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Back You are here: Home Sports Hockey Kwa Zulu Natal Hockey: College vs Glenwood - What a Way to Say Goodbye!
Thursday, 07 August 2014 20:22

Hockey: College vs Glenwood - What a Way to Say Goodbye!

Written by  JONATHAN COOK

What a prospect! And so much to play for!  Maritzburg College entertain Glenwood on their cherished Papes Astro Saturday morning in a clash that has so many possibilities it all points to a dramatic occasion.

Glenwood vs Maritzburg College HockeyCollege are second on the only SA schoolboy hockey ranking system in the country, www.saschoolsports.co.za  with the leaders being Westville Boys’ High, and if the red, black and white can beat fourth-placed Glenwood at Papes on Saturday they will go top of the SA schoolboy hockey tree.

This is Glenwood’s last outing of the season against a school with which they have a long history - and the Durban side will be looking for a rare home and away double against what on balance is South Africa’s premier boys’ hockey school over the 20 years or so.

Maritzburg College’s season ends on Saturday week at Grey College in Bloemfontein, but for now all focus will be on toppling Glenwood in what is for a number of their players the last home match of their school hockey careers. And it is the last time the Glenwood lads will don their first team shirts ahead of a match.

Emotions are sure to run high for these reasons, as many of the school-leaving boys have spent two and even three years in the first team and will be desperate to crown this phase of their hockey careers with success.

Both sides have a fierce rivalry that brings high drama to their contests and Pape’s Astro is sure to be packed with supporters of both teams on Saturday morning. Glenwood Old Boy Wayne Barr played an integral role in the crowning glory on Pape’s, a very special, perfectly situated building that is the icing on the cake at this wonderful hockey setting.

At Three Schools’ Astro in Durban earlier in the season it was Glenwood who prevailed 3-2 in a hotly contested, fast-paced physical encounter against College.

The match was very exciting, as there was not much between the two and a highlight was the attacking style of hockey both teams played.

The Durban lads will be without their talismanic SA U18 forward Andile Phehlukwayo, as he is on tour with the national U19 cricket side. But Glenwood have a lot more to offer than simply one talented player. Keegan Hezlett at set-pieces and in broken play is a force to be reckoned with, while Hayden Roberts and Tanner Bottomley are a significant presence in the midfield.

Glenwood goalkeeper Michael Labuschagne has made some stunning saves this season and keeps his side in the game when the momentum is not going their way. Promising young defender Jarred Cass is another Glenwood player to watch, and Okhule Cele can be deadly if given time and space in the strike zone.

College’s SA U18 players Byron van der Merwe, Paebo Lembethe, Tyson Dlungwana, Onke Letuka and Tevin Kok should be key to their side’s fortunes. Kok was named Most Valuable Player at the SA U18 IPT held at College with Dlungwana named Most Valuable Defender.

Last Saturday in Pretoria, College were not at their best, although they commendably did come back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Pretoria Boys’ High, a side that College beat 9-1 on Pape’s in the first-round match of their annual home and away clashes. Meanwhile, Glenwood were 1-0 winners over competitive underdogs Affies in Pretoria, this following their win against Grey College the previous week.

Both sides’ finishing in the strike zone left a lot to be desired and let’s hope that blip is rectified at Papes Astro in the KZN capital on Saturday.

What an absolute cracker it’s going to be, whatever the score!!

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