Kearsney 1st XI travelled to St Charles for the first game of the season. The first cross-over match of the season is always challenging; and coaches from both schools were apprehensive about which team would adapt quicker. In the end it was the home team which recorded a fairly comfortable 6-wicket victory.
Kearsney won the toss and elected to bat. Some disciplined bowling and poor shot selection saw Kearsney lose wickets at regular intervals and never really apply themselves with the bat. It was evident that the wicket was two paced and spin was fairly challenging to face, but the final total of 98 which Kearsney posted was never going to be enough.
Kearsney opened their bowling with spin in an effort to pull off the extraordinary and immediately had a breakthrough. However, the positive intent from St Charles’ batters paid off, and while they did lose four wickets in the process, they chased the total in 25 overs.
Kearsney water polo teams got off to a good start last weekend when they hosted St Charles. As the visitors were only able to field two sides, a 1st team and a mixed juniors team (U14 and U15) played.
Kearsney played their strong U14A team in the mixed juniors game, taking a convincing 16-2 win and making a statement of intent for the season ahead.
The new-look Kearsney 1st team were also dominant in the pool, with a record breaking 25-1 win over St Charles.
Both Kearsney teams brought up young players and used this early game to test their depth and fitness. With Clifton’s national water polo tournament starting shortly, this game would have served as final preparation for the season.
Kearsney travelled to Pietermaritzburg to play St Charles who have been touted as the strongest KZN schoolboy team this season. The SK Arena at St Charles is a difficult place to play for those who have not experienced the atmosphere, with the heat and crowd noise so close to the courts.
The game started fairly predictably with St Charles being able to jump to a five-point lead (14-9) at the end of the first quarter. Despite Kearsney playing hard, poor shooting saw them unable to make much of a dent in their hosts’ lead, and go into half time 26-20 down.
Kearsney began the second half with a better offensive rhythm. Back-to-back three pointers by Rea Sithole brought the teams to within three points of each other. This set up a tense tussle during the fourth quarter.
Kearsney managed to take the lead 59-57, but St Charles fought back to score two unanswered baskets. Putting them 63-59 up, Kearsney were fouled and made one free throw to put them in touch again.
With the score on 63-60 Kearsney then managed to force a turnover and run one final play which they executed perfectly. St Charles made a long pass for an easy lay-up before time expired, to win the game 65-60.
Kearsney: Njabulo Ngcobo 21; Ayanda Jackson 14, Oliver Brazier 8; Andile Nomvete 7
St Charles: Storm Gilchrist 28; Benson Makenge 17; Adien Gracie 8
All three indoor hockey teams from Kearsney made it through to the semi-final playoffs in their age groups, with each playing nine games in a round robin format.
The 1st and U14A teams won 7 and lost 2; and the U16As won 5, drew 1 and lost 3.
The 1st team narrowly lost 2-3 to eventual winners Northwood in their semi-final and then beat DHS 4-1 to claim bronze.
The U16As went down 0-5 to DHS in their semi-final and then lost 2-3 to Westville to end fourth.
Kearsney’s U14As beat Westville 3-1 in their semi-final which set up a final against the unbeaten DHS team. They lost 0-4, which meant they finished second, to claim silver.
ANNUAL RUGBY AWARDS
Kearsney’s annual rugby awards dinner was held at the weekend. Luca Veronesi was named Most Improved Player and Ayabonga Mngaza as Players’ Player of the Year. They were addressed by guest speaker Joey Mongalo, the Sharks new Currie Cup head coach, who was the Bulls defence coach this past season.
Sports Report compiled by Sue Miles at Working Words.
Caption for indoor hockey pic:
Kearsney U14A indoor hockey team, from left back, Ashley Kemp (coach), Liam de Villiers, Brock Miles, Rowan Davel, Keegan de Jager, Peter Kirsten (coach); middle Conor McKeon, Josh Lobban, Jonty Wiggett; front Ethan Badish; missing Jan Bothma