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Back You are here: Home Sports Hockey Western Cape Hockey: Day 1 Review of Cape Town International Festival
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 21:27

Hockey: Day 1 Review of Cape Town International Festival

Written by  JONATHAN COOK

Phew, if anyone was in any doubt as to the quality of a healthy slice of this year’s visiting teams from across the seas, they need look no further than the Millfield girls’ first team, who outplayed last year’s champions Somerset College of the Western Cape 4-1 at Hartleyvale Wednesday.

Cape Town International Hockey festival 2014Regarding the Somerset College girls, it must be pointed out that coach Mark Pickering is in a rebuilding phase with his current elite group, as the Dream Team he piloted to the 2012 and 2013 Cape Town U18 International Schools and Clubs Hockey Festival titles have moved on at last (no doubt much to the relief of their opponents).

Having said that, Pickering’s Somerset College side – with just two Grade 12 girls – are a spirited bunch and they fought back hard in the second half, the 4-1 half-time score staying that way until the final whistle.

But the first-half bombardment on the Somerset College defensive third, which was perpetrated by coach Reggie Keates’ Millfield machine, was a delight to watch. In the second minute Megan Albon, Olivia Allin, Hannah Cozens and Rea Briggs combined with precision down the right to set up Tania Coxon with a great chance but the ball was fired into the near-post sideboard.

Three minutes later Allin’s accurate cross from the right wing was a whisker away from Coxon’s outstretched stick looking for the tip-in. But the goal had to come and so it did in the eighth when Allin’s neat inside-tuck-left set up a standard slap-in for Coxon who was at the ready inside the penalty area (1-0).

The young Somerset College side were working hard to get back in the game but the vital, game-breaking pass was either too far in front, or behind, the receiver’s stick to make a telling impact.

Millfield were building beautifully down the left and right, and in the 15th the on-song Coxon weaved her way into the strike zone before laying inside to Tess Hannah who made no mistake with a strong slap past busy Somerset College goalkeeper and captain Jade Batchelor (2-0).

And inside the same 15th minute Millfield got their third goal when Coxon nailed the ball past Batchelor with a well-timed strike (3-0).

With Millfield launching yet another attack down the left, this time with Mimi Sweet and Zoe Zembrzuski involved, Coxon eliminated two defenders before firing past the wrong side of the far post. Six minutes later, in the 25th, the irrepressible Coxon found space to net her hat-trick goal (4-0).

Somerset College were rewarded for their hard work three minutes from the changeover (27th) when Laurie Oliver finished with precision (4-1).

The second half went better for Somerset College as their young players gained in confidence and got over the shock of Millfield’s first-half onslaught. That said, Batchelor in goal also played a big role, one example being her making a superb double save at one of Millfield’s numerous penalty corners. Somerset College vice-captain Natasha Furness also saved on the goalline from Tess Hannah, one of a number of key interventions by the able defender.

At the other end Millfield keeper and captain Katya Slater twice saved after Oliver’s initial shot - and it was game over.



WYNBERG BOYS vs PAREL VALLEI

The late game on Hartleyvale’s stadium pitch saw Wynberg earn their second win of the day when they beat a spirited Parel Vallei 3-0 after leading 2-0 at the break, this after a morning 4-1 win over Paarl Gim. At least PV got something tangible out of the day, having beaten Outeniqua 3-0 in their early clash.

In the fourth minute PV keeper Marc Marasigan kept out a full-blooded Greg Briton piledriver and thereafter the PV lads, led by the impressive skills of captain Chris Hawkridge, launched several forays upfield from deep but the good spell of play wasn’t converted into goals.

Wynberg, well-organised, came back in the 19th for the opening goal when Chad Gouws slotted a penalty corner (1-0). In the 24th Wynberg put together a lovely move initiated by Kyle Verreyne’s elimination skills that was finished smartly by Ché February (2-0).

The six minutes to half-time saw Wynberg in total control and PV did well to keep out a flurry of goalshots.

After the break PV’s natural flair once again brought little reward and in the 42nd Wynberg’s industrious Briton finished off well from a PC variation right (3-0).

Although the Parel Vallei lads deserved to get at least a goal out of the game, it was not to be.

