Hilton get wake-up call in 5-1 trouncing by Maritzburg college

2012-03-27 00:00

LAST week Maritzburg College and Hilton played one another as part of their preparation for the Nomads Hockey Festival that begins on Friday. Hilton College and Maritzburg College and eight other schools will be participating at Selborne in East London over three days.

College scored the first goal in the first minute when Philip Smerdon scored from a well-struck shot from the circle. At half-time College were 2-0 up with Jordan Turnbull scoring two minutes from half-time.

The second half saw College dominating and from a goalmouth scramble, Turnbull scored his second. Two further goals were scored in the last three minutes of the game. First David Robertson hit a bouncing ball into the net and then Smerdon got his second as he cleverly lifted the ball over the advancing goalkeeper to give College a 5-1 win. Hilton scored from their only penalty corner. College had six penalty corners but could not find the net.

This will give College some confidence against some of the top hockey sides. Hilton has been given a wake-up call, but they were short of a few players who were involved in other commitments. They have lacked some preparation but are sure to improve.

Many of the schools at the Nomads Festival will use it to hone their teams ahead of the domestic season. The core sides at the Festival are Selborne, the hosts in 2012, Grey High School, Grey College, Hilton, Maritzburg College, KES, Jeppe, Pretoria Boys and Wynberg, the latter being constituted as a core school in 2011.

The core schools host the Nomads U18 and U14 festivals in rotation. The core school has the option of inviting one or three schools, depending on available facilities each year. Selborne has invited SACS from Cape Town to make up the 10th school.

The Nomads replaced the Ascension Festival and College coach Mike Bechet will be attending his 30th Ascension/Nomad Festival as coach of the College side. College has one SA U18 player from last year, Tim Guise-Brown, who made the team as an U17 player.

Arthur de Mata, coach of the King Edward School side, has a strong unit with two SA U17 players from 2011. They have played a number of practise games as well as three full matches. Their match against College should be one of the highlights of the festival.

The two Greys, High school from Port Elizabeth and College from Bloemfontein are usually among the top schools in the country and they will also be stern opposition at the festival.

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