View from the Dugout - Sports News 15 May 2018

Last weekend the whole school traveled to Pretoria for our inaugural inter-school fixture with Pretoria Boys High School. It was a massive operation which involved the majority of our boys and staff. The trip began with an early breakfast on Friday morning starting at 05:30. The whole school was exceptional in getting to the buses on time and, as such, we were able to depart exactly at 06:45 as per our schedule. The first part of the bus trip was smooth which meant that we arrived at our stop slightly early. This break at Montrose may well have been a world record for a touring group of our magnitude (some 600 odd people) to disembark and get a take away meal. Over 1200 burgers were served in 25 minutes! This is testament to our orderly boys and staff as well as the wonderful service we received from Montrose. The remainder of the road trip went well and the free flowing traffic at that time of the day meant we arrived at PBHS 45min ahead of schedule.

The afternoon activities involved Chess, Debating, Hockey, Squash and Tennis. Having Chess and Debating involved brought a real sense of class to the occasion and these clubs got us off to the best possible start with a clean sweep of victories - proving that Hilton boys are not just sporty, they are smart as well! The fact that tennis and squash are only summer sports in KZN and that PBHS have very strong teams, we were always going to struggle to compete in these sports. It was nevertheless worth the effort as our boys got the opportunity to face top-class opposition. Jonathan Harel was possibly our racquet player of the day. He faced an exceptionally talented tennis player, playing at 3 on the order. Having lost the first set and staring down the barrel at 2 – 5 down in the second set, he fought back to win the second set – winning 5 consecutive games in the process. The tie breaker was a nail biter but unfortunately he just could not convert his chances and in the end he narrowly lost the match.

RUGBY

Hilton College Rugby

Following a successful weekend against Michaelhouse, in which we played 18, won 14 and lost 4, the rugby club was looking forward to the trip to Pretoria for the inaugural Hilton College vs Pretoria Boys High School fixture. We entered the day somewhat wearily, knowing that the Pretoria giants were going to be tough to beat at home. Our boys, however, were up for the challenge and I was proud of the manner in which all of our teams played. This was particularly true of our lower teams who were always going to be “up against it” playing a school 3 times our size. There are too many highlights to mention them all but three matches that stood out were the 2nd, U16B and U15A teams all of whom won their matches by a single point. In the 2nd team match we fought hard to keep our noses in front for most of the game by making telling scores at the right moments. PBHS, however, played with incredible heart and would just not lie down. A very late try in the corner nearly saw them clinch the game but for a missed conversion attempt from the touch line (20 – 19). The U16B game was also a “cracker”. On this occasion it was us who snatched victory right at the death. Breaking the defense from inside our half, Reece MacEwan ran all of 60m to cross the whitewash and seal the win (15 – 14). Our U15A had to work exceptionally hard for their win in a pulsating encounter. Trailing by 2 points (20 – 22) with minutes remaining we eventually converted a late penalty, with Craig Yammin showing huge BMT to slot the kick to win 23 – 22.

In the 1st XV match our boys gifted PBHS an early try which put us under immediate pressure. Fortunately, our physical dominance gave us early territorial inroads. Following some clinical play we moved into range of the PBHS line. Pick and go play eventually setting up the score (7 – 7). A second try was added in almost carbon copy style, territorial pressure putting our “big boys” into striking distance for the bash over try (14 – 7). At this stage it looked as though the 1st XV were starting to click. A mistake, however, from the kick receive led to a penalty to PBHS which then put them back in touching distance 14 – 10.

Fortunately for us, a lineout error from them, deep in their half, allowed fly half, Ruan Wilmans, to get his hands on the ball. He took the opportunity to slice through the PBHS defense and, fending off numerous tackles, dived over for our 3rd try (21 – 10). Despite our territorial dominance, it was PBHS who made the better start to the second half by converting opportunities into points. They struck two consecutive long range penalties to significantly reduce the deficit (21 – 16). Two penalties of our own, however, restored a healthy advantage (27 – 16) and with only minutes remaining it looked as though the White had this one in the bag. Proud PBHS were not done though. Launching an audacious attack from inside their 22m they stripped our outside backs to score in the corner which was then beautifully converted from the tight angle on touch (23 – 27). The last moments were very tense but, by expertly pinning the PBHS boys back deep in their half we eventually forced the Pretoria boys into conceding another penalty and ultimately the match.

Congratulations to the following boys who have made it through to the final round of KZN Rugby trials. We are exceptionally proud of them, especially since this is the largest number of boys who have made it through to the final round of trials in recent years.

