It was a great weekend for defending champs, Jeppe Boys of Gauteng(featured Image), as they marched convincingly to retaining their crown at the Belgotex Sport Kearsney Hockey Fives held at Kearsney College.
At the start of play on day 2 it seemed that Pool B could end up being a two horse race between KZN10 rivals Westville boys and Kearsney College. Unfortunately for the KZN lads some inspired play from Parktown Boys saw the Gauteng outfit top the pool ahead of Westville.
This left Westville having to play unbeaten Jeppe in the cross pool semi whilst Parktown took on Grey College in the other cross pool fixture.
The results were as follows:
Perhaps it was only fitting that the final would be between Jeppe and Grey as they both had lethal scorers and resolute defences throughout the tournament.
In the 3/4th placed playoff Pool B rivals, Westville and Parktown, competed to settle some unsettled business.
Jeppe who were the class act on the weekend defeated Grey College 10-3 in the final to convincingly take the title for the 2nd year running.
Westville defeated Parktown in the 3/4th placed playoff to take the Bronze.
Now in its 3rd year the Belgotex Sport Kearsney Hockey Fives tournament is looking set to become a must see weekend in the years to come. Well done to all who were involved.
The day one results had a settled look about it as Hockey powerhouses, Jeppe and Westville, sit atop their respective pools at the end of Day 1 of the Belgotex Sport Kearsney Hockey Fives tournament at Kearsney College.
Defending champs, Jeppe from Gauteng, are on a considerable tear having gone 4 from 4 on day 1. Most impressive is their strike rate of almost 9 goals for and a paltry 2 against per fixture.
Pool B leaders, Westville Boys, are in a tight race for supremacy as they battle it out for top spot with upper highway foes, Kearsney College. Their clash on the last morning will surely determine who ends top of pool and avoid the Jeppe juggernaut in the cross pool playoffs.
Fellow KZN10 Schools, Michaelhouse and DHS, have found the going tough as they only registered 1 win each. Clifton School are locked in a tight race with Grey College for the 2nd spot in Pool A behind Jeppe. With Cliftons last match against Jeppe it will take a spirited performance from the Durban boys to claim a win with a fair amount of goals.
With the business end of the tournament set for Saturday its set for a thrilling climax.
Tomorrow marks the start of the 3rd Belgotex Sport Kearsney Hockey Fives tournament to be played on the Masons Astro at Kearsney College. The tournament now entering its 3rd year is building on a marked upswing in the popularity of the format since the introduction of the format at the 2014 Youth Olympic games in Nanjing, China.
Hockey 5s is based on the format of the highly successful T20 cricket, Sevens Rugby and Basketball 3on3 models, with shorter matches and faster paced action. With these modifications it is sure to be an exhilarating and enjoyable game for both players and spectators this coming weekend.
There had been rumours that the marked success of the short format, particularly at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, may prompt the FIH(Hockey’s governing body) to scrap the 11 v 11 format for future Olympic games but this option was not taken further.
Participating boys high school teams include Clifton College, DHS, Garsfontein, Grey College, Jeppe Boys, Kearsney College, Michaelhouse, Parktown, St Andrews, Thomas More College, Waterkloof and Westville Boys’ High School.
Primary school teams taking part are Ashton, Bonisanani, Curro HCA, Highbury, Hillcrest Senior Primary, Northlands, Reddam Umhlanga, St Peters, Umhlali Prep and Westville Senior Primary School.
For a full set of fixtures and times Click here.
From Thursday 8 August – Sunday 11 August the action is sure to fierce. For a festive way to spend your long weekend head down to Bothas Hill.
The stage is set for yet another thrilling chapter in the long history of Michaelhouse/Hilton College hockey derbies. Come Saturday’s 11.20am push-back, the Aitkens Astro arena will be jam-packed.
Chanting, cheering Hilton and Michaelhouse boys supporting their schoolmates as well as scores of moms dads brothers sisters grandparents aunties and uncles – and hundreds of Old Boys of these two exceptional education institutions – will have their eyes glued to the turf.
