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.

Captain Ben Parham tells how Michaelhouse 1st XV 1996-97 beat Hilton three times in a row

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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.

Day four of the Independent Schools Cricket Festival began under cloudy skies, with drizzle threatening to turn into something heavier and spoil the final day of the event. However, with a bit of venue juggling, seven T20 matches were played and at the conclusion of the day, Hilton College, Bishops and Saint Andrew’s College were left with unblemished records writes KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan.

“One always wants to achieve the best for all teams that commit to the festival in terms of game time,” Festival Director Wayne Scott commented after the last match. “We got through 19 of our 24 games for the weekend, which was fantastic.

Festival Director Wayne Scott (foreground, blue top) discusses the game as Clifton battle Saint Andrew’s College of Grahamstown.

“From a logistics perspective, to try and coordinate a festival around Durban, when you need six grounds and you don’t have fields of your own, creates its own challenges, so hats off to all my staff and all the logistics people involved.”

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HILTON COLLEGE VS MICHAELHOUSE

A big traditional rivalry was scheduled for Durban North College, but a waterlogged field led to Hilton and Michaelhouse moving to College Rovers. The break and new venue proved to be no problem for Hilton who powered their way to a lopsided nine-wicket win in double-quick time.

Brett Cutting shone with the ball for Hilton, capturing 3 for 8 in his four overs, as Michaelhouse, batting first, crashed to a lowly 64 all out.

In reply, the black and white rushed to victory in just 11 overs, led by Matt Diemont. He enjoyed a consistent festival with the bat and ended it on a high with an unbeaten 39.

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BISHOPS VS SAINT DAVID’S MARIST INANDA

Bishops had the most reliable top order over the course of the four days and they again came to the fore in a comfortable eight-wicket win over Saint David’s Marist Inanda on the Kingsmead Nursery ground.

Saint David’s batting aspirations were pegged back by losing wickets at regular intervals. Instead they managed an average 116 for 7 in their 20 overs.

James Fifield stood firm with 30 not out for the Gauteng school, while Storm Matthews led the Cape Town school’s attack with a good-looking return of 4 for 17 from his four overs.

Bishops then needed only 16 overs to pass the victory target of 118, getting there for the loss of just two batsmen, with Abdullah Adams contributing 37.

SAINT ANDREW’S COLLEGE VS SAINT JOHN’S COLLEGE

Saint Andrew’s College played two matches, the first against Saint John’s and the second against Clifton, which brought the Festival to a close. Like Bishops, they showed strong depth in their batting.

Playing on the Riverside Football Field first up meant short boundaries square of the wicket and the Grahamstown side took full advantage of that to put up a challenging 181 for 6, with Matt Poole’s 82 proving to be the highest score in any game on the last day. Christopher Ford was the most successful of the Saint John’s bowlers, claiming three wickets, but he was also expensive, going for 49 runs.

Saint Andrew’s College batted aggressively to post an intimidating 181 for 6. (All photos: Brad Morgan, KZN10.com)

The Johannesburgers were not up to the pressure of matching a required run rate of just over nine to the over and fell well short, finishing on 130 for 8, with Harry Grose striking 33. That left Saint Andrew’s the convincing victors by 51 runs.

CLIFTON VS SAINT JOHN’S COLLEGE

Later, on the Riverside Oval, they took on Clifton. The hosts had a very good festival, impressing in the field and with the ball especially, but they didn’t put enough runs on the board to stop the hard-hitting College boys.

Clifton’s Shrey Singh appeals successfully for LBW against Saint Andrew’s College.

Wade Vietch played a good innings to tally 50, but a total of 135 for 4 wasn’t enough to really pressure the Eastern Cape side. Clifton did well to get deep into their batting line-up but, with a couple of overs to spare, Saint Andrew’s College secured a three-wicket win.

CLIFTON VS SAINT STITHIAN’S COLLEGE

Clifton had begun the day with a well-deserved six-wicket victory over Saint Stithian’s. It was built off of a strong bowling performance, which limited Saints to only 105 for 7, with Josh Northend knocking over 3 for 13.

There was an enticing duel between bat and ball when Clifton visited the crease against Saint Stithian’s.

Opening batsman Ben McElligott then played a match-winning innings of 48 not out from 58 deliveries to see Clifton to a six-wicket win.

Assessing the host’s performances, Clifton Director of Cricket Wayne Scott said: “We were playing the best teams from around the country, which is awesome. We always want to play people from different provinces.

