Sports Report: St Charles College

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Saints Craven Week double representative, Matthew Fick, launches an attack on Old Orchards.

St Charles College 1st Team Reports

Game Day vs St Stithians College

1st Team Hockey – as reported by Head Coach Matthew Coombes

St Stithians, from Johannesburg, visited the campus over the weekend and it was a treat to have them. Arriving early on the Friday meant the 1st team hockey fixture could take place under lights which created an exciting atmosphere, with spit braais and the local Saints music department providing off-field entertainment.

On turf, the hockey match between the two Saints teams added to the entertainment value with back-and-forth action and lots of opportunities both sides. St Charles College went ahead in the first chukka with and exceptional counterattack goal that was neatly finished by Cian Fortmann. It didn’t take long for St Stithians to equalise and at the end of the first chukka, the score was 1-1, with it poised to be an exciting encounter. St Stithians then went ahead from a short corner and a well place flick into the bottom left corner. The game continued to swing back and forth but the score remained unchanged going into the half time break.

The 2nd half continued to entertain and a 2nd goal, and equaliser, for the boys in Blue & Gold hushed the St Stithians crowd. An excellent attack led to space and numbers for the home team. A good ball into the circle, with a flip over a defenders stick saw Connor Riley open in the middle of the circle, and he rocketed the ball into the top right corner to bring the scores level once again. The 3rd chukka ended 2-2 with all to play going into the last 15 minutes of the game.

In the final chukka, St Stithians managed a quick counter down their right that led to a short corner. It was another well-placed flick, this time into the opposite corner, that had the local defence beat and took the boys from Johannesburg into the lead. It was edge of your seat stuff towards the death as St Charles College created a number of circle entries but shots going wide meant they couldn’t capitalise and the game ended up going the way of St Stithians, 3-2.

1st XV Rugby – as reported by Head Coach Craig Dwyer

The Saints 1st XV rugby team took on St Stithians from Johannesburg this past weekend. The boys from Johannesburg rolled in on Friday afternoon, and the energy and excitement could really be felt by all on campus. The much-anticipated clash truly lived up to the hype, both teams play a similar brand of rugby and have x-factor players all over the park. With St Stithians desperate for a win, we knew they were going to throw the sink at us, which is something we prepared for in the week.

The first half was a great spectacle from a St Charles College point of view, the local boys played some wonderful rugby, and were clinical in the key moments. The first try came through some wonderful passages of play which led us deep into the opposition 22, there were some great passes from Matthew Fick which were directed at our big forwards who got us over the gain line and were accurate at the breakdown, this meant we had numbers out wide, and a final floating pass from Ukhanyo Ntsangani saw Raphael Ajibade crash over the line in glorious fashion. The second try came through a well-read moment on defence, the opposition were just outside our 22m line hot on attack when Okhule Peti grabbed a well-timed intercept and managed to go in under the poles un-touched. Despite being 14-3 up we never felt comfortable, St Stithians kept putting applying tremendous pressure and stayed in the fight. The third try came via a pinpoint cross field kick from Salmaan Mohammed to Mathew Ludick who crashed over in the corner, Mohammed kicked a tricky touch line conversion which took the boys in Blue & Gold into the break with a 21-8 lead.

The second half kicked off with a bang, St Stithians were all over the home team from the start, they made some good adjustments at the break and really started to attack the break-down and exploit SCC’s edge defence, more ball in hand – meant more opportunities to score. They used their opportunities really well and managed to get back within a point with less than 10 minutes to go, and with all the momentum on the visitor’s side. The final and match deciding moment came through another patient build up which saw Athenkosi Qumo crash over in the corner, a tricky conversion was landed by Salmaan Mohammed which extended our lead to 28-20 with less than a minute to play. The home team showed some great character in the tough moments, for most it was their last fixture in the 15’s format on Old Orchards which was extra motivation to finish off their journey on a high in front of a great crowd.

St Charles College would like to thank St Stithians for making the trip, for playing their part in an epic clash, and lastly for playing the game in true spirit. We wish them all the very best for the remainder of their season, and we look forward to playing them again in 2025.

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St Charles College try scorer, Okuhle Peti, on attack on Old Orchards.

Photo credit: Jason Waldman

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