With Covid-19 having wreaked havoc with sport all around the world, including, of course, the schools’ rugby season, we’re taking a look back at some past teams and, on this occasion, we’ll focus mostly on the Michaelhouse 1st XV of 1986, which also had its own issues with quarantine. The side’s captain, Bruce Herbert, chatted with KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan.

Shortly after the start of the 1986 season, an outbreak of hepatitis saw the Michaelhouse 1st XV quarantined to the school sanatorium for three weeks, (the rest of the school continued to function normally) undermining the form of a very talented side, which produced five Natal Schools’ players, including Bruce Herbert (prop), Philip King (hooker), John Pool (lock), Richard Firth (flank) and Murray Collins (scrumhalf). That was, at the time, a Michaelhouse record.

Bruce started in the 1st XV in 1985, having made the move straight from under-15 A after the departure of Mike Reilly, which opened up a place at tighthead prop. He was still 15 when he made his debut on a pre-season tour to East London against Selborne College. Up against players three or four years older than he was, it was no surprise he termed it “a massive baptism of fire”.

Michaelhouse were captained by Wayne Witherspoon, who was an excellent mentor, said Bruce. He used the lessons he learnt from Wayne when he was appointed captain the following year.

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The 1985 Michaelhouse 1st XV, captained by Wayne Witherspoon. Bruce Herbert is directly behind him.

He also mentioned some standout memories of the 1985 season:

Facing Glenwood at Glenwood, ‘House were 3-6 down, but they had a penalty right in front of the uprights to draw level. Victor Anderson, the fullback, who played Natal Schools in both 1985 and 1986, duly slotted the ball between the posts to make it 6-6. But… The referee ruled that Richard Firth had been in front of Anderson and the successful kick was disallowed.

“Richard was next to me and we were definitely behind the kicker,” Bruce reckoned.

There was a late escape against Kearsney in a match played in Botha’s Hill. Down by a few points, Michaelhouse faced a 22m drop out from the home side. The kick didn’t gain much height and lock Sean Stringer plucked it out of the air before racing through to score to win the game for ‘House.

Then there was a game against Maritzburg College, a team that had lowered the colours of Grey College that year in a hugely anticipated showdown. Bruce reflected: “I remember thinking how small the College side looked before we ran on, a schoolboy error. I guess I was expecting much larger guys but, don’t get me wrong, they were tough. The loose head I scrummed against looked like a third year varsity student! Just remember, I was 16 years old.”

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Michaelhouse won the first of the Hilton/Michaelhouse derbies when Victor Anderson scored all of the red and white hoops’ points in the last minutes of the contest. Hilton reversed the result in the second clash, claiming a 12-6 win in an ill-tempered affair.

It was tough for a 16-year-old Bruce Herbert in 1985, but it was excellent preparation for 1986, even though he remained young, turning 17 in April.

To put it into context, Bruce was born in Eshowe hospital on 11 April 1969. Pete Smith, who attended Maritzburg College, was born in the same hospital the day before Bruce. Yet Bruce captained Michaelhouse in 1986 and Pete captained College in 1988, two years later! By then Bruce had played for two years for the Natal and SA Air Force under-20 teams.

Fortunately for Bruce, during his time at Michaelhouse he captained some very strong teams at age group level. He led the under-14 A team in 1983, the under-15 A side in 1984, and then moved up to the 1st XV the following year, culminating in him captaining the team in 1986.

The under-14 A team lost just one match in ’83, going down to DHS away from home, while the under-15 A side fell in their last game of the season only, going down to Hilton at home. “Methinks a bit of complacency crept in,” he ruefully admitted.

Along the way, though, there were wins over the always-strong Maritzburg College at both under-14 A and under-15 A level, as well as victories over the big government schools: Westville, DHS and Glenwood.

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Bruce attributed much of that success to the under-14 A coach, Gordon Paterson, who put together five excellent seasons while in charge of the team, with winning percentages of 92% in 1977, 85% in 1978, 100% in 1979, 80% in 1982 and 92% in 1983. He missed out on the 1980 and 1981 seasons because he was busy with his PhD at Stellenbosch University.

