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View from the Dugout #60

15 February 2019

Recently, we have been focussing on leadership in sports, something which is in line with our thrust at Hilton to up-skill and motivate our team captains. Inspired by the book “Captains Class”, this week our focus is on servant leadership.

An excellent example of this type of leadership, illustrated in the book, is past professional basketballer and captain of the San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan. During his time playing basketball, from 1997-2016, the Spurs won five NBA titles and achieved the NBA’s best long-term win rate in history (71%). Despite him never reaching the (statistical) heights of a Le Bron James or Kobe Bryant, Duncan is widely acclaimed to be the common denominator in the success of his team during this period. This was not due to a lack of talent but, although he was just as good as the best of them, he deliberately positioned himself as a support player, switching positions if necessary, depending on the composition of that year’s team and for the betterment of the team. He even made the “unheard of” decision to be paid less than his market value so that his team would be able to sign better players.

As Walker said of Duncan and the others he identified, “The great captains lowered themselves in relation to the group whenever possible in order to earn the moral authority to drive them forward in tough moments. The easiest way to lead, it turns out, is to serve.”


Thomas Dyer, Nicholas Snyman and RD Engelbrecht achieved selection for the Pietermaritzburg District team to take part in the KZN Trials. The meeting will take place in Durban over half-term break.

Indoor Hockey
David Kitshoff has been selected to represent the KZN Inland Men’s Indoor hockey team that will attend the National men’s indoor Inter-Provincial tournament in Pietermaritzburg from the 20 – 23 February.


The basketball club welcomed Kearsney to our home courts on Saturday. The boys from Botha’s Hill have posed a huge challenge in this game in recent years with the Greyhounds dominating most fixtures. In fact, last year we were humbled at Kearsney after a 2 win, 1 draw and 13 loss statistic. Our ballers at Home are a different proposition all together and this, along with the hard work that we have been putting in, helped us to secure a major turn-around on Saturday – with us securing wins in 5 matches and losing 9. Most pleasing is that amongst these victories were wins for the 3rd, U15A, U15B, U14A and U14B – hopefully an indication of what’s to come!

The U16A also deserves a mention for putting in just as good a showing although coming short by a narrow 5 points. It would be hard to pick a team of the day out of these “achievers” as each of them played incredibly well, showing true grit right to the end – although possibly, for their vast improvement, U16A and U15A would take the prize. (Last year the U16A lost by 32 points and the U15A by 27 points – a 27 point and 30 point swing respectively!).

Our 1st team were clear underdogs in their game considering Kearsney are an unbeaten team. Our boys were still smarting from their buzzer-beater defeat at the hands of Clifton last week and this test, against one of the best sides in the province, was going to be an indication of their character. Following our disappointment, the question on everyone’s lips was “were we going to lie down or would we rise to the challenge?” Like legendary Hilton teams of old they picked the latter and spurning their height and skill disadvantage they took the fight straight to Kearsney. Even a clinical start by Kearsney did not deter our boys and our relentless pressure started to take its toll. Incredibly, the game was on a knife edge all the way through to the third quarter with Hilton occupying the lead up to midway through the third (33 – 32). A series of unfortunate miss-shots and a blitz by the visitors in the last 3 minutes of the third quarter established a 13 point gap between the teams – a margin that was going to be difficult to overhaul with one quarter to play. An evenly contested last period eventually saw Kearsney claim a 60 – 45 victory. An excellent effort by our boys, who pushed this top side all the way to the end. Well done boys!


Our cricket club enjoyed a very successful day against Kearsney on Saturday, wining 9 matches and losing 4. Our first team were soon in the driver’s seat after controlled aggression from the seam bowling of Ethan Bain, Matthew Boast and John Turner ripped through the top order of the Kearsney outfit. They never really recovered from being 35 for 6, although they did limp to 93 all out. The first team batsmen then made light work of the chase as they cantered over the line for a 9 wicket win in the 19th over.

The 2nd XI game proved to be a much tighter affair as we allowed their opponents off the hook to get from 97 for 7 to post 182 for 9. With the willow, although Nic Campbell’s 50 kept our innings together, the consistent loss of wickets saw our final pair of Robbie Haynes and Thabiso Dlamini needing 21 runs for victory. In a real display of grit the duo kept fighting and found a way to get their team over the line for an exciting win. The third team was dominated by the partnership between Brad Dix and Jean-Marc Rey, whose 120 run stand saw the 3rd team post 179. Although we did not cover ourselves in glory in the field, the team still showed enough resolve to win by 14 runs thanks to 4 wickets by James Levell. The 4th team were outgunned as the 185 scored by Kearsney proved to be a bridge too far for the Hilton College 4th team.

The U16A team finished on the wrong end of the result, after having the opposition under pressure, they allowed Kearsney to post 173 after teetering at 43/4. In reply, no partnerships of substance were constructed and the team ended their chase short of the target. The U16B, by contrast, had a great day out. Their batting unit all got into double figures, posting 167 all out. It was the caught and bowled, however, by David Tsebi that galvanised the team as they continued to pressurise the opposition, eventually bowling them out for 133.

The U15A team dominated their game although they did allow Kearsney to post 161 after being 107 for 7. The batting was far more clinical, as the team got over the line with 6 wickets to spare. Kristofer Watt top scored with 47 not out. The U15B team continued their good form winning by 7 wickets, as they bowled their opposition out for 132, even though they conceded 31 extras. The in-form Dylan Pratt once again top scored with 67 not out. The U15C match was dominated by Nicolas Snyman’s 5/3 leaving the batsman 63 to win, they got over the line with the loss of 5 wickets.

