View from the Dugout - Sports News 31 October 2018

Although we are one of the smallest schools in our “league” I am consistently impressed by the ability of our boys to compete against schools with much greater depth. One of the strengths of our school over the years has been the fact that our boys have played in multiple sports. This is not only to the benefit of each individual boy (I have often written about the scientific research behind the benefits of non-specialization) but also for the whole school as our boys spur each other on for the wider Hilton College team. It is critical, therefore, that if we are to remain competitive that 1) we continue to enable boys to play in multiple sports and 2) all of our sport codes work together for the benefit of the greater whole. This is a delicate balance (particularly point 2!) as each of our sport codes are striving to do their very best and invariably there will be clashes between sports at times. Ultimately, it is the involvement and commitment of our boys that makes Hilton College sport great and it is this that we need to protect.

We have some incredible boys at our school and, as an extension to my preamble above, and of which I would like to make special mention, are those boys who are playing multiple sports at a high level. Over the past two years I have been awestruck by Hilton College boys who have the ability, but more so, the capacity to play in 2 or 3 (some 4) 1st team sports. And it’s not just about sport – most are also doing their best academically and in other areas. I do not mean to put them on a pedestal - these boys get no additional recognition for the fact that they are going above and beyond in representing the school. Rather, I highlight their contribution because they show what can be achieved through commitment, passion and discipline. Not succumbing to the easy route and copping out, they set an example for the manner in which they order their busy lives so that they can do well in multiple areas. I hope that in the future we will develop many more of these boys at Hilton College!

Well done to the following boys who have represented 1st teams in 3 sports:

  • Michael Makis: Golf (C), Soccer (C), Hockey (VC)
  • Robbie McGaw: Rugby, Cricket, Tennis
  • Suubi Mugerwa-Sekawabe: Hockey, Cricket, Soccer
  • Darrel Nkomo: Basketball, Soccer, Hockey
  • Robert Mattison: Athletics, Basketball, Rugby

BASKETBALL

Our Basketball Club travelled to Westville Boys High School on Saturday 13 October. Our boys have made impressive improvements recently so, whilst we were wary of the disadvantage of playing away, we were confident that we would push our opponents in every match. The games lived up to expectation with almost every encounter going down to the wire.

In the 1st team match, it was apparent from the beginning that Westville had a score to settle following our crushing 66 – 33 victory in the first term. The early exchanges were very close with both teams struggling to dismantle each other’s tight defence. As the nerves settled, Westville found their shooting range first. Hitting a purple patch on the back end of the first quarter, which included numerous 3 pointers by their point guard, they raced to a 10 point lead by the end of the period. From then onwards it was catch-up for the White. Each of the remaining quarters were evenly contested thereafter but, try as we might, we could not lessen the deficit. In the end, we were left to rue a plethora of missed baskets as Westville got one back on us with a 71 – 61 win.

A highlight of the day for us was nabbing two A team wins in the U16A and U15A matches. In probably the match of the day, our Hilton College under 16A’s pipped their opponents 21 – 16 in what was a game characterised by hard running, lay-ups, 3 pointers and passion. With time ticking away and with a slender 2 point lead, our boys sealed the deal with a superb 3 pointer which handed us the win. Our under 15A’s picked up from where they left off last week. Their growing confidence is wonderful to watch as they routinely converted their chances. Westville had no answer for our calm and precision and in the end, we ran out 28 – 18 winners. This was a particularly satisfying victory as our boys managed a 1 point win against the same team in the first quarter.

The 3rd team (36 – 19) were our team of the day. In their dominant performance they dismantled a very athletic Westville with superior skills. The U15B (15 – 12), U14A (17 – 20) and U14B (17 – 19) also deserve a mention for their exceptional play in what were all extremely close matches.
(Thanks to Celo Mbanjwa for his contribution to this report)

Senior Inter-house Basketball was won by Falcon House having beaten Churchill 17 – 8 in the final. The junior event was won by McKenzie House having beaten Lucas 22 -14 in the final.


Interestingly both Falcon and McKenzie made their way to the final from round 1. McKenzie House scored a total of 83 points throughout the tournament. This is more than all six of the other Houses scored in all their preceding matches. Similarly, Falcon dominated the senior inter-house competition scoring 73 points throughout the tournament. Churchill played in two matches that went to elimination and required free throws to progress. They won their 1st match against Newnham 2-1 on free throws and 1-0 against McKenzie in the semi-finals before succumbing to a very dominant Falcon House.

(Thanks to Dave Look for his contribution to this report)

CRICKET

Our cricketers took on Westville in what was an away game for the 1st and A teams, with all of our other teams enjoying the luxury of playing at home.

Our 1st XI took advantage of winning the toss by batting first. With so much moisture around and the game reduced to 40 overs, this seemed to be an unlikely decision to have made. This bold move however proved to be the right one with our openers James Ritchie (106*) and Robbie McGaw setting the game up with an opening partnership of 203. A quick-fire 39 off 19 balls by Gareth Schreuder saw our boys score 256 for 2 – not bad for 40 overs! Westville’s reply stuttered from the get-go with our pace attack claiming early scalps. Despite a recovery by the middle order the damage was done and our opponents capitulated at 212 for 9. The standout bowling performance of the weekend was John Turner’s 2 for 19 in 9 overs. The 2nd XI also batted superbly to set a formidable total of 297. Half-centuries by Kilmartin and Wilmot set