This Martin Ashworth feature photo shows 2018 Michaelhouse captain Mubeezi Lubinga (left) first to congratulate 4-goal Ben (10) Rebeck in last year’s Aitkens Astro fixture.
The Aitkens Astro match in early May last year will go down as one of the most exciting and extraordinary encounters yet seen.
Hilton were the favourites – and proved as much in the opening chukka, during which they were all over the Men of House.
Yet the consequent Hilton College reward that should have reflected on the electronic scoreboard didn’t materialise…
Hilton could have been 2 or even 3 goals to the good in those fateful first 15 minutes – and that might have blown Men of House captain Mubeezi Lubinga and Co. out the ballpark…
If Hilton go 2 or 3 goals up, it is very seldom in modern times that the Boys in Black and White afford an opponent the privilege of getting even a foothold back into the game.
Then followed, on that Magical 2018 May-the-5th Day, one of those extraordinary sporting sequences that every schoolboy dreams of.
Michaelhouse’s grade 11 striker and penalty corner drag-flick ace Ben Rebeck flashed four goals into the back of the Hilton net…
The 4-2 Michaelhouse win had turned into the classic scenario of the underdogs upsetting the fancied in a head-to-head one-off battle where previous form and reputation means very little on the day.
Hilton duly won the return match last year – and once more in the first match this year.
And once again Hilton will be strongly favoured to emerge victorious come 12.30pm or so tomorrow when the last sound of the siren rings out after what is sure to 60 action-packed minutes of KZN10 schoolboy hockey.
Ben Rebeck is captain of Michaelhouse this year, while his KZN Inland team-mate of this year and last year, John Turner, leads Hilton from his goalkeeper position.
Of concern to the supporters of Michaelhouse is that their first team have proved to be vulnerable in the midfield at times this year.
There was no better evidence than in the crazy Kearsney College turnaround in the Aitkens Astro match earlier this season when a three-goal blitz in the second half owed much to the fact that the Men of House had lost control of the middle of the park.
Hilton have a very good midfield, with playmaker Cameron Pearce of immense value to his side.
Blessed with great vision – and skilful in retaining possession when under pressure – Pearce is able to hold up the ball in order to give his team-mates time to pour through, or release it quickly and accurately when the chance is on.
In Cameron Pearce and Ben Rebeck, Hilton and Michaelhouse have two outstanding exponents of the penalty corner drag-flick.
But the set-piece strike success or not depends to a marked degree on the speed and accuracy of the corner injection pass as well as the skill of the trapper in “teeing up” the ideal vantage point for the ace flickers to best display their net-busting & backboard-slamming prowess .
Both sides aim to play fast, attacking hockey while also paying due respect to the defensive element to the game.
The respective game plans devised by the coaches Devon van der Merwe and Darryn Gallagher (Hilton) and Richard Snowden and Grant von Mayer (Michaelhouse) will also be fascinating to witness.
The team who best understand what is required of them tactically will be best-placed to make the correct decisions in the various areas of the pitch.
A top KZN10 schoolboy hockey match is an exceptionally fast-paced, exciting spectacle in which defence can turn into counter-attack in the blink of an eye.
Who reads the game best over the 60 minutes on KZN10.com Super Saturday and who creates the higher percentage of quality space for their team-mates will likely take the best options in the moment.
Let’s hope that it’s going to be a free-flowing game where flair and the opportunistic moment is well-rewarded.
See you there.
There have been a number of exciting KZN10 schools’ first team hockey matches this season, but the Clifton College 4-3 at Hilton stakes a big claim to be the pick of the bunch.
RenateMonty feature photo: Clifton first team and title-winning KZN Coastal mentor Keegan Pearce is a tactician of note.
Here is Clifton head coach Keegan Pearce’s thoughts on the match, a match which I personally would never have predicted could go the Durban team’s way.
“Coming into Saturday’s fixture with Hilton, Jono, it certainly was daunting playing away against such a well-structured and tactically astute Hilton College team.
“The odds were certainly against us and we needed a good start to give ourselves an opportunity to win. The first 20 minutes seemed like a whirlwind. We scored 3 goals inside the first 15 minutes.