The U14A match was a good contest, although the team were once again in strong positions throughout the game, the last five overs of each innings were handled better by their opposition. In the U14B match Dale Herbert’s innings was the foundation on which the team built their campaign on. Although the team conceded too many extras in the first 5 overs, they bounced back and through some great catching by Onke Kweyama, ended up winning the game by 48 runs. The U14C team proved to be too strong on the day as the team backed up a polished bowling performance with a calculated run chase, Stuart Baker’s 16 off 11 balls ended the run chase.

The U14D match was the match of the day as both teams could have won the match going into the last over. Andrew Harding was set the task of defending 4 runs off the last over, while Kearsney needed 4 to win with 2 wickets in hand. A dot and a wicket off the first two balls made it anyone’s game. A great shot by the Kearsney No. 11 eventually swung the game in their favour. Well done to all involved in the humdinger.

(Thanks to Warren Kirsten for this report)


Our young golf team have not enjoyed the best of starts in the Inland league. Playing for the most part away from our VCC “Home” we have struggled to pull through in the pressure moments, losing to Maritzburg College and St. Charles and drawing to Michaelhouse. We are better than these results suggest and we are confident that with more experience our boys will improve.

At the recent KZN Nomads tournament our 1st and 2nd teams put in a respectable performance earning 5th place and 9th place overall out of 20 teams.


The results were as follows:

Maritzburg College 1st – 435
Westville 1st – 451
Clifton 1st – 454
Glenwood 1st – 457
Hilton College 1st – 461
Maritzburg College 2nd – 468
Kearsney 1st – 469
St Charles 1st – 471
Hilton College 2nd – 475
Westville 2nd – 477


Last week Friday our A swimming team competed at the Westville invitation gala. This event is widely regarded as the top boy’s schools gala in the country with 12 top schools in attendance. Handicapped by a series of disqualifications, our boys battled to gather momentum on the night. Regardless, their 8th place finish overall was fair reward for their efforts and equivalent to their finish in 2018.


The final points were as follows:

1st Westville 309

2nd Greg College 274

3rd St. Benedicts 249

4th St. Davids 230

5th Affies 195

6th Clifton 171

7th Pretoria Boys 124

8th Hilton College 107

9th Maritzburg College 96

10th DHS and Kearsney 95

12th Glenwood 80.

On Sunday approximately 40 boys participated in the Midmar mile. It was great for these boys to be a part of this amazing event, and they represented the school with pride and passion. Notable swims were performed by Stefan Swart (24:49 – 16th Place 13 & under Category) and our top swimmer on the day, Thomas Joubert (21:45 – 52nd Place 14-30 Category).

On Wednesday Hilton College hosted the Independent schools gala. Having won the event in 2018 the team was keen to retain their title against Clifton, Kearsney, Michaelhouse and St. Charles. Just hours before the event, Clifton pulled out of the gala, which then pitted us as the favourites. With our U19, U17 and U14 teams in excellent form, we started well earning a slender lead at the end of the first quarter. Maintaining the pressure, we gradually pulled ahead in the medley relays, which were the last set of events. Coming into the ladder freestyle relay (last event), we had a comfortable 7 point lead on Kearsney. In the end, it was a solid win for us in our Home pool and the second year in a row that we have won the trophy.


The final point position was as follows:

1st Hilton College 75

2nd Kearsney 66

3rd Michaelhouse 46

4th St. Charles 42


The penultimate round of matches of the Inland league was due to be played on Monday. Unfortunately, for the 1st team their encounter against Maritzburg College had to be postponed to the 4th of March. The 2nd’s travelled to MHS and played their 1st team. Starting with doubles, Mike Frost and Josh Black played an intense match against the Michaelhouse No. 1 and No. 2 seed. Theywere 3 – 7 down and showed great grit to come back to win 8 – 7 (8 – 6 tiebreaker!). Shaswath Rangaswamy won his singles against the No. 3 seed 8 – 3, and Josh Black won his singles against the No. 2 seed (who is top ranked in Midlands U15) 8 – 5. Overall, we lost the encounter 8 – 10, but were evenly matched at 3 matches all. The 3rd’s and 4th teams also enjoyed successful outings with the 3rd beating Treverton 1st 14 – 4 and the 4th’s beating Hermannsberg 18 – 0.

(Thanks to James Webb for his report)


Over the weekend the 1st and 2nd team took the trip down to Durban to catch-up on the Clifton Fixture. The 2nd team had their work cut out for them against an impressive Clifton 2nd team. Sadly they weren’t able to rise to the occasion and were blown away 11 – 1 by a clinical and classy Clifton team. The 1st team fared much better and rallied together after a slow start in the first chukka. The Hilton men slowly worked themselves back into the game, but were unable to close the gap and lost 6 – 8 to Clifton. Although they will rue the slow start and missed opportunities, the team can take many positives from the game as they make their final preparations for the upcoming KES tournament.

Also over the weekend, the junior inter-house waterpolo was hosted at Hilton. It was a wonderful event which included power-plays, shock results, spectacular goals and loads of fun for all involved. Lucas house pulled off the shock of the day to beat the bookies favourites Falcon house 4 – 0, and they never looked back from there and remained unbeaten on the day. Final Standings – 1st Lucas, 2nd Falcon, 3rd Ellis, 4th McKenzie, 5th Newnham, 6th Pearce, 7th Churchill.

(Thanks to Jason Sileno for this report)

Tony Shuttleworth
Executive Director – Sport

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