“The interesting thing was we had six teams from coastal regions, if we include Bishops and Saint Andrew’s Grahamstown, plus the four schools from KZN. Then we had six schools from inland – from Joburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein.

“The primary objective for us is to have games against new schools, which we achieved.”

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SAINT CHARLES COLLEGE VS SAINT ALBAN’S COLLEGE

Saint Charles, after some strong performances, came unstuck against Saint Alban’s on the Durban North College top field. Due to a muddy pitch, bowling was done entirely from the north end, so kudos to the coaches and players for making sure a game took place.

Saint Charles were out in the middle first. Despite short square boundaries, which made for inviting targets for the batsmen, they lost wickets regularly. It led to them posting 130 for 7, which was not as healthy a total as it might have seemed because of the small field.

Short square boundaries invited the Saint Charles’ batsmen to play shots…

Triston Venter struck 41 and Kwanele Nqayi made 30, but the Maritzburg side had trouble with the bowling of Cameron Walker and Luca Kirstein. Walker snapped up 3 for 16 in four overs, while Kirstein captured 3 for 10 in three.

…which backfired at times.

It was tight, but Saint Alban’s got home with eight balls to spare, reaching 135 for 6 in the penultimate over. Their victory owed much to Boago Gaoraelwe whose 67 was crucial to the positive result for the Pretoria boys.

SAINT ANDREW’S SCHOOL VS SAINT BENEDICT’S

A young Saint Andrew’s School side had battled throughout the festival with their batting and against Saint Benedict’s it was again their undoing. Batting first, the Bloemfontein team scraped together only 71 for 9 in their 20 overs. Even though conditions were a little tricky, that was never going to be enough to challenge Saint Benedict’s.

JC Young of Saint Andrew’s goes on the drive against Saint Benedict’s.

Tristan Eley made sure Bennies cruised to the win with an unbeaten 39, which gave them a comfortable eight-wicket margin of victory.

Summing up the four days of the event, Festival Director Wayne Scott said: “From my side, we had a wonderful week of cricket. Lots of new friendships were formed and lots of new bonds were forged, in terms of players playing against each other and coaches getting to know each other.

“It’s all about playing the game in the right spirit, and I think most games were played that way.

“Everyone wants to win but, for me, the awesome thing about the week was that lots of teams got to play against sides that they don’t normally play against.

SCORE SUMMARIES

Michaelhouse 64 all out (B. Cutting 3 for 8)
Hilton College 65 for 1 off 11 overs (M. Diemont 39*)

Hilton won by 9 wickets

Saint Andrew’s College 181 for 6 (M. Poole 82, C. Ford 3 for 49)
Saint John’s College 130 for 8 (H. Grose 33)

Saint Andrew’s College won by 51 runs

Clifton 135 for 4 (W. Vietch 50)
Saint Andrew’s College 137 for 7

Saint Andrew’s College won by 3 wickets

Saint David’s Marist Inanda 116 for 7 (J. Fifield 30*, S. Matthews 4 for 17)
Bishops 117 for 2 off 16 overs (A. Adams 37)

Bishops won by 8 wickets

Saint Stithian’s College 105 for 7 (J. Northend 3 for 13)
Clifton 108 for 4 (B. McElligott 48*)

Clifton won by 6 wickets

Saint Charles College 130 for 7 (T. Venter 41, K. Nqayi 30, Luca Kirstein 3 for 10, C. Walker 3 for 16)
Saint Alban’s College 135 for 6 (B. Gaoraelwe 67)

Saint Alban’s College won by 4 wickets

Saint Andrew’s School 71 for 9
Saint Benedict’s 72 for 2 (T. Eley 39*)

Saint Benedict’s won by 8 wickets

Hilton College and Clifton eked out narrow victories, while Saint Charles powered their way to an emphatic win, on day two of the Independent Schools Under-15 Cricket Festival in Durban on Thursday. The conditions were overcast and windy – no bails were used – and threatened to rain out the games, but ultimately they brought only one contest to a premature end, writes KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan.

HILTON COLLEGE VS SAINT JOHN’S COLLEGE 

At the Riverside Sports Club, Hilton College put up 189 for 9 in their 50 overs against Saint John’s College. On a turning wicket and with a heavy outfield, it was a decent total and Hilton were confident it would be enough. They were right, but only just.