“We targeted the counter-attacks, and a key part of our game was to move the ball on early.
“We capitalised on what, at times, was loose marking and we connected passes superbly to get behind the defensive line almost every attacking play. This allowed us to gain entry into the attacking 23-metre area and also make circle entries, and 3 goals was the result.”
A combination of turnovers and counter-attacks from deep plus space in the Hilton midfield led to field goals by Clifton’s Justin Wood, Spencer Klue and Luke Wilson. But could underdogs Clifton maintain such incredible momentum?
Yes indeed. Here’s Keegan:
“We scored a 4th goal in the 2nd chukka to go 4-0 up and that really cemented our lead in the second half.”
With a Hilton player on the receiving end of an umpire’s green card at a point during the second chukka, Clifton pocketed their second deflection goal, Daryl Lotter emulating the same scoring manner of Justin Wood’s opening goal in this high-octane clash.
Remarkably, the rampant Clifton combination nearly went 5-0 up just 5 minutes from halftime after sterling work by John Munford, but the Daryl Lotter effort shaved the wrong side of the left post.
Back to Clifton head coach Keegan Pearce:
“Then we were complacent and conceded a penalty corner in the last 10 seconds of the 2nd chukka.”
The penalty corner stemmed from an inspired drive and Hilton College’s skilful playmaker and drag-flick king Cameron Pearce made no error in flashing the ball into the left side of the goals.
Despite Clifton being a remarkable 4-1 up going into the second half, this match was by no means over, as the classy Hilton College team had a good 30 minutes in which to overhaul the Durban side’s impressive, but not unbeatable, 3-goal margin.
Here’s Clifton coach Keegan Pearce:
“With nothing to lose, Hilton put everything they had into the last 30 minutes and pressed us so well that the cracks started to show!
“We defended deep for long periods, and naturally but unfortunately we adopted a defend-at-all-costs mindset. It meant our build-up was rushed and too direct, and Hilton capitalised on that to win a few penalty corners and scored a great goal from a strong flick.”
As KZN10.com reporter at pitch-side, ZekeO, commented in his match report, “Up stepped that man (Cameron) Pearce whose drag flick exploded the back of the Clifton net… 4-2 is how the (third) chukka ended.”
Back to Clifton mentor Keegan Pearce:
“We played out to a 4-2 lead until the last few minutes, when again some great pressing and brilliant intercepting from Hilton saw them score to make it 4-3.”
As KZN10.com reporter Zeke put it: “In the 59th minute (Stephan) Liebenberg guided a bullet cross into the back of the net, making the score 4-3. With a minute to go the tension was palpable as the Clifton boys tried to hold onto the ball.”
Clifton coach Keegan Pearce praised his boys for hanging on so well in that emotion-charged final minute to seal a memorable 4-3 victory.
Head coach Devon van der Merwe’s Hilton College lads will be looking to end off their successful season on a high note when they visit Aitken’s Astro in Balgowan this Saturday morning and a match-up with captain Ben Rebeck’s buoyant Michaelhouse side, who on Pape’s Astro last Saturday were the first Men of House in 19 years to beat Maritzburg College in their own backyard.
Hilton won this year’s first encounter with Michaelhouse in what was an at-times acrimonious affair, so let’s hope that the 15 June KZN10.com Super Saturday Feature Match will be free of undue tension and full of sparkling schoolboy hockey.
In 2018 the annual two-match Hilton/Michaelhouse series was shared 1 apiece, the Aitken’s Astro match a personal triumph for Ben Rebeck who nailed all 4 of the Men of House’s goals in the Michaelhouse victory.
Hilton College entered their match against Clifton College as clear favourites as they hosted the boys from Durban on a crisp but clear winters day. An inspired 1st half of hockey from the visitors was just enough to beat a 2nd half revival from the hosts, 4-3.
The match started with Hilton playing their customary brand of attacking hockey whilst employing an aggressive man to man in defence.
Clifton absorbed all the early pressure and were the first team to score. A Hilton turnover led to a breakout and a speculative cross was met by Justin Wood to score a deflected goal in the 6 minute. 1-0, and a dream start to Clifton.