So, on to the 1986 1st XV. Statistically, it was the most successful Michaelhouse team of the 1980s, winning 14 and losing five games for a 74 percent winning mark. With four Natal Schools’ players in the pack and the Natal Schools’ scrumhalf, it was a powerhouse up front. But hepatitis likely cost them an even better record.

A win that stood out was a 52-32 defeat of the Old Crocks, who were loaded with former Natal provincial players, including former Springbok eighth-man and Natal skipper Tommy Bedford. That Old Crocks’ team included Tommy Bedford (c), Tim Cocks, Gary Joubert, Laurie Sharp, Tubby Hannaford, Robbie Savage, Garth Giles, Peter Ripley-Evans, Rodger Bond, Brian van Rooyen, Wally Watt, Dave Coleman, Brian van Zyl, Dick Cocks, and Matt Taylor.

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The clashes with DHS and Marizburg College were undermined by illness. College flyhalf Udo Goedeke, in an interview with KZN10’s Jono Cook in 2018, said Michaelhouse were favourites to win their showdown.

“I think they sensed victory and all their regulars were keen to play. Injury and illness meant quite a few had to pass late fitness tests.

“It was very close at halftime. We led 9-6. The second half was incredible. [SA Schools’ centre] Jeremy Thomson really turned it on for us. It turned into the Jeremy Thomson Show; he ripped their defence apart.

“The College team’s contribution was awesome. It was a massive second half for us. To be fair, I think the Michaelhouse injury and illness concerns pre-game were a contributing factor. They faded badly in that second half.”

The game ended 40-6 in College’s favour, which was testament to just how much the hepatitis had hit ‘House. The following week, the DHS game was a very close affair with the Durbanites edging it 12-10.

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Later in the season, Michaelhouse showed their true colours in a narrow defeat to Bishops at the Private Schools Rugby Festival at Hilton. Bishops were very much the Cape Town equivalent of College in those years and renowned for the flowing, attractive rugby they played under the legendary coach Basil Bey. To put it into perspective, the Bishops’ side was unbeaten in 1986, beating the likes of Paarl Gym, Paarl Boys High and Paul Roos (they didn’t play Grey College), as well as all the Cape’s southern suburbs schools. (SACS, Rondebosch, Wynberg etc.)

“We were unlucky to lose 13-18 to Bishops,” Bruce Herbert said. “We knocked on the ball over their line! As they say, could have, should have, would have.”

The Natal Witness carried a report on the Michaelhouse versus Bishops thriller.

At the same tournament, though, ‘House dominated Saint John’s 22-4 (remember tries were worth four points back then) and Saint Stithian’s 30-3.

They finished their season with narrow wins over Glenwood (18-15) and Hilton (19-17), but went down to Westville (18-29). “Westville had a really good game against us. We hammered them up front. However, they ran us off our feet with some really good speed and handling,” Bruce commented.

It was a remarkably closely contested season among Natal Schools: Michaelhouse beat Hilton twice, Hilton beat College on College Old Boys’ Day, College beat Michaelhouse, Glenwood beat College, College beat Glenwood, Michaelhouse beat Glenwood. The Kearsney vs Michaelhouse game was called off due to the hepatitis quarantine.

Natal Schools

That same year, Natal, coached by Dave Dell, and with six College boys, five from Michaelhouse, three from Westville, two from Hilton, one from Kearsney, one from Estcourt, one from Linpark and one from Glenwood enjoyed a strong showing at the Craven Week in Graaff-Reinet.

Michaelhouse’s Natal Schools’ representatives of 1986 with MHS masters: Bruce Herbert, Philip King, Rich Firth, Mr Gordon Paterson, John Pool, Murray Collins, and Mr Richard Aitchison.

The one player from Kearsney was Nkululeko “Skweegee” Skweyiya, the first ever black player to be selected for the Natal Craven Week team.

They opened their tournament against the always strong Northern Transvaal and after a tremendous tussle came away with a win, which was clinched through a penalty try after a late tackle on Jeremy Thomson. They followed that up with a narrow 4-6 loss to Eastern Province before beating Far North.