U16

  • L Van Ryswyk
  • L Nela
  • N Ngubane
  • T Dlamini
  • M Baines
  • O Luthuli
  • J Miller
  • L Lourenco

U18

  • M Armstrong
  • G Schreuder
  • R Wilmans
  • A James
  • N Taljaard
  • R Mattison
  • H Beukes
  • D Thomas
  • P McVeigh
  • L Palacio Apez
  • B Naude
  • G Cousins

HOCKEY

Pretoria Boy’s is a major force in South African schools and, following a mixed bag of performances against Michaelhouse, we were bracing ourselves for a tough day at the office. As it turned out it was exactly that for many of our teams who just couldn’t contain the “bigger, faster, stronger” PBHS teams. I watched a number of these matches and I was stunned by the talent of many of their players in their C, D and E teams - boys that would normally play in other schools A or B teams. Our boys nevertheless played with heart and gave a good account of themselves by never giving up. A great example of this was the U16D who overcame the odds to beat their more fancied opponents. Mr. Quibell’s charges played some attractive hockey and repeatedly thwarted PBHS’s attacks through solid defense, winning 2 - 1. Whilst we could not match PBHS with depth, a real cause for celebration beyond the U16D was the success of our higher teams in each of the age groups. By the end of the fixture we had not lost a match in the A and B divisions. The U16A and the U14A were our best performing teams with both of these outfits earning excellent wins. The U16A were particularly good in their game to overcome their arguably stronger opponents. Their performance was a true reflection of grit, grinding down the PBHS structures through courageous defense to eventually win 2 - 1. The U14A did not start their match very well - which was not surprising considering they had just disembarked from a 7 hour bus ride! The boys, however, soon found their rhythm in the second half and their superior skill level soon paid its toll. The PBHS boys just had no answers for the expert manner in which our boys moved the ball around the pitch and which enabled us to score 5 unanswered goals. 5 – 0 the end result.

The 1st XI was the main match on Friday night. From the get go our boys looked like they were on a mission and our early possession dominance must have surprised the very highly ranked Green and Red. PBHS only had one circle entry in the first quarter but boy did they make it count. An exceptional drag flick from a penalty corner bulleted the ball into our net for the early lead (0 – 1). Our boys remained composed and our continued dominance eventually was rewarded with a goal of our own, deep in the first half (1 – 1). Come the second half and it was more of the same. Whilst we dominated field play PBHS looked as dangerous as an irritated rattle snake, ready to strike whenever they got the ball. And so it was…another rare circle entry leading to a penalty corner and a converted goal (1 – 2). Our boys were going to have to show immense character to fight back. With less than 10min remaining our chance came through a well worked move up the right flank, resulting in a penalty corner of our own. This we managed to convert to level the scores (2 -2). The last few minutes were thrilling to watch as both sides pressed for the win. In the end it wasn’t to be and both teams were suitably celebrated by the large crowd of spectators for what was an exceptional display of hockey.

Congratulations to the following boys who have been selected for provincial hockey teams. Once again we are delighted with the increased number of our boys having been selected and wish them all the best for their various tournaments.

KZN Inland U18A

  • John Turner
  • Suubi Mugerwa-Sekawabe 
  • Alex Warren
  • Duncan Fyvie
  • Luke Grove

KZN Inland U18B

  • Darrel Nkomo 
  • Thomas Dixon 
  • Brandon Dry
  • Shawn Johnson 
  • Cameron Pearce 
  • Michael Makris
  • Jason Crouch (Non-Travelling Reserve)

KZN Inland U16A

  • R Minter-Brown
  • D Tsebi
  • S Liebenberg
  • R Haynes

KZN Inland U16B

  • J Youens
  • J Te Riele
  • D Kitshoff
  • J Goodwin (Non-Travelling Reserve)
  • M Selane (Non-Travelling Reserve)
  • M Bray (Non-Travelling Reserve)

KZN Inland U14A

  • J Pike
  • K Watt
  • L Benkenstein
  • K Gilson
  • M Rout
  • D Den Bakker
  • D Pratt
  • A Matsa

KZN Inland U14B

  • R Basson
  • J Siddall
  • J Carstens
  • B Gwqaaru (Non-Travelling Reserve)

Hilton College Hockey

Following the Saturday fixtures all the boys who were not going on leave made their way to the buses for the return trip. For the most part this went as smoothly as our trip to Gauteng but for a mechanical failure of one of the buses, 20km from school. Fortunately, this was easily resolved and all the boys and staff returned to school safely.

The Pretoria staff were astounded that all of our boys could be hosted out by our community on Friday night. This is indicative of the big hearted people that constitute Hilton College. From my side, I would like to thank all of you for your generosity in accommodating and feeding our boys. As mentioned previously this was truly a whole school effort and one which we can look back on with pride.

Our preparations for the 2019 edition of this fixture are already underway and details regarding the dates and arrangements will be sent in due course.

FIXTURES

Our remaining fixtures are:

  • 26th May - Westville (Home) 
  • 2nd June - Kearsney College (Away) 
  • 9th June - St Charles College (Away) 
  • 16th June - Michaelhouse (Home)

Tony Shuttleworth
Executive Director - Sport

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