View from the Dugout - Sports News 14 September 2018

It’s pretty hard to hold the moral high ground when questioning the integrity of a ruling made within the laws of a game. 

I have been observing the recent US Open debacle involving Serena William’s outburst aimed at chair umpire Carlos Ramos. Looking past the peripheral issues at play, much sentiment from commentators is that the umpire was too harsh. To some degree, people who hold this view could well be correct. Great match officials understand how to diffuse emotion not ignite it emotion not ignite it. They do this by expertly managing (communicating with) the players they are officiating and avoiding the rulebook as a mechanism to communicate. These experts have a way of maintaining the boundaries of fair play without imposing the rules (or themselves!) on the game. Perhaps the whole incident might have been avoided if Carlos Ramos had approached the initial incident differently.

What I don’t agree with is the public sentiment that suggests that Serena William’s behaviours are okay. Whether one likes it or not she acted outside of the rules of the game but, even more disappointing, she brought the game into disrepute (regardless of her frustrations).

A parting thought on the saga is this … The per day fee for umpires that officiate the main draw at the US Open is around 250 US, whereas the first round fee for a professional player at this tournament is 50 000 US … Serena herself would have earned a cool R1 850 000 just for being the runner up …. This is not dissimilar in most other sports where umpires/referees hardly make a living out of officiating professional sports. What this shows us that match officials, at all levels, are really only in it for the love of the game.

Perhaps a little bit more respect is deserved after all ...

The amateur nature of school sports has meant that many have regarded sport at this level to be in its purest form. School sports, however, are struggling to maintain the value of respect on the field of play and especially in respect of the match official - and it’s no wonder really when you see how our “role models” behave. Coaches are sometimes just as much to blame. Collectively we will have to work hard to maintain the integrity of school sport for our boys. On the positive side, for the most part, our Hilton boys are exceptional in the way that they interact with match officials. A proud tradition that I expect we will maintain for many years to come.

SOCCER

The soccer season drew to a premature close this past weekend as all of our Saturday fixtures versus Kearsney had to be cancelled due to lightening. Fortunately, we did have a scheduled midweek fixture against Maritzburg College and our U14A and U14B also played Kearsney on Monday. The fixture against “College” proved to be a very successful one for Hilton Soccer as we took our old foe to the sword in most games, winning 8, losing 3 and drawing 3 matches. Top teams included the 3rds and U14C team. The mighty 3rds played in a ding-dong battle in their 4 – 3 triumph, whilst the U14C, who have only lost 2 matches the whole season, ran out comprehensive 4 – 1 winners in their match. The 1sts, playing away on Nicholson’s, were up against the team we had narrowly beaten at the PMB FA Cup. The Red, Black, White wouldn’t have needed much motivation playing on their home ground and, from the start they showed good intensity. As the game settled it was like watching a powerful heavy weight boxer (Hilton), against a nippier, light weight opponent (Maritzburg College). 

Hilton College Football

Fortunately, our defensive structures were proving too good for their electric forwards and as the game advanced we began to assert our dominance, showing superior composure over the ball and creating the better chances. Approaching the half-way mark we found a way through when Sebego Seabi was expertly fed the ball on the left. He shrugged off a strong tackle in the box and then beat the diving keeper to give us the lead. The second half was more of the same and our second goal put the game beyond doubt – an excellent win for the 1st XI. Special mention must be made of our keeper, Jacob Kethro, who was promoted up from the 3rd XI for this match as both of our main line keepers were unavailable. He played brilliantly to keep a clean score sheet. 

The U14A and U14B were out for revenge in their midweek encounter with Kearsney, having lost to this school 1 – 4 and 0 – 1 in the first week of the season. Our boys have made massive improvements since then and this showed on the day with the U14A crushing their opponents 4 – 0 and the U14A earning a 1 – 1 draw.

Hilton SoccerThese midweek fixtures concluded what has been a very successful season for our Soccer Club, one of our best in recent years. Special mention must be made of the 5th XI who finished unbeaten. Well done Mr Fairweather and boys!