The Natal Schools’ team that competed in the 1986 Craven Week in Graaff-Reinet: 

Back row: Warren Wilson (Maritzburg College), Richard Firth (Michaelhouse), Richard Dolbey (Maritzburg College), John Pool (Michaelhouse), Sean Platford (Westville), Brenton Catterall (Maritzburg College), Sean Fry (Westville), Trevor Labuschagne (Glenwood).

Middle row: Murray Collins (Michaelhouse), Dallas Harris (Hilton College), Philip King (Michaelhouse), Udo Goedeke (Maritzburg College), Joe Fernandez (Linpark), Nkululeko Skweyiya (Kearsney), Leon van Rooyen (Escourt), Alastair Hawley (Westville).

Front row: Bruce Herbert, Dave Dell (coach), Anthony Gilson (Maritzburg College, captain), L. Kirkland (Manager), Carl Jankowitz, (Hilton College) Rod Blamey (chairman), Jeremy Thomson (Maritzburg College).

Jeremy Thomson and Leon van Rooyen (Estcourt) were selected for the South African Schools team. Bruce shared a story which Jeremy Thomson told him about the SA Schools’ team photo. Back then, of course, there were no digital cameras, so everything was done on film. Imagine the horror felt by the photographer when, after photographing the side for their official team shot, he went to develop the photos and discovered that he had failed to put any film in his camera!

Hilton/Michaelhouse derbies

Unsurprisingly, Bruce has particularly vivid memories of the Hilton vs Michaelhouse derbies in 1985 and 1986. “They were generally where the underdog often pulled off a remarkable win, like was the case in the first match at Michaelhouse in 1985,” he said. “The news coming from Hilton was that they were going to put 50 past us. Hilton had a good team and had had a successful season so far. As things turned out Victor Anderson scored all our points, scoring 13 points in the last eight minutes. I think we won 13-7.

“Etienne De Villiers who had been a teacher/coach at Michaelhouse for 16 years said that in all his time of watching Hilton/Michaelhouse matches this ’85 match was the best one that he had ever seen.”

Hilton wanted pay back and they got it in the rematch at Hilton, winning 12-6. “Both our Natal Schools Players, James Wilson (scrum half) and Victor Anderson (full back), got injured in the first 15 minutes and had to leave the field,” Bruce recalled. “The late tackle on Victor was so late that the video cameras had moved on and didn’t pick it up. James got a finger in his eye. I remember it being an ill-tempered match. I think the ref lost control to some extent. Quite a lot was said about the match for some time.”

In 1986, the first Hilton/Michaelhouse was played in front of television cameras and a massive crowd at Hilton. Bruce recalled: “As the Michaelhouse 1st XV got off the bus I was called to one side and interviewed on TV. My interview was never screened, only [Hilton captain] Dallas Harris’ interview was aired, much to the amusement of my mates and family. I don’t think I spoke clearly enough and/or maybe mumbled too much?

“Anyway, we did the business on the day, winning 9-7. Rowan Varner, the Hilton eighth-man (and SA Schools’ fast bowler) missed a penalty in the last seconds of the match, just skimming the left upright.

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The second match at Michaelhouse was a particularly memorable clash because of a stunning fightback from the home side. They were 0-14 down at the break (remembering that tries were worth four points at that time) and Hilton had crossed for three tries.

“I gave the team a serious bollocking at half time and to their credit we bounced back, winning 19-17. I think there were plenty Hilton parents and Hilton supporters that struggled to put the corks back into their champagne bottles as the final whistle sounded!” Bruce said. “Mike Jeffery scored two magnificent tries within minutes of each other.”

Sadly, Mike lost his life shortly afterwards in a car crash while travelling to Johannesburg.

