KZN schoolboy hockey Michaelhouse Kearsney thriller

Looking ahead to Saturday by taking a look at last week’s epic

With Michaelhouse first hockey team at Northwood 11.45am on Super Saturday and Kearsney hosting Glenwood 11.15am on their Founders Day, let’s look at the MHS/KC epic that took place on Aitken’s Astro in Balgowan last time out.

An epic it was, a fitting contest for Michaelhouse Old Boys Day:

Tracey van den Aardweg feature image caption: Menzi Mhlungo on the attack for Kearsney in the remarkable 4-2 win over Michaelhouse at Aitken’s Astro in Blagowan last Saturday.

Michaelhouse took an early 2-0 lead that could have been 3-0 and even 4-0 before halftime on another day. Instead, the halftime winning margin was a gettable two goals and Kearsney knew it. A purple patch in the third quarter duly turned this clash on its head.

Here’s Jono Cook’s match report.

Kearsney pull it out of the fire to emerge victorious at Michaelhouse

After early Kearsney pressure it was Michaelhouse who brought the first save from the visitors’ shot-stopper Chris Kiggen. At the other end soon after it was Michaelhouse keeper Jason who was Williams called into action.


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(The published shirt numbers didn’t always correlate with all the player names, so please excuse me if occasionally the wrong player name is used, but I would say most are correct). 

A great goalshot from Kearsney vice-captain Chase Kelly earned the visitors their first penalty corner and Kelly induced a Top Gun save by Michaelhouse keeper Jason Williams!

Both sets of supporters were chanting and singing with the drum rolls ringing out across Aitken’s Astro.

A PC followed but the trap from the corner injection was untidy and danger was averted.

Prior to this clash, in the last 5 meetings, Kearsney had won 2 including the last 2 matches while Michaelhouse had won 2 and one match was drawn.

And 7 minutes into the match Michaelhouse captain Ben Rebeck showed customary skill and his trademark calm presence of mind to pick his spot, although it must be said that the Kearsney defenders didn’t engage him in an effort to close down the space and perhaps force a hurried shot.

Michaelhouse 1
Kearsney College 0


This was the one of four Ben Rebeck goals in the remarkable win over Hilton 5 May 2018. It looked like Ben was going to do it again.


A Michaelhouse penalty corner evolved shortly after and up steps Ben Rebeck… Mugabi Lubinga traps the corner injection and Ben flashes his drag-flick into the Kearsney net!

Michaelhouse 2
Kearsney College 0 

10 minutes gone

At the other end Kearsney poured on the pressure in an effort to pull one back but an excellent flat-stick tackle by Michaelhouse central defender Ethan Hartwell extinguished the threat. Then it was Kearsney striker Gontse Machaba who came close to opening the visitors’ account.

Let’s mix and match present- and past-tense in describing the rest of the match –

Undaunted, Michaelhouse earn a PC soon after and keeper Chris Kiggen saves – and another PC is awarded… Michaelhouse on fire… the Kearsney College boys behind the goals are hushed… It’s a Ben Rebeck drag-flick and a Chris Kiggen glove save.

Yet another Michaelhouse PC… The danger is contained and Kearsney break out fast from deep but the dangerous move is cut short just outside the strike zone. At the other end in this high-tempo game a Ben Rebeck power shot brings calls for a penalty stroke but the umpires are having nothing of it despite the Michaelhouse protestations.

Here’s the video


End of an action-packed first of four 15-minute chukkas it’s

Michaelhouse 2 (Ben Rebeck)

Kearsney College 0


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Into the second chukka and a Mugabi Lubinga through-ball earns the 2018 SA U16 Interprovincial Nationals’ Most Valuable Player a penalty corner. The Ben Rebeck shot is defended very well by the Kearsney PC defence.

Meanwhile, Michaelhouse vice-captain Rorke Melville is marshalling his defence well in the face of Kearsney pressure. It’s tempestuous out there on Aitkens Astro.

Then it’s that perpetual energy machine Jacques Minnaar of Kearsney College who gets in a backhand goalshot! Followed by a super backhand shot by Kearsney livewire Jacques Minnaar that crashes into the side-netting!