The issue for Hilton was the fact that five of the top six batsmen in their order made their way into double figures, but none really pushed on to produce a telling contribution.

Ross Boast’s 31 was their best effort, closely followed by Matt Diemont, who made 30.

Oliver Xego sent three batsmen packing at a cost of 31 runs, while Thomas Archer captured 3 for 41 and Liam Billet took 2 for 39. Props, too, to Krishay Patel, who sent down 10 overs and finished with an economical 1 for 20.

Saint John’s had every opportunity to chase down the victory target of 190, but they were undone by their running between the wickets and Hilton’s fielding, with four players departing due to run outs.

Crucially, they included the top scorer in the match, Harry Grose, who made 50 from 75 deliveries, with five fours.

The run out of Harry Grose was a crucial moment in Hilton’s hard-fought win over Saint John’s (All photos: Brad Morgan, KZN10.com)

The two Lukes, Watt and Francis, both made it into the twenties, but were unable to provide the extra impetus, so badly undermined by run outs, that the Saint John’s innings needed. In the end they came up eight runs shy of the Hilton total, finishing on 181 for 9.

CLIFTON VS SAINT DAVID’S MARIST INANDA

Runs were hard to come by at Durban North College where the host school, Clifton, and Saint David’s Marist Inanda went hammer and tongs in a tense, but fairly contested match.

Having won the toss, Clifton chose to bat, but like so many matches on the day – was it the overcast conditions? – saw their batsmen make some starts but none push on to produce a decisive innings.

James Matthis, their top scorer on day one against Saint Alban’s with 71, was once more the leading run-getter, but this time his contribution was 29, taking him to 100 runs for the Festival thus far.

The big disappointment for Clifton would be that Matthis, together with Ben McElligott, put on 46 for the first wicket. Once McElligott departed for 22, Clifton lost the remainder of their wickets for just 99 runs.

Brandon Archer did most of the damage for Saint David’s, snapping up 4 for 31 from his 10 overs. He was well supported by Sohan Desai, who bowled six overs and picked up 3 for 16.

Clifton edged out Saint David’s Marist Inanda after an intense contest in which the ball had the better of the bat.

Caleb McLaren was the glue in the Johannesburg side’s response, making 63 not out, but the support he required was missing and Saint David’s came up 10 runs shy, losing their last wicket with the total on 135.

Clifton owed a lot to spinner Shrey Singh for their victory. His five-for at a cost of 42 runs proved just too much for Saint David’s to overcome.

SAINT CHARLES COLLEGE VS SAINT ANDREW’S SCHOOL

At Collegians, Saint Charles enjoyed a convincing 104-run victory over Saint Andrew’s School. It was far from a vintage batting performance from the Pietermaritzburg side, but they had enough contributions, aided by 26 extras, to muster 217 in 38.4 overs.

Joao de Franca nudged out Matt Urquhart for the top score, making 44 with six fours, while Urquhart sent the ball across the boundary nine times in his innings of 43, which came in double-quick time from just 28 deliveries.

Ross Ritchie produced a telling knock, making 37, while Panashe Taruvinga hit 24.

Jordan van den Berg led the Saint Andrew’s bowlers with a return of 3 for 39, but was a little expensive, going at 6.5 runs per over. Ishaq Khan snapped up 2 for 12 in four, while Schalk Liebenberg was arguably the pick of the Bloemfontein school’s bowlers, capturing 2 for 31 in his 10 overs.

Saint Andrew’s then did themselves no favours when they visited the crease with both openers being run out. Just two players reached double figures as the batting side crumbled under heavy pressure from the Saint Charles’ bowlers and fielders.

Jordan Bentley was the star of the show, knocking over 3 for 13 in 10 overs, while the rest of the wickets were shared around.

The top scorer for Saint Andrew’s School against Saint Charles was middle order batsman Matthew Simon.

Matthew Simon hit 34 at close to a run a ball for Saint Andrew’s and Schalk Liebenberg occupied the crease for a long time for his 25 from 96 deliveries, but with no other meaningful support they were well beaten by Saint Charles.

MICHAELHOUSE VS SAINT BENEDICT’S

Michaelhouse faced Saint Benedict’s at Lahee Park in Pinetown, but they, unfortunately, on a day when rain threatened throughout, were the only teams to have their game rained out. There was a lot of cricket played, nonetheless.

