzburg College had a tight game against Glenwood, a team that they have always beaten comfortably. However, the penalty corner count of eight for College and four for Glenwood indicates that College had dominated the play.

Cameron Redmead scored from a penalty corner to open the scoring in the first quarter. Some excellent goal keeping by Alex van der Merwe kept College at bay, to leave them just one goal up at half time.

Grant Glutz scored a good field goal followed a while later by Nic Wanliss after an excellent build-up. This put College into a 3-0 lead, but Glenwood continued trying and in the fourth quarter­ they were awarded their fourth penalty corner, which was converted by Gareth McGregor-Langley, giving the visitors a 3-1 win.

Hilton vs Westville

Westville, although under pressure from Hilton, defended mightily and it wasn’t until midway in the first half that Hilton’s first goal was scored by Keith Chaplin. This released some of the tension and a good run from midfield saw James du Plessis score the second. A reverse stick shot by Oliver Allen, put Hilton into a 3-0 lead after 30 minutes.

The second half saw a change in fortunes as Westville started putting more pressure on Hilton and they came back. Hilton held on to their lead and in the final 10 minutes Westville pressure resulted in two field goals. The first was scored by Matt de Silva and the second by Calvin Shipley to make the final score 3-2 to the home side.

Northwood vs St Charles

This promised to be a close game as the teams had drawn in 2009 and both had recently beat Durban High School by a similar result.

Northwood opened the scoring with a superb cross which was smacked into the goal. Gareth Dukes then drove the ball towards the goal from the top of the D and a slight deflection off the stick of Mzamo Cele levelled the scores. St Charles then went ahead when an Uli Fischer cross which was picked up by Kalin Nundall, who goaled.

St Charles’s third was scored by Dukes in the third quarter and then St Charles lost their cohesion. Northwood increased the pressure and scored their second goal. St Charles managed to hang on for a deserved 3-2 victory.

Maritzburg College vs St Charles

Earlier in the week College played St Charles, the first time since 2006 when they won by double figures. Grant Glutz scored the first two goals, the second with a drag-flick from a penalty corner which gave Joel Barron little chance in the goal. Waide Grunow scored a field goal to make it 3-0 at the break.

Glutz set up the scoring opportunity for Cameron Redmead early in the second­ half and he made it 4-0, before Nic Wanliss scored a brace to take it to 6-0. Tim Guise-Brown had a good run beating three opponents down the left flank before passing to Wanliss for the second of his goals.

College then took their foot off the pedal and credit to St Charles, who came back with two goals in the last 10 minutes. Both these were scored by Gareth­ Dukes.

Scores in brief Michaelhouse 3 Kearsney 4; Glenwood 1 Maritzburg College 3; Hilton 3 Westville 2; Northwood 2 St Charles 3; Maritzburg College 6 St Charles 2; DHS 3 Thomas More 1; Carter 5 Alexandra 0.

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