RESULTS

Michaelhouse 36-3 Sandringham
Michaelhouse 16-4 Richards Bay
Michaelhouse 37-9 John Ross College
Michaelhouse vs Kearsney College – cancelled
Michaelhouse 29-15 Linpark
Michaelhouse 52-32 Old Crocks
Michaelhouse 22-9 Estcourt
Michaelhouse 18-30 Old Boys
Michaelhouse 40-0 Weston
Michaelhouse 6-40 Maritzburg College
Michaelhouse 10-12 DHS
Michaelhouse 15-0 Voortrekker
Michaelhouse 9-7 Hilton College
Michaelhouse 29-3 Alexandra
Michaelhouse 22-4 Saint John’s College
Michaelhouse 30-3 Saint Stithians College
Michaelhouse 13-18 Bishops
Michaelhouse 18-15 Glenwood
Michaelhouse 16-29 Westville Boys’ High
Michaelhouse 19-17 Hilton College

Played 19, won 14, lost 5
Points for: 437, points against: 250

Overseas Tour

At the end of November, Michaelhouse toured abroad for the first time. With final exams being written at the time, the side was afforded only seven Sundays of practice before their departure. It was a challenge, especially since the South African season had ended some months earlier.

Due to the sporting isolation of South Africa at the time, the team travelled in civvies.

The 1986 Michaelhouse 1st rugby team overseas touring party. Bruce Herbert is front and centre.

They played two matches, beating the Welsh side Pontarddulais 8-6 and then Sherbourne School of Dorset, one of England’s top school teams at that time, which included two England under-19 players in their ranks, 12-8.

But then the Michaelhouse team arrived back at their hotel to discover that the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) had overruled the Welsh Youth Rugby Union (WYRU) and declared in the press that the tour unacceptable.

The WYRU encouraged ‘House to continue with their tour but, Bruce remarked: “Effectively, we now became a team on the run.”

On 7 December, the match against Haverford West went ahead, but it was undone by the failure of the referee to arrive. A local coach took over the whistle and refereed in his Wellington boots! His blowing left a lot to be desired.

“No matter what we did, we were penalised out of the game and lost 6-8,” Bruce said. That match was followed by “a strange affair”, a 35 minute practice game against Monmouth, a local independent school, which ended with Michaelhouse 8-5 to the good.

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Next up was a visit to Sophia Gardens for an outing against a Cardiff Invitation XV on 14 December. A strong showing from Michaelhouse produced a good 22-8 victory, which was followed by a splendid function arranged by the hosts.

The next day, though, matters took a turn for the worse. BBC TV arrived at their hotel and asked to speak with the team. They had been advised not to talk to the media because no matter what they said their words would be turned against them. That evening they were on the 18:00 news.

“We became aware of a little red car tailing us when we were travelling in our two minibuses,” Bruce remembered. “Once or twice we were able to give the driver the slip. On one occasion we forced him onto an off ramp that we weren’t taking. As it sped past in its attempt to find an on-ramp, the driver received a wave and a cheer from all of us on the bus. We did not in any way feel threatened as this surveillance was proving to be a nuisance only.”

Questionable refereeing blighted Michaelhouse’s sixth match against a Monmouth Invitation XV, which saw ‘House beaten 12-4; the man who arranged the game also refereed it and had his son playing in the Invitation side.

Eight of the side then headed to Seefeld in Austria for two weeks of skiing, while the rest of the touring party flew back to South Africa from Heathrow.

Bruce Herbert concluded: “In summary, and I quote from Gordon Paterson’s Book, there is Genius in Passion, ‘While we had achieved a number of excellent results, we had not performed consistently to the full potential of the team during the first part of the season. To my mind the hepatitis had been a major factor that caused an early season glitch in our progress. Again, this is typical of life itself and the true test is the capacity to come back when you have been knocked down. I believe that they were revealing the skill, fitness, tenacity and sportsmanship that we wished to see as the example set by the first fifteen.'”

 

The Glenwood and Hilton College 1st hockey teams engaged in an entertaining clash in very hot conditions on the Three Schools’ Trust Turf in Durban on Saturday, reports KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan.

(Due to a lack of numbers to go with the players’ names from one side and numbers that did not align with the players from the other on the team sheets, I am unable to identify the players by name, which is unfortunate.)

