Tough and exciting match

2013-06-18 00:00

NORTHWOOD had a tough encounter against Clifton during the week, as did Maritzburg College against Westville on Saturday. Northwood then went on to draw 2-2 all against Kearsney in the final of the Durban Night Series, only then to lose on penalties.

Northwood 3 Clifton 2

Northwood looked to be in control of the match in the first half after camping in the opposition territory, but it was Clifton who scored first when a striker smashed a rebound into the back of the net after a good counter-attack. Northwood answered almost immediately when Matthew de Sousa scored a rebound off a penalty corner to take the score to 1–1 at half time.

The second half saw both teams step up their tempo and it was Northwood who scored first with a brilliant individual effort from De Sousa, who took a long corner and ran skilfully through the Clifton defence and ’keeper to finish into an open net. Clifton were not daunted and answered through a great counterattacking goal with the striker scoring a diving deflection on the far post.

Northwood sealed the victory when De Sousa scored his third with a reverse stick shot from a penalty corner variation.

Maritzburg College 1 Westville 1

The visitors did not come to make up the numbers and came very close to their first win against College. The home side again had a number of scoring opportunities that went abegging, which could have made them comfortable winners. At half time, College led 1-0 due to Michael Forrest in his second game at this level scoring a field goal.

The second half saw Westville come back strongly and equalise from a well-taken penalty corner. Both sides then had further opportunities, but Jason Oakes in the Westville goal prevented any further score from College, including two penalty corners, awarded seconds from one another, within the last minute.

Michaelhouse 3 DHS 2

Michaelhouse scored early after Mike McDonald intercepted and made a strong run. There were a few half chances at both ends, but Gareth Macaskill managed to tap one over the line when there was little space to work with, and this gave the home side a 2-0 lead at the break.

Soon after, there was some enterprising passing and Dominic Pretorius set Macaskill up for his second. DHS were not about to lie down and came back strongly. Three injudicious and silly tackles reduced the hosts to eight men at one point and the visitors were able to finish with two excellent deflections, leaving the hosts a satisfying 3-2 victory in an entertaining match.

Northwood 2 Kearsney 2 (2-3 on penalties)

It was incorrectly stated that Northwood had won the Schools’ Night League. They had drawn, resulting in a penalty shoot-out that won Kearsney the trophy.

The game proved to be a tough and exciting encounter. Northwood, currently ranked as the top KZN team, took the game to Kearsney in the first chukka with 11 circle entries, compared to Kearsney’s one. Northwood’s Matt de Sousa turned the Kearsney defence inside out on numerous occasions and he scored from a penalty corner.

A solid defence by Dylan Middleton in goals kept Northwood at bay from numerous chances. Kearsney came out a lot more confident in the second chukka and went looking for the equaliser. Halfway into the second chukka, Kearsney created an opening and were awarded a penalty corner that Ryan Wallace converted.

In the third chukka, with the scores now even and all to play for, both sides made every effort to gain an advantage. De Sousa put Northwood into the lead converting again from a penalty corner. In a thrilling finish and, with 40 seconds remaining, Dylan Griffiths managed to find some space in the circle and scored a goal to clinch a draw and set up a penalty shoot-out.

Middleton saved all three of Northwood’s first attempts, while Kearsney players converted their first two and then a third to win 3-2.

Other results from the week: Kearsney 2 and Hilton 4; Clifton 2 and St Charles 0; M College II 5 and Treverton 2.

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