The Balgowan boys mustered 158 in their 50 overs, thanks mostly to Michael Thornton and Nathan Hoatson. Thornton top scored with 52, while Hoatson shone with a knock of 47 runs.

Simele Maye stood out with the ball, with an economical and incisive return of 4 for 21.

The Saint Benedict’s innings then lasted 16 overs before the rain brought it to a close on 58 for 1.

BISHOPS VS SAINT ALBAN’S COLLEGE

In a high-scoring game, which bucked the trend, Bishops recorded a 39-run victory over Saint Alban’s at College Rovers, aided by an astonishing five run outs.

Batting first, after being put in, Bishops posted 289 for 8, which was highlighted by a second wicket stand of 157 between opening batsman Kashief Josephand number three Nic Allison.

Joseph was the first to depart, just nine runs shy of a century, having taken only 115 balls for his 91, with 10 fours and two sixes.

As so often happens when a big stand is broken, the second of the partners sooned joined the other back on the side of the field, with Allison falling just four runs later for 64, with five fours and one maximum.

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Abdullah Adams weighed in with a rapid 36 and the middle order all reached double figures without pushing on to anything significant. Still, 289 was a decent total.

Sam Berry picked up three wickets for Saint Alban’s at a cost of 56 runs, while Luca Kirstein claimed 2 for 40 and Eldré Spies a tidy 2 for 36 from his 10 overs.

The Pretoria school’s response lasted 47.2 overs. There was some good batting, but those five run outs were too much to overcome.

Charl Barnard, the hero of their draw against Clifton on day one, was the top scorer once again, making 64 from 96 balls, with five fours, at the top of the order before being caught by Cole Crawford off of the bowling of Jack Crafford.

Stuart van der Merwe made 45 as he and Barnard put on 82 for the second wicket, while lower down the order, Druan Visagie, in at eight, took the attack to the bowlers, cracking an unbeaten 41 from just 35 balls, with five fours and a six. Unfortunately for him and for Saint Alban’s, he ran out of partners as they finished on 250 all out, 40 runs fewer than they required to win.

SAINT STITHIAN’S VS SAINT ANDREW’S COLLEGE

Saint Stithian’s, after a rough outing against Hilton on day one, performed better in their second match against Saint Andrew’s College, but were again on the wrong side of the result, going down by five wickets to the team from Grahamstown.

Richard Seletswane struck 50 for Saint Stithian’s, but good bowling from Hlonela Ntshingwa, who captured 3 for 16, and Stuart Carr, who took 3 for 35, made sure the batting side was unable to get any real momentum going. Still, they managed to make their way to 143 all out.

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Saint Andrew’s College, without any one batsman going off, reeled in the Saint Stithian’s total in just 32.2 overs, led by an unbeaten 32 from Oliver Snart, for the loss of five wickets.

SCORE SUMMARIES

Hilton College 189 for 9 (R. Boast 31, M. Diemont 30, T. Archer 3 for 41, O. Xego 3 for 31)
Saint John’s College 181 for 9 (H. Grose 50)

Hilton won by eight runs

Clifton 145 all out (J. Matthis 30)
Saint David’s Marist Inanda 135 all out (C. McLaren 63*, S. Singh 5 for 42)

Clifton won by 10 runs

Saint Charles College 217 all out (De Franca 44, Urquhart 43, Ritchie 37, Van den Berg 3 for 39)
Saint Andrew’s School 113 all out (M. Simon 34, J. Bentley 3 for 13)

Saint Charles won by 104 runs

Michaelhouse 158 all out (M. Thornton 52, N. Hoatson 47, Simele 4 for 21)
Saint Benedict’s 58 for 1 off 16 overs

Game abandoned due to rain

Bishops 289 for 8 (K. Joseph 91, C. Crawford 65)
Saint Alban’s College 250 all out

Bishops won by 39 all out

Saint Stithian’s College 143 all out (R. Seletswane 50, H. Ntshingwa 3 for 16, S. Carr 3 for 35)
Saint Andrew’s College 145 for 5 (O. Snart 32*)

Saint Andrew’s won by 5 wickets

For the teams that travelled from the central areas of South Africa, the opening day of the Independent Schools Under-15 Cricket Festival must have been a bit of a smack in the face; it was very hot and very humid in Durban and the outfields were playing slowly, meaning any time spent in the middle, be it with bat or ball, would be taxing.

KZN10.com’s Brad Morgan took in some intense competition, which resulted in wins for Hilton College, Michaelhouse, and Bishops, and strong draws for Clifton, Saint Charles and Saint Andrew’s College.

The format for the day was time cricket, with 50-overs matches set to follow on Thursday and Friday, and T20s on Saturday.

(Score summaries below)

CLIFTON vs SAINT ALBAN’S

At Riverside, the host school, Clifton, squared up to Saint Alban’s College of Pretoria. In the early going, it was the visitors who enjoyed the better of the contest, led by the Kirstein twins, seamer Luca and off-spinner Liam, who captured the first four wickets to fall as Clifton lurched to 42 for 4.

Connor McKenzie and James Matthis then lent the innings some substance by moving the total along to 71 before McKenzie was bowled by Liam Kirstein for 20. Ben van der Merwe (7) didn’t last too long, but that brought Kyle Thomas to the crease and he, together with James Matthis, then set about taking control of the battle between bat and ball.

The duo combined for a very well played partnership of 104 to put Clifton in the driving seat.

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Thomas brought stability and watchfulness to the crease, refusing to play any risky shots, while Matthis took on the dominant role, impressing with his willingness to take on any full ball by driving straight and true over the top. In the end, his offensive mindset cost him his wicket, stumped off the bowling of Boago Gaoraelwe for a fine 71 from 107 deliveries, with 10 fours, but not before he had played a pivotal knock.

Clifton added a further 15 runs before declaring on 200 for 8 from 64.2 overs, with the left-hander, Kyle Thomas, unbeaten on 48, which had come from 88 balls and included five fours.

Liam Kirstein led the Saint Alban’s attack, snaring 5 for 64 in 19 overs with his spin, while his brother, Luca, picked up 2 for 28 in 7.2.

Charl Barnard’s bat stood between Clifton and a convincing victory. (All photos, Brad Morgan, KZN10.com)

In reply, the Pretoria school had opener Charl Barnard (above) to thank for not being run over by the Clifton attack. He played a nuggetty knock, which last all 54 overs of the Saint Alban’s reply, to finish on an undefeated 60 from 158 balls, with eight fours.

All around him, the Saint Alban’s batsmen struggled. Luke Sass managed 14, but his was the only other score to make it beyond single figures as the Clifton spinners tied up the opposition batsmen in knots.

Clifton’s Keaton Murray clean bowled Luca Kirstein for a single.

Barnard’s battling knock was rewarded, however, when Saint Alban’s gutted it out to reached 97 for 8 by stumps. Opening bowler Keaton Murray captured 2 for 8 for Clifton from nine overs, five of which were maidens, while his new ball partner, Mitchell Tillard, claimed 1 for 7 in seven.

It was the twin spin offensive from Huzaifah Badat and Shrey Singh, though, that caused all kinds of trouble for Saint Albans. Badat snared 3 for 25 in 15 overs, while Singh finished with 2 for 16 from his 12.

In the end, however, Barnard stood between Clifton and victory.

SAINT CHARLES VS SAINT DAVID’S MARIST INANDA

Saint Charles College faced Saint David’s Marist Inanda on the Kingsmead Nursery Ground and enjoyed themselves at the crease. Spending 65 overs out in the middle, they tallied a useful 271 for 8.

Matthew Urquhart top scored with 70 and there was plenty of meaningful support for his innings from Panashe Taruvinga, who made 42, Stefan Veldsman, with 40, and Joao de Franca with 30.

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Saint David’s found the going a lot tougher in their turn at bat. In just 10 fewer overs than Saint Charles required to get their 271, the Johannesburgers scratched their way to 78 for 7, which was enough for them to hold out for a draw.

De Franca showed off his all-round ability as he added a bowling return of 3 for 13 off of 15 overs to go with his 30 with the bat, while Jordan Bentley knocked over 3 for 19 in 12.

MICHAELHOUSE VS SAINT ANDREW’S SCHOOL

Michaelhouse and Saint Andrew’s School met at College Rovers in a contest dominated by the ball. Batting first, a young Saints’ team lost a couple of early wickets, but were then settled by a stubborn innings of 34 by Jordan van den Berg. He stuck around for 98 balls and sent three deliveries to the boundary before falling victim to Nathan Hoatson for 34.

Letlo Likhi put together a dour 28 not out from 149 balls, with two fours, but not much else was offered by the Bloem boys, who were dismissed for 113 in 63 overs.

Nathan Hoatson was the pick of the Michaelhouse bowlers, returning the superb figures of 20 overs, 11 maidens, 3 for 15.

Graham Wynne snapped up 2 for 9 in four and Aiden Jinnah claimed 2 for 36 as the ‘House attack set their batsman a very gettable target.

Michaelhouse were forced to sweat for their runs and for victory by Saint Andrew’s School.

At 43 for 1 in reply, the Balgowan-based side was cruising along, but they then saw three wickets fall for just eight runs. Another flurry of wickets, which saw them reduced from 65 for 4 to 80 for 7 had Michaelhouse concerned. But, for the loss of just one more wicket, they edged across the finishing line to secure a narrow win by two wickets.

At the top of the order, Kyle Walker had played a crucial knock, making 32 from 60 balls, with four fours, while Murray Baker struck 23 at a run a ball, with four boundaries. Dakalo Leketa starred for Saint Andrew’s, picking up 3 for 24 in 15 overs.

HILTON COLLEGE VS SAINT STITHIAN’S

At Crusaders, Hilton College powered their way to a convincing victory over Saint Stithian’s.

Batting first, Saints mustered 136 all out, with Masande Luthuli leading the way with an innings of 38 runs.

Nick Chantier was the pick of the Hilton bowlers, sending three batsmen packing to return figures of 3 for 25.

It simply wasn’t enough runs and Hilton were ruthless in their pursuit of the win.

Wian Liebenberg did most of the damage, weighing in with 70, while Matt Diemont hit 40 to see the boys from the Midlands to an emphatic nine-wicket victory.

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BISHOPS VS SAINT JOHN’S COLLEGE

Also at Crusaders, Bishops and Saint John’s met. The Johannesburg side has been a bit up and down this season, due mostly to inconsistent batting, scoring some good wins and suffering some disappointing losses, but a total of 196 all out looked like a reasonable score. It turns out if wasn’t nearly enough to stave off the Capetonians’ charge.

Storm Matthews shone for Bishops, striking an unbeaten 83, , which was the highest individual score achieved by any batsman on the day, and Abdullah Adams lent strong support with 68, to see the Cape Town school to an impressive five-wicket win.

SAINT ANDREW’S COLLEGE VS SAINT BENEDICT’S

At Collegians, Saint Andrew’s College were the only team to top 300, putting together 301 for 6 against Saint Benedict’s. Their innings didn’t have one very big score, but there was plenty of consistency from the batsmen.

Sibusiso Mxube top scored with 62 for the Grahamstown boys, Matthew Poole struck 60 not out, Matthew Beamish contributed 50, Bertram White 50, and Sinjhun Cawse an undefeated 34.

In reply, Saint Benedict’s put up 161 for 5 as the game petered out into a tame draw. Quaid Pillay returned the top score of 41 and Declan le Roux came close to matching him, making 35.

SCORE SUMMARIES

Clifton 200 for 8 (J. Matthis 71, B. van der Merwe 48, Liam Kirstein 5 for 64, Luca Kirstein 2 for 28)
Saint Alban’s 97 for 8 (C. Barnard 60*, H. Badat 3 for 25, K. Murray 2 for 8, S. Singh 2 for 16)
Match drawn

Saint Charles College 271 for 8 (M. Urquhart 70, P. Taruvinga 42, S. Veldsman 40*, J. de Franca 30)
Saint David’s Marist Inanda 78 for 7 (J. de Franca 3 for 13, J. Bentley 3 for 19)
Match drawn

Saint Stithian’s 136 all out (M. Luthuli 38, N. Chantier 3 for 25)
Hilton College 145 for 1 (W. Liebenberg 70, M. Diemont 40)
Hilton won by 9 wickets

Saint Andrew’s School 113 all out (J. van den Berg 34, L. Likhi 28*, N. Hoatson 3 for 15, G. Wynne 2 for 9)
Michaelhouse 114 for 8 (K. Walker 32, M. Baker 23, D. Leketa 3 for 24)
Michaelhouse won by 2 wickets

Saint John’s 196 all out
Bishops 201 for 5 (S. Matthews 83*, A. Adams 68)
Bishops won by 5 wickets

Saint Andrew’s College 301 for 6 (S. Mxube 62, M. Poole 60*, M. Beamish 50, B. White 50, S. Cawse 34*)
Saint Benedict’s 161 for 5 (Q. Pillay 41, D. le Roux 35)
Match drawn