The sides started out rather cautiously, with both employing a half-court press. Hilton, though, sent their attackers a little higher and wider up the field, which allowed them to stretch the Glenwood defenders out enough to create slightly more space. This also allowed them to enjoy the majority of the possession in the first half.

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Midfield was a battleground, with both sides doing a good job of closing down the receivers in that area of the field. Both coaches would surely have liked to see a quicker transition of the ball when it reached the middle of the park, but Hilton did manage to muster some opportunities while keeping Glenwood pinned in their half.

In the early going, matters were very tight in the midfield, with both sides putting the other’s ball-carriers under heavy pressure. (All photos: Brad Morgan, KZN10.com)

It took a while, but Hilton, on the balance of play, took a deserved lead, thanks to a swift counter after what until that point was a rare Glenwood attack. They exited from their 16 quickly and let the ball go to the right wing, who, given plenty of open field in which to attack, ran hard at the scrambling Glenwood defence.

Cleverly, as he cut in near the circle, instead of trying to dribble the covering defender, he simply flipped the ball past him, pinned his ears back and chased it. Another Glenwood defender was flying across towards the near-side post, but the Hilton man got there first, diving to knock a square ball across to the striker, who managed to get stick to ball a fraction of a second before the Glenwood ‘keeper, who had laid out to try to reach it.

The ball flew high and sweetly into the back of the net and Hilton were in the lead.

Hilton College score the opening goal as their striker knocks the ball past a despairing dive from the Glenwood goalkeeper. 

While it was mostly about Hilton in the opening stanza, Glenwood showed flashes up front on the counter-attack, causing a problem or two for the Hilton defence, which was, for the most part, solid.

The match opened up after the break. Interestingly, Hilton had changed their defensive approach and were pressuring Glenwood higher up the field, which meant the game was no longer as compact as it had been and thus there was more space to work in.

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It was similar, though, in the fact that Hilton were enjoying the majority of the ball possession.

But Glenwood then made good use of the more open play. They launched a quick counter down the left wing after turning over possession and were duly rewarded when they found a foot in the Hilton circle.

The home team’s industry at last paid off when they scored off of a drag flick that had some serious heat behind it, making the score 1-1.

Glenwood showed no shortage of skill in the midfield, but a well-organised Hilton team, for the most part, kept them at bay.

They barely had time to celebrate that goal, however, as Hilton hit back quickly. They attacked down the right flank, this time carrying the ball along the baseline, which drew the goalkeeper to cover his post. When the ball was slipped back, the goalie was beaten and the Hilton striker had a tap-in for the second goal of the game.

Goal number two for Hilton was a simple tap-in after a sharp attack down the Glenwood baseline opened up the chance for the striker to grab a brace.

The third goal, which truly broke the contest open, came from a penalty corner awarded to Hilton.

At previous penalty corners, they had come close to adding to their tally off of a couple of variations, but all it took in the end was a straight shot. Rob Haynes let rip and the Glenwood goalie was unable to get his gloves together in time, just to his right, to stop the ball from crossing the line.

Glenwood threw themselves onto the attack as time wound down, asking questions of the Hilton backline, but the boys from the Midlands had the answers they needed and came away with a hard-fought 3-1 win.

Both Glenwood 1st XI coach Brandon Scullard and captain SJ de Klerk agree that the cricket season has finished too soon. In a relatively short season, Glenwood claimed some notable scalps and exceeded expectations for a very young team that featured only three matric boys, writes KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan.

In fact, the results are a step up on the 2019 season, despite that side including five KwaZulu-Natal under-19 players, one of them being SA under-19 pace man, Lifa Ntanzi, who was the quickest schoolboy bowler in the country.

That team also featured three KZN under-17 players and one of them, SJ de Klerk, this year’s 1st team captain, led the provincial side.

A good deal of Glenwood’s success in the first term – including wins over Westville, Saint Charles, Northwood and Maritzburg College – can be attributed to the example set by De Klerk. The story of how he found Glenwood (not the other way around) is fascinating.

He was brought up in Gauteng and attended Laerskool Fairland in Randburg where, he said in a sit down at Glenwood late last week, he learned to work hard and to keep working.