In the 9th minute things got even better, another breakout from Clifton, and a brilliant timed deflected pass from Matt Strauss found Spencer Klue open in the D, who calmly slid the ball past the Hilton keeper, John Turner, to make the score 2-0.
The visitors weren’t done, either. Hilton were guilty of leaving far to much space in the midfield, space which the Clifton links and forwards ruthlessly exploited. A surging counter attack had Clifton again bearing down on the Hilton goal and some slick movement between Lotter and Stauss found Luke Wilson open to neatly tuck the ball in the goal. 3-0 in the 13th minute.
That ended a whirlwind chukka with many in the stands scarcely believing what they had just witnessed but all very aware that there was still 45 minutes of hockey ahead.
The 2nd chukka had more of a settled pattern of play as the midfield battle intensified between Cameron Pearce and Branson Bertasso, as each took opportunities to try and impose their will on the game. Pearce was his usual self as it sometimes took multiple defenders to halt his forward progress.
Hilton continued pressing up the field in man to man coverage leaving space for Bertasso, Munford and Strauss to work as they ran onto passes from the back.
Cliftons 4th goal in the 23rd minute came after a Hilton green card and a change in defensive formation. With a man down there was just a little more space for Jonathan Munro to smash a ball at goal from the top of the D. Through the crowd of bodies and hockey sticks the ball somehow found the end of Daryl Lotters stick who deflected the ball past Turner. 4-0 to the visitors it couldn’t get any better, could it?
In the 25th minute it almost was. Clifton had a great opportunity to make it 5 in the half, and surely seal the game in 2 chukkas, as a strong Munford breakout opened up space for Lotter. Turner did a great job of closing down the angle for Lotter whose push shot rolled agonisingly past the left upright.
The question was with time running down could Clifton keep a clean sheet or could Hilton, at least, get 1 goal back before the half? With time running down a lively run by Hiltons, Stephan Liebenberg, caused panic in the Clifton defence.
In the scramble Clifton were penalised for deliberately pushing the ball over the back line. PC to Hilton with 20 seconds remaining in the half. Pearce who had already had one of his efforts saved made no mistake this time as he beat keeper, Rajcoomar, to his left ending the 1st half 4-1 to the visitors.
After the game Keegan Pearce, coach of the Clifton College 1st side, had this to say regarding the opening half.
‘I think that what we were very good at was playing on the counter. They committed to many numbers at times, just because its their attacking style, and we just set up some great combination passes and got behind their lines which ultimately led to us scoring 4 goals in 25 minutes which was brilliant.’
Brilliant indeed and with only 30 minutes to play Hilton College Coach, Devon Van der Merwe, needed to make some adjustments.
The 2nd half a decidedly different feel to it as Hilton committed more numbers into the midfield and crammed the passing lanes. Keegan breaks it down for us.
’From an out letting perspective, they pushed extra numbers on the overload and we struggled to adapt.’
At times Clifton were guilty of just trying to be to clever with the ball when the the more prudent option would be to get the ball out of the red zone by any means necessary.
Hilton were camped in the Clifton third and in the 34th minute a strike from Liebenberg was well saved by Rajcoomar. Suubi Mugerwa-Sekawabe started putting his mark on the game as he directed the Hilton attack down the left and right channels as sprayed passes to eager runners.
Clifton defended valiantly as they threw themselves across the astro keeping the skilful Hilton players at bay. In the 42nd minute it seemed that the dam wall may be showing a few cracks. A racking slap stick pass from Sekwawabe earned Hilton a PC.
Up stepped that man Pearce whose drag flick exploded the back of the Clifton net making it a brace for the burly midfielder. 4-2 is how the chukka ended, but Hilton were quite clearly in the drivers seat at this stage.
With the the start of the 4th chukka Hilton ,again, increased the pressure by man marking the Clifton players. With the Clifton midfield and strikers seeming to tire a little there just didn’t seem to be the same kind of space for the backs and midfielders to operate in.
