Semi-final time at Cape Town International Schools/Clubs U18 Hockey Fest
in Cape Town
The outcome of several matches on day two at the Cape Town International Schools’ and Clubs Under-18 Hockey Festival at Hartleyvale and surrounding venues Thursday held the key to the fortunes of a number of top sides in this 32-team tournament.
And the upshot was that Friday’s boys’ semi-finals will see New South Wales Bushrangers against Paarl Gimnasium on Hartleyvale Hockey Stadium at 3 pm while in the other last-four clash, Wynberg will tackle Paul Roos on the same pitch at 4.30 pm.
The girls’ semi-finals pit Paarl Gim against Somerset College on Hartleyvale’s B pitch at 3 pm before Bloemhof take on DF Malan in the second semi-final on the same field at 4.30 pm.
There are a number of teams who can consider themselves unfortunate that the odd goal here, and mistake there, cost them a spot in the main matches, but that is the cut-throat nature of tournament hockey.
The hockey was exciting stuff for the most part of Thursday’s final day of Group matches, and in arguably the match of the tournament to date, Wynberg Boys’ High edged out Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS) from Wakefield in Yorkshire, England in a gripping seven-goal thriller at Wynberg that had everything, from physicality to sublime sets of skills and more.
Both schools were unbeaten going into the contest and Wynberg’s 4-3 victory, while probably deserved, left even home supporters feeling that the English lads had deserved to get at least something out of the game. The top spot in Group C, which would grant a place in Friday’s semi-finals, was at stake and it was a humdinger of a hockey match.
Wynberg are not recognised as one of the top schoolboy hockey teams in the Western Province - and indeed the country - for nothing, but QEGS were not interested in reputations and fought back every time it appeared that they were dead and buried.
The Wynberg lads opened the scoring in the sixth minute through a Jason Smith field goal. James Dent equalised for QEGS from field play soon after, and the four-goal blitz inside eight minutes continued when Wynberg’s Greg Briton and Craig Botha got on the scoresheet (3-1).
QEGS pulled one back via Jenson Brook’s stick a minute from half-time. With 19 minutes left, Wynberg appeared to have the game sewn up when Dylan Grobler re-established their two-goal cushion, but QEGS were having none of it.
Oliver Smith of QEGS netted the classic clash’s lone penalty corner two minutes from the end, and the home school looked like they were about to let things slip. With the score now 4-3 to Wynberg, QEGS threw everything into snatching the equaliser but Anton Grobler was the coach left with the hint of a smile on his face, although the brave English lads had in their mentor, Dave Binney, a man very proud of his charges.
Wynberg are now in a very good space as far as reaching Sunday’s 4 pm boys’ title match is concerned.
A late-afternoon boys’ result that caught many spectators by surprise saw Paarl Gim upset Rondebosch 4-1 and it underlined how reputations can mean nothing between the four white lines of the field when the underdogs refuse to lie down and die.
A titanic contest in the girls’ competition saw Group A semi-final contenders Paarl Gimnasium and the Australian lasses in the New South Wales Bushrangers side knowing full well that the winners would stay in the hunt for a berth in Sunday’s girls’ festival final, which will kick off at 2.30 pm at Hartleyvale Hockey Stadium.
Honours remained even throughout a passionate match and it took until the last minute for the teams to finally be separated, the Paarl Gim fans at Hartleyvale erupting when Michelle Marx netted the winner from a penalty corner.
Another match at Hartleyvale that exemplified the value this tournament holds for the teams was the Group A clash between top contenders Parel Vallei and the Bushrangers from New South Wales, who hail from the Sydney area of that great hockey country, Australia.
The hard-fought 0-0 draw was played with enormous passion as both sides put everything into hammering out a victory.
DAY 2 RESULTS
Girls: Chisipite (Zimbabwe) 1 Stellenberg 1; Somerset College 15 Edgemead 0; Paarl Gimnasium 1 New South Wales Bushrangers (Australia) 0; Bloemhof 5 Outeniqua 0; Pinelands 1 Reddam House 0; DF Malan 3 York High School 0; Stellenberg 8 Edgemead 0; Pretoria Girl’s High 0 Parel Vallei 0; Rhenish 6 Bergvliet 0; Reddam House 1 Bloemhof 1; Paarl Gim 3 Rhenish 2; Pretoria Girls’ High 1 DF Malan 1.
Boys: Rondebosch 5 Edgemead 1; Outeniqua 3 Bergvliet 1; DF Malan 2 Hugenote 1; Wynberg 4 Queen Elizabeth Grammar (England) 3; Paul Roos 3 St John’s (Zimbabwe) 0; New South Wales Bushrangers 0 Parel Vallei 0; Kingston Grammar (England) 2 Paarl Gim 1; Pinelands 1 Paarl Boys’ High 0; St John’s 6 Hugenote 0; NSW Bushrangers 7 Outeniqua 0; Paarl Gim 4 Rondebosch 1; Wynberg 3 Paarl Boys’ High 0.