Glenwood 1st XI’s big win over Northwood on Dixon’s

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He was very happy in Johannesburg, but his life changed in a big way when his family chose to move to Ireland. There, SJ did well on the cricket field and was chosen to lead the Irish national under-15 team. Then an opportunity arose for him to return to South Africa.

SJ explained: “You have a transition year. In that year you can play sport or do a culture tour. I had heard of the exchange, so I said I wanted to come to South Africa.

“There were quite a few schools I could pick from. Normally they do it for three months, but I said I wanted to do it for six months, make the most of it, and improve my cricket. I took the opportunity and it was supposed to be three months at Glenwood and three months at Menlo Park.

“After a month or so, Mr Scullard asked if I would consider staying on for the entire six months, so the chat started with my parents. I told them I was absolutely loving it here. We then decided that we would let Menlo Park know that I would be staying at Glenwood for six months.

“Those six months changed my life.”

SJ de Klerk, Glenwood’s captain, is also the 1st XI’s wicketkeeper.

When his time was up, SJ returned to Ireland and went straight back into the cricket season. “But the things I had at Glenwood were better than I had in Ireland. I chatted with my parents over the course of those two months, and then I told them that what I have at Glenwood is better than what I had at home.”

His parents then agreed on SJ continuing his schooling at the Durban school. “It was a big decision. Everything happened within five days. The plane ticket was booked and I was on my way to South Africa.”

Having SJ return to Glenwood was great news for 1st XI coach and Director of Cricket, Brandon Scullard: “Knowing that he was coming back was a big bonus, because I knew that he would be a good leader in this team,” he said.

“He’s a very well-mannered boy and he’s very passionate about the school. For a boy who didn’t start here in grade eight, he has really bought into the tradition and the culture. He ended up being made a school prefect. Just a great boy.”

Besides the better cricket on offer at Glenwood, SJ said being in the hostel had enriched his life. There were the friends he made – “brothers”, he calls them – whom he did not want to leave when it was time to go back to Ireland. And there were also the life skills that hostel life helped him acquire.

“Especially staying here alone, away from my family, has shown me how to become a better person. I am taking that into my cricket too. As I am improving as a person, my cricket seems to be improving as well. I am learning more about myself that I wouldn’t have learnt if I was at home.

“I am also learning how to make my own decisions. With cricket, for example, I can decide to go and train, or I can decide to do nothing. But also on the school side of things, your parents might be pushing you to study. Here I am by myself, so I have to make that decision.”

Rallying the troops: SJ de Klerk encourages the young Glenwood 1st team.

De Klerk enjoys the responsibilities that come with leadership. That love of taking charge began when he was much younger. “As a young boy, I loved being in control and also helping youngsters. It’s a passion of mine. Even now, take the under-14s, for example, I want to leave a legacy with them. They didn’t have a relationship with the first team in the past, but this year we started to implement that. There are things we have introduced into the first team that I want to leave behind too.”

De Klerk’s drive and passion is evident in the tight bond of the 1st cricket side. In 2019, there was a tendency to game plan around the side’s star players, but this year he worked a little differently on the team dynamic, coach Scullard said, and it has produced better results from a side lacking as many big names as it did last season.

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“I have seen this year, with me trying to give a bit more contact time to each individual, and specifying their roles within the team, we’re going to have more success just incorporating everyone, making sure that they know they have a purpose in the team and what their job is.

“It might not get the headlines, but players must know they will get the recognition from me, because I know the job they are doing from the side of the field, which allows someone else to shine, and vice versa. On another day that player will shine and the other player will be doing the hard work.”

He added: “Last year, I felt there were guys skating by on talent, because the side I had was more talented than the side I have this year. But the boys this year are workers and I can see a bit more heart in what they’re doing and the manner in which they’re going about their work.”

De Klerk stated: “The team this year is bonding a lot more. They’re very talented, but a very young side. If you look at the players, they fight hard and they fight for the team. They perform for the school and they play for the badge.

“That was my aim at the beginning of the season, because looking at last year the team was fragmented. This year we are playing so nicely together and we’re fighting together. Everything has fallen into place and we’ve improved.”