In the 49th minute came another Hilton PC with Pearce once again taking the flick forcing a great save from Rajcoomar. It was all Hilton as the probed and prodded trying to get to the by line. In the 53rd minute Rajcoomar was again the Clifton saviour as the keeper first saved a shot from Pearce and the follow up from Liebenberg.
The pressure on the Clifton goal seemed relentless, but just it looked like they would break the Clifton boys would rally and clear the danger.
Clifton escaped up field and in the 55th minute and earned a precious PC of their own. Munford, showing great strength on the ball, was dragged to the ground buy a Hilton defender far outside the D. The PC didn’t yield any fruits but it had moved play into the Hilton defensive third.
A Strauss reverse stick strike beat Turner to the left to make it 5-2 to the visitors? No, the umpire blew his whistle for an third party obstruction on Clifton. That certainly would have sealed it, but on we played as the time continued ticking down.
Back came Hilton as they searched desperately for their third goal and in the 59th minute Leibenberg guided a bullet cross into the back of the net making the score 4-3. With a minute to go the tension was palpable as the Clifton boys tried to hold onto the ball. Mercifully time ran out with the Clifton in control and, more importantly, holding a 4-3 advantage over the top ranked school in the country.
Keegan had this to say,
‘in the last chukka they went 10 v 10 against us which made it very hard for us to get connections which is what we thrived on in the 1st half. They were great interceptors and won some proper balls so it was tough for us to get forward.’
When asked about the season as a whole and his teams performance on Saturday.
‘I think our biggest problem is that we have so many junior boys, so we have only 3 matrics, so its very hard to find consistency as boys have up and down games as teenagers do… I think we have gotten better and better which is to be expected if the boys put in the hard work.
I just think today we just capitalised and scored the goals where in the first five our six games we just didn’t score enough goals. If you not going to score goals you not going to win matches.’
Thank you Keegan for your time and what a great way for Clifton to end their 2019 season with a win over Hilton College away from home. Next up for Hilton is a trip to frenemies, Michaelhouse.
Hilton College 3(1)
Goals: Cameron Pearce x 2, Stephan Liebenberg
Clifton College 4(4)
Goals: Spencer Klue, Luke Wilson, Justin Wood, Daryl Lotter
the KZN School hockey results from this last weekend.
Northwood and Kearsney play to a pulsating draw. (Featured image – Kearsney College)
Clifton College end their season on memorable high against Hilton College. Match report here
Michaelhouse leave Maritzburg College with their first win in 19 years.
Hilton College vs Clifton College
Northwood vs Kearsney College
Maritzburg College vs Michaelhouse
In their final match of the 2019 hockey season Westville Boys took on Kearsney College on old boys day. In a fixture which saw the hosts seldom troubled for any extended period of time, a totally dominant display, lead to a 3-1 victory for the home team.
Kearsney started off the game at a frenetic pace as they harried and hassled the Westville players into unusual mistakes in the opening minutes.
The strategy seemed a good one as Westville play a slow, deliberate, possession based game which forces their opponents to cover allot of ground to cover passing lanes as the move the ball from side to side.
Kearsney, for their part, were successful in halting any Westville flow as they tore round the 3 schools astro.
For all their endeavour, though, they couldn’t quite get enough of the ball to create goal scoring chances of their own.
The quality of the Westville team soon started to show, however, as Ethan Matkovich and Wynand Steynberg gained control of the tempo of the game.
Their passing and great linking with Luke Allen and Randal Govender pushed Kearsney further and further back until the visitors were well and truly pinned in their half for large portions of the 1st half.
The first opportunity for a goal came in the 5th minute as a strong drive by Govender earned Westville a PC. A Luke Allen drag flick flashed past the left upright of Christopher Kiggen, a warning shot to the boys from Kearsney that this wasn’t going to be an easy afternoon.
With 3 seconds left in the 1st chukka a driving run from Govender earned the griffins another PC. The resultant save by Hayden De Kock must go do as one of the stops of the season. A Matkovich drag flick missile was incredibly swatted away on the goal line a few inches from De Kocks face.
A great piece of skill and life preservation from the defender.