FINAL KZN SELECTION:

Congratulations to the following boys who have been selected for KZN Soccer:

  • U14: Aidan Hope and Andile Matsa
  • U16: Tanaka Matsa
  • U19:  Sabelo Moshesh  (final team to be finalised on Sunday 16.9) 

    This Saturday we were fixture to play in our big derby against Michaelhouse. All our teams travelled to Balgowan for the encounter for what is traditionally a very closely contested affair. This past Saturday proved to be no different with the final tally being 7 wins, 7 losses and 5 draws. The 5th, 6th and 7th teams continued their good form by running away with resounding victories. In winning 5ths remain our top team of the season thus far - boasting a 100% win ratio! Another team that has excelled this season is the U14C. These boys scored some brilliant goalls on Saturday to secure a comprehensive 4 – 2 win.

CRICKET

Hilton College Football

The 1st XI, 2nd XI, U15A and U14A made their way to Bloemfontein on Friday for our traditional fixture against Grey College. The first team match, delayed by an hour due to a wet wicket, began with Grey winning the toss and electing to bat. They were soon in trouble as Mike Booth struck twice in his first over. Thereafter, wickets were then evenly shared by our bowlers with Michael Frost, Michael Sclanders, John Turner and James Ritchie all taking scalps. In the end the Grey batsman set us 171, an awkward total to chase on a slowing wicket. Our opening batsmen set about this task with gusto as Robbie McGaw tore into the opening bowlers. Although he lost his wicket for 30, he set the platform for Michael Sclanders (71*) to calmly close out the game with partners James Ritchie (41) and later Gareth Schreuder (28*). In the end the 1st XI secured a comprehensive 8 wicket win - an exceptional start to the season against a formidable rival.

The U17A team gave their best and contended for the game for most of the day. At one stage we were 145 for 4 chasing a respectable 225 and the game was in the balance. Unfortunately, it was at this point that we stumbled; losing a few consecutive wickets we battled to recover and ended 62 runs short. 

The U15A team dominated their game from early on. A match winning partnership between Nicholas Hatton (92) and Christopher Pistorius (102) propelled our team to a massive 298 run total. Excellent bowling then backed this up. Early wickets and a fiery opening spell from Thomson and Boast took the game away from Grey College and Matt Willis’ 3 wickets closed out the match as we won by 163 runs.

The U14A team, although under pressure for large periods of the game, ended up winning by 45 runs. 40’s by Matthew Bergset, Kristofer Watt and Casey Nicholson allowed our boys to set a competitive total of 213. Fortunately, our bowlers were on song and wickets fell consistently in the Grey innings. In the end, Olwethu Kweyama produced an excellent spell to close out the game in our favour.

Well done to all of the staff and boys who, undeterred by the cold conditions, completed a very successful tour.

(thanks to Warren Kirsten for his contribution to this report).

RUGBY 7s

The 1st VII travelled to DHS for the final tournament of the season. On Friday we showed our class, cruising past Port Shepstone 19 – 5 and the Westville 2nd VII 25 – 7. On Saturday, in our final pool game, we came unstuck in wet conditions losing to Northwood 0 – 12.  Unfortunately, the rest of the tournament was cancelled due to stormy weather.

Following the DHS tournament the final KZN team was announced with two of our boys, Ruan Wilmans and Letica Nela, both being selected. Congratulations boys!

TENNIS

Our tennis boys finished their league season on a high with massive wins against St. Charles. The 1st team won 38 – 6 and the 3rd team won 39 – 9.

GENERAL NEWS:

Our 2019 sport calendar is almost finalised. The details of all events will be published by the end of the term on our website (go to “SPORT” and view under each sport code) as well as on our school app.

With Term 3 drawing to a close we are looking forward to the summer sports season. The holidays will be particularly busy with many of our sports involved in various tournaments and festivals. We wish our boys the best of luck for the following events:

Thursday 20 September to Sunday 23 September:

  • U15A Wynberg Water Polo Tournament

Thursday 20 September to Monday 24 September:

  • Hilton College/St Anne’s Tennis Tournament

Thursday 27 September to Sunday 30 September:

  • U14A Hilton College Water Polo Festival 
  • Clifton 1st team Water Polo Tournament

Friday 28 September to Tuesday 2 October:

  • Kearsney 1st Team Basketball Tournament 
  • Hilton College U14A Cricket Festival 
  • Michaelhouse U17A Cricket Festival  
  • Michaelmas 1st Team Cricket Festival (HC) 
  • Grey PE U15A Cricket Festival


Tony Shuttleworth

Executive Director - Sport

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