Top order batsman Chad Laycock, who made the Dolphins’ Cubs side as a grade 10 learner, is a huge talent.

Life is seldom simple and easy, however, and the season began with a heavy defeat for Glenwood at the Grey College Cricket Festival in Bloemfontein, where they went down to Saint Andrew’s School by 97 runs after Saints’ skipper JD Bruwer scored an unbeaten 131 to guide his side to victory. That, however, was the first and last time in the season that Glenwood allowed a batsman to reach fifty.

In fact, in their remaining matches, only Saint Charles College, with 151 all out, made it past 150. In the remaining five games, Glenwood kept the opposition to 120 or less.

They suffered only one more loss, a defeat to Clifton in the semi-finals of the KwaZulu-Natal Coastal Schools T20 competition. It hurt, but it was also the kind of loss from which one can learn valuable lessons.

Batting first, Clifton managed just 120 all out, with their captain Nabeel Jeewa making 35 and the big hitting Josh Platford 23. Leo Moran knocked over 2 for 14 for Glenwood, Russel Heine took 2 for 21, and captain and wicketkeeper, SJ de Klerk, effected two stumpings.

Recalling his team’s reply, Scullard said: “We were cruising at 83 for 2 and an outstanding piece of fielding got Matt Halstead out. He’s our number four batsman and a matric boy, and then they just seemed to build pressure from one end. I wasn’t too happy about that.”

In the end, Glenwood came up five runs shy of Clifton’s total on 115 for 7, with De Klerk having contributed 42. It was a bitter pill to swallow, Scullard conceded.

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Besides those two setbacks, though, the first term produced fulfilling cricket and results.

The highlight for both captain and coach was a convincing five-wicket victory over Maritzburg College. It wasn’t their best performance of the season, they acknowledged, but the most meaningful win, which is a compliment to College and their sustained success over so many years.

“The last match we played against College was my favourite of the season,” De Klerk smiled. “It was my first win against College. Last year, playing there, we were hammered. To come and play on Dixon’s and to give them back what we received on Goldstone’s was special.

Scullard weighed in: “Beating Maritzburg College is always a big win. We hadn’t beaten them for a while. I started here in 2017 and we hadn’t beaten them in that time.”

The team’s most eye-opening performance of the season came against Northwood, a team that had beaten Glenwood in the fourth term of 2019. “It was almost faultless,” said Scullard.

“Against Maritzburg College, we dropped a few catches, and we lost two wickets with 20 runs to win. We should have won by seven or eight wickets. But the nine-wicket win against Northwood was a resounding victory against a well-drilled team. Divan van Wyk runs a tight ship there at Northwood.”

Happy together: the 2020 Glenwood 1st XI.

One of the other reasons for the success enjoyed by Glenwood was a change brought about by coach Scullard that was not directly about cricket, but which had an important impact on the cricketers. He explained: “I have been a bit harder on the boys, but about things away from cricket: time in the classroom, discipline in the classroom, discipline in the boarding house, making sure that teachers who are interacting with the boys on a daily basis are happy with their behaviour, with the way in which they represent themselves.

“My message to them is that they represent us as a team and me as a coach. I’ve wanted to put life lessons into things, not just worrying about what they do on the field, but also about what they do away from it.

“I am a strong believer that the people they are away from the field has a big impact on the people they are on the field.”

With picture perfect technique, captain SJ de Klerk goes on the drive.

Scullard, who matriculated at Glenwood in 2008, added: “I am a big believer in the traditions and values that we have here at Glenwood. The boys here have fight and the will to go the extra mile. It runs deep in the boys. You can see it in their eyes and you can see it when they’re on the field.”

Echoing his coach, De Klerk concluded: “I always have that drive to never stop fighting and I want to show that to the rest of the boys as well.”

