Hockey fixtures see some tight battles fought

2015-03-24 00:00

THERE were some tasty schoolboy hockey fixtures last weekend as the winter sports calendar settled down for the coming months.

Michaelhouse hosted Glenwood, Hilton travelled to Kearsney, Maritzburg College welcomed DHS and Westville travelled across the Umgeni to take on Northwood.

Michaelhouse 4 Glenwood 2

Played on the Aitken’s Astro in Balgowan, Michaelhouse were first out the blocks thanks to two field goals, courtesy of Marc Conlon and Lethu Mthembu, in the second and 14th minutes.

These strikes galvanised Glenwood into action and they stormed back with intent to dominate the latter periods of the first half.

They earned four penalty corners in quick succession and despite ­Michaelhouse’s best efforts in defence, Glenwood converted in the 28th minute to make the score 2-1 to the hosts at the break.

Michaelhouse struck soon after the resumption, with James Strachan converting a field goal after a strong counter attack and Gareth Macaskill adding the finishing touch with his side’s fourth goal in the 49th minute.

Glenwood kept trying to narrow the deficit and pulled one back from a penalty corner with six minutes remaining.

This was a case of Michaelhouse making their chances count when the opportunity arose.

Maritzburg College 10 DHS 0

This was College’s first match of the season and, with the rich sporting tradition between the two schools, they wanted to start with purpose.

It took nine minutes for College to get on the scoreboard, with Amkelwa Letuka doing the business. It was an advantage College never let slip as they took control of the match.

Within 10 minutes of the opening strike, College enjoyed a crazy patch, converting three opportunities within two minutes to open a 4-0 lead at the break.

Both teams enjoyed some interchange as the second-half clock ticked down but College remained in control, with an individual effort from captain Tyson Dlungwana adding the fifth goal.

Midfielder Bradley Sherwood found the net with a shot from the top of the circle and Courtney Halle converted two drag flicks from penalty corners.

David Small scored a brace and Amkelwa added another to his first-half effort. Nthethe Lefefa was also on the scoresheet.

Kearsney 3 Hilton 2

Kearsney started the stronger, creating numerous opportunities in the circle but was unable to convert. Such is the nature of sport that once the teams settled, it was Hilton who opened the scoring, breaking away against the run of play to earn a penalty stroke which was converted.

The lead lasted for three minutes before Kearsney drew level, with Lyle Hewitson smashing home a field goal as his side began to assert their authority. Five minutes before the break, the hosts were 2-1 to the good when Lyle repeated his earlier exploits after a great team build-up.

Showing more intent and purpose as the second half started, Hilton searched for the equaliser which they found within the first five minutes.

This heralded a great climax to the clash, although Kearsney still looked the stronger side and controlled proceedings. At the back, Lyle Jarvel, Ru Baker, Cameron Rencken, Simon Nortje and Hylton Parsons dictated much play, setting up attacks from good ball movement at the back.

With great midfield presence, Kears­ney found a penalty corner in the final three minutes of the game, which saw Baker score the decisive winner.

Hilton threw everything into attack and Kearsney called on all their skill to keep them at bay for the final two-and-a-half minutes.

Northwood 4 Westville 8

Having lost to Hilton last week, Westville were keen to return to winning ways against their northern neighbours.

Northwood started well, taking the game to an unsettled Westville, and were rewarded when Shane Bradbury opened the scoring, his backhand shot lobbing over Westville keeper Tristan Smith who had come out to meet the striker at the top of the circle.

When Westville did finally hit their straps, Mbuso Mgobozi levelled after the ball rebounded off Northwood keeper Garrick Goldman.

Having equalised, Westville pushed forward and hit the front thanks to an instinctive deflection from striker Jason Broomhead. Captain Ryan Bradfield converted a penalty corner, with the favour returned when Northwood slotted home on the stroke of half time to have the match evenly poised at 3-2 to the visitors.

Westville took charge as the second half started, with Ryan getting his second in, converting a short corner with another drag flick.

Not to be outdone, Northwood fired a volley of their own, scoring twice to even affairs with 20 minutes on the clock remaining.

As fatigue and the heat began to count, it was Westville who emerged the stronger, finding the net four times in 15 minutes to take the win.

Ryan got his hat-trick with another flick from a penalty corner, Mbuso matched the feat with a brace to add to his first half effort and Jason rammed one into the roof of the net after a goalmouth scramble with four minutes remaining.

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