TOMORROW (THURSDAY)

Some classic clashes are in store and at a glance those of the many with the potential for rich entertainment see:
Paarl Girls High versus Kennemer Lyceum on Hartleyvale stadium at 9am;
home side SACS vs Somerset College boys at 9am;  
Wynberg Boys vs Pearson at Western Province Cricket Club (WPCC) at 9am;
Stellenberg vs Wakefield Girls at DF Malan (10.15am);
SACS vs Merchant Taylors’ A team (boys) at 11.30am at SACS;
Paul Roos vs Pinelands (boys) at 11.30am at DF Malan;
Rhenish Girls vs Millfield at 12.45pm on Hartleyvale B;
home side Stellenberg girls vs Kingston Grammar at 2pm;
Hugenot vs Merchant Taylors A (boys) at Hartleyvale stadium at 3.30pm;
Rhenish Girls vs Windhoek Gim on the same pitch at 5pm

EARLY RUNNERS


The boys’ medals race sees SACS, Paul Roos, Wynberg, Rondebosch and London’s Kingston Grammar both winning two matches from two starts on Wednesday.

For the girls, Stellenberg reigned supreme in winning two from two, scoring 15 goals with only one against in the process.

* It must be pointed out that some top schools have only played one game to date.

WEDNESDAY, 23RD JULY, 2014

TYPE

SCHOOL

SCORE

SCORE

SCHOOL

BOYS

FELSTED SCHOOL

0

 

      3

PEARSON HS

GIRLS

POTCHEFSTROOM GIM

2

5

WINDHOEK GIM

BOYS

HUGENOT HS

2

1

PAUL ROOS GIM B

BOYS

SACS

3

0

UPLANDS COLLEGE

BOYS

PAREL VALLEI HS

3

0

OUTENIQUA HS

BOYS

PAUL ROOS GIM A

4

0

DF MALAN HS

GIRLS

STELLENBERG HS A

7

0

TABLE VIEW HS

GIRLS

SOMERSET COLLEGE

1

4

MILLFIELD SCHOOL A

GIRLS

RHENISH GHS

1

1

BELLVILLE HS

GIRLS

PINELANDS HS

0

1

PEARSON HS

BOYS

RONDEBOSCH

4

0

PAARL BOYS HIGH

GIRLS

PAREL VALLEI HS

0

4

KINGSTON GS

GIRLS

BLOEMHOF

1

2

KENNEMER LYCEUM

BOYS

SOMERSET COLLEGE

1

0

MERCHANT TAYLORS A

GIRLS

PAARL GIRLS HIGH

3

3

MILLFIELD SCHOOL B

GIRLS

WAKEFIELD GHS

1

2

CHISPITE SCHOOL ZIM

BOYS

SACS

4

0

HUGENOTE HS

BOYS

WYNBERG BHS

4

1

PAARL GIM

BOYS

DF MALAN

0

5

KINGSTON GS

GIRLS

TABLE VIEW HS

0

5

OUTENIQUA HS

BOYS

PEARSON HS

2

1

OUTENIQUA HS

GIRLS

SOMERSET COLLEGE

3

1

POTCHEFSTROOM GIM

GIRLS

BELLVILLE HS

4

1

WINDHOEK GIM

BOYS

PAUL ROOS GIM B

0

3

UPLANDS COLLEGE

BOYS

PAUL ROOS GIM A

3

0

WINDHOEK GIM

BOYS

PAARL BOYS HIGH

4

2

MERCHANT TAYLORS B

BOYS

RONDEBOSCH

2

1

STELLENBERG HS

GIRLS

BLOEMHOF

5

0

PINELANDS HS

BOYS

PINELANDS HS

0

2

KINGSTON GS

GIRLS

PAARL GIM

2

3

SPRINGFIELD CONVENT

GIRLS

STELLENBERG HS A

8

1

PAREL VALLEI HS

BOYS

WYNBERG BHS

3

0

PAREL VALLEI HS

GIRLS

PEARSON HS

0

3

KENNEMER LYCEUM



GENERAL IMPRESSIONS

Former England and Great Britain international Nick Brothers was impressed with the quality of hockey he witnessed during day one. “My initial impression is that the star individual players are from the South African schools, however I expect the touring schools from abroad to feature heavily in the knockout stages through having a greater depth of player resource.”

****

There were some very, very talented boys and girls on show Wednesday.

Visual and spatial awareness, tactical nous, an appreciation of discipline in defensive situations and some exceptional technical skills were all most impressive to see.

Indeed, some of the “lesser” schools – in terms of their standing as far as top tier, middle tier and lower-tier hockey schools are concerned in their region, exhibited aspects of combination play and individual skills that were quite remarkable.

However, albeit that it is the end of the July holidays in South Africa, there were some skilled players on the ball in both the high-profile and lower profile hockey schools that were close to passengers when it came to support play, due to a marked lack of conditioning. Hopefully this will improve during the next five days.

That said, this also demonstrates the great value the CT International provides to local schools as it helps to get the players in good nick before the second half – the business end - of the Western Cape school season kicks off in earnest.