RESULTS

Saint Andrew’s School 296 for 9 (JD Bruwer 131*, Joe Meyer 31)
Glenwood 199 all out (Russel Heine 50, Christian Els 61*, Richard Barnes 2 for 20, Tristan Wylie 2 for 26, Jayden Davids 2 for 34)
Saint Andrew’s won by 97 runs

Glenwood 133 for 6 (Matt Halstead 42, Chad Laycock 28, Banele Cele 27)
Futura 1st XI 115 for 5
Glenwood won by 18 runs

Westville 97 for 8 (Anthony Dunford 25, Russel Heine 3 for 13, Banele Cele 2 for 13)
Glenwood 98 for 4 (Matt Halstead 38, SJ de Klerk 26, Chad Laycock 22)
Glenwood won by 6 wickets

Glenwood 178 all out (SJ. de Klerk 50, Chad Laycock 29, Matt Halstead 26, Tristan Rossouw 20, Keegan Crawford 3 for 48, Andrew Beyrooti 2 for 19, Hayden Raw 2 for 40, Gordon Hill 2 for 22)
Saint Charles 151 all out (Hayden Raw 26, Leo Moran 2 for 12, Christian Els 4 for 25)
Glenwood won by 28 runs

Clifton 120 all out (Nabeel Jeewa 35, Josh Platford 23, Leo Moran 2 for 14, Russel Heine 2 for 21)
Glenwood 115 for 7 (SJ. de Klerk 42, Ronan Vardaya 3 for 22, Marco Mottura 2 for 17)
Clifton won by 5 runs

Maritzburg College 115 all out (Erik Hartman 3 for 24, Banele Cele 2 for 6, Rasen Naidoo 2 for 22, Russel Heine 2 for 23)
Glenwood 119 for 5 (Russel Heine 25, Chad Laycock 24, SJ de Klerk 25*)
Glenwood won by 5 wickets

Northwood 101 all out (Thulani Chiliza 45, Russel Heine 3 for 13, Luke Bowley 2 for 16, Erik Hartman 2 for 19. Christian Els 3 for 9)
Glenwood 102 for 1 (Chad Laycock 47*)
Glenwood won by 9 wickets

 

DHS played host to the annual Durban and District Gala on Tuesday afternoon. The event – featuring DHS, Westville, Northwood, Glenwood, Clifton and Kearsney – consisted of the 4 x 50m relay in all strokes in the under-14, under-15, under-16, under-17 and under-19 age groups and culminated in the 5 x 50m freestyle ladder relay, writes KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan.

Contested late in the afternoon, a decently sized crowd took in some good competition in pleasant conditions, with the powerhouse Westville team, predictably, dominating proceedings. A total of 26 events were contested with the Griffins excelling and capturing the honours in 22 of the 26 relays.

While Westville ruled the roost in the Durban and Districts Gala, DHS shone in the under-15 age group, picking up wins in three of the five relays (All photos: Brad Morgan, KZN10.com)

They impressed with their depth, not only in the various strokes, but also throughout the various age groups. Westville also swept all relays in the under-14, under-16 and under-17 age groups.

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Clifton picked up a very impressive win in the under-19 freestyle relay, which, obviously, meant their time of 1:40.84 was the fastest recorded in any relay on the day. That was the only race Westville didn’t win in the senior age group.

The competition took place in ideal late afternoon conditions, with a nice crowd in attendance.

DHS were especially strong at under-15 level. In fact, they claimed three wins to Westville’s two, with the hosts giving the crowd plenty to cheer with victories in the backstroke, butterfly and medley relays, while Westville reigned supreme in the freestyle and breaststroke races.

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A hallmark of the gala, which was very pleasing to witness, was the friendly nature of the competition. It echoed days gone by when winning was not all that mattered and the appreciation of challenging oneself and others was as important as the result itself.

So, well done to all the swimmers and the coaches (and moms and dads); besides the excellence of the performances, the good-natured racing stood out.

From the first event to the last, there was no doubt that Westville would claim the silverware as champions of the Durban and Districts Gala. DHS headmaster Tony Pinheiro presented the winner’s trophy to Westville captain Ian Brijlal.

RESULTS

1st: Westville 152 points
2nd: Clifton 107 points
3rd: DHS 90 points
4th T: Glenwood 69 points
4th T: Kearsney 69 points
6th: Northwood 57 points