The 2nd chukka had a familiar pattern to it as Westville’s calm, measured, approach eventually lead to a passing lane for the ball to get up field.
In the 23rd minute came their next chance as some great individual work from Joshua Davies created a little space for Joshua Korte to fire over the Kearsney crossbar.
That the half ended at 0-0 doesn’t reflect the total control that Westville had on the match at this stage. But, to Kearsneys credit, they had defended manfully up to this point in keeping Westville at bay.
The Griffins dominance was rewarded, however, shortly after the break, as a great run from Korte earned Westville a PC in the 31st minute. A simple push out to the 1st castle and a Allen drag flick found the back of the goal. 1-0 to the hosts.
Kearsney College, who had been content on sitting fairly deep on defence, immediately sprang into life and starting pressing little a bit higher up the field in search of a equaliser. Westville who had been in total control of the tempo of the match got a bit to casual in possession and were disposed deep in their half giving Calvin Davis a chance to shoot just wide.
Kearsney, sensing that Westville had lost a little concentration, continued to play with a lot more aggression and hunger. It was during one of the brighter passages of play from Kearsney that a brilliant 40 metre slap stick pass from Chase Kelly found James Maguire open on the edge of the D. With only the keeper to beat the striker unfortunately scuffed his shot.
In the 48th minute Kearsney were rewarded for their efforts with a goal of their own after some great work in the D by Menzi Mhlungu earned Kearsney a PC.
If there is anyone who has been a rock for the Kearsney team this season it has to be captain, Chase Kelly. The PC specialist has a bullet drag flick and has phenomenal strike rate at short corners.
With another one of his thunderbolts crashing into the back of the goal he levelled the scores at 1-1. Great rewards for the Kearsney boys as they came out with a great deal of intent after the Westville score.
With Kearsney playing such a high line in search of goals it left acres of space in the midfield and it was only a matter of time until the Westville passing game clicked into gear.
In the 52 minute a breakout lead by Korte headed up the field with Randal Govender and Mazwi Meyiwa in support. Korte bounced through the defence like a pinball as would be defenders were summarily dispatched as he sped determinedly up field.
Just as he was about to be enveloped a by a swarm of defenders he deftly passed to an unmarked Govender to his left.
The midfielder, showing a great degree of poise, pirouetted away from the advancing goalkeeper before rolling a simple pass to Meyiwa who tapped the ball into the empty goal making the score 2-1 to the hosts.
Credit must go to Kearsney who, in spite of conceding a goal, continued to press a high line in search of an equaliser. The Westville midfield and backs were just to calm and controlled though.
They picked their way through the Kearsney pressure with Govender, Davies and Korte being simply outstanding in this stanza as they moved purposefully up field.
It was the another midfielder, Jarrod Slanely who earned the PC for the 3rd goal in the 55th minute after a great lay off from Davies.
A drag out to the 1st castle set the table for Matkovich to drill a powerful drag flick to the keepers left making the score 3-1 to the hosts.
The remainder of the game turned into a bit of a procession as the Westville boys relished the last 5 minutes of their school hockey careers.
That this team finished undefeated is a testament to the quality of this bunch of boys and the work of Cameron Mackay, the names of Matkovitch, Steynberg, Allen, Govender, Korte and Davies will be forever remembered as being part of one of Westvilles finest 1st XI hockey sides.
All the KZN school hockey results for the 1 June. It was great result for Westville Boys as they finish their season undefeated, Hilton College makes history.
St Charles vs Northwood
Westville Boys vs Kearsney College
DHS vs Glenwood
Hilton College vs Maritzburg College
Michaelhouse vs St Johns College(away)
Clifton College vs St Davids Marist Inanda
All the KZN School Hockey results for the 25 may – KZN10. Westville and Maritzburg College play themselves to a draw. Clifton shows its class, Northwood have mixed fortunes in Gauteng.
Maritzburg College vs Westville Boys
Featured pic: There is no way through Sicelo Ngcobo(MC) tackles Luke Allen(W)- Photo Martin Ashworth
DHS vs Clifton College
Northwood vs KES
Northwood vs St Benedicts