A weaving run by Michaelhouse forward Michael Christodoulou looked likely to bring further damage to Kearsney but a great tackle by Kearsney College defender Calvin Davis restores order for the visitors.


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And then – before halftime… It was an “Ooooo my WORD O-ooooh!” moment. A Mugabi Lubinga pass threaded through the Kearsney defensive screen was latched on to by the lateral-running Michaelhouse speed merchant striker Thabo Dlamini and the upshot was a Luke Gammie volley from inside the six-yard box that smashed into the Kearsney College crossbar like no other crossbar blast I have ever seen!

So, with a bit of luck Michaelhouse would have been 4-0 up at halftime and it can be argued that Kearsney would have found it extremely difficult to come back.

Michaelhouse 2
Kearsney College 0

30 of 60 minutes gone
Two 15-minute chukkas to go


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Into the third chukka (or quarter) and Michaelhouse are not done yet, earning a penalty corner but the trap is untidy and the goalshot opportunity goes a-begging.

(As mentioned, the 2-0 deficit that might on another have been 4 was still well within this quality Kearsney side’s grasp if they turned up the heat. Another factor is that Kearsney appeared to be the fitter side and that certainly appeared the case in the second half, when Kearsney made it look easy in cutting out a loose Michaelhouse midfield and were thus able to fire the ball from deep straight to their high-hanging strikers).

But as the Goddess Hockey would have it the Kearsney boys break from deep and it looks like vice-captain Chase Kelly, according to the programme, who fires home the penalty corner!

Michaelhouse 2
Kearsney College 1

Then a minute or two later it’s a Kearsney College penalty stroke and Chase Kelly makes it 2-2 with 5 minutes gone in the third quarter.

Aaaaaa-aaand what an amazing turnaround!  What an amazing Kearsney College third quarter! David Hudson makes it 3-2 to Kearsney College!


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Kearsney’s Cam Duckworth and James Maguire are a box of tricks.

Now just 5 minutes to go in the third quarter
40 pulsating minutes of 60 gone in this cracker of a match!

The action continues in both strike zones at the end of the third of four quarters.

So, at the end of the third quarter it’s

Michaelhouse 2
Kearsney College 3

15 minutes to go

And just inside the final chukka it’s a wonderful goal by Cam Davis that takes Kearsney into a 4-2 lead with 13 minutes to go!

Michaelhouse 2
Kearsney College 4

47 minutes gone
13 minutes left


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The drum rolls and chanting of the Michaelhouse boys reaches new heights as they call on their first hockey team to somehow pull it out of the fire. From an early 2-0 lead that could have been 3-0 and then 4-0 before halftime…

It’s now

Michaelhouse 2
Kearsney College 4


Going into the closing minutes in this cracker of a clash the Michaelhouse lads strive to close the deficit but time is running out and Kearsney College have wrapped this up.
Another great Kearsney goalshot further underlines their second-half dominance, although the scoreline remains unchanged at

Michaelhouse 2
Kearsney College 4

Aaaaaa-aaand it’s GAME OVA-AAA!

Well done Kearsney College first hockey team for the fantastic comeback.

Hard lines Michaelhouse after such a great start.


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1 Jason Williams
2 Oliver Morgan
3 Hilton Giles
4 Kenton Melville
5 Chris Christodoulou
6 Mugabi Lubinga
7 Michael Christodoulou
8 Rorke Melville (vc)
9 Thabo Dlamini
10 Ben Rebeck (c)
11 Luke Gammie
12 Chris Maartens
13 Ethan Hartwell
14 Michael Ross
15 Chris Brand
Head coach Richard Snowden

Kearsney College
1 Chris Kiggen
2 Calvin Davis
3 Hayden de Kock (c)
4 Chase Kelly (vc)
5 Tom Constable
6 Josh Barrett
7 Cam Duckworth
8 Menzi Mhlungu
9 James Maguire
10 Jacques Minnaar
11 David Hudson
12 Ronan Farquharson
13 Dylan Thompson
14 Gontse Machaba
Head coach JJ Reed


*A last-minute goal saw Kearsney College seconds draw 2-2 with hosts Michaelhouse

Michaelhouse 2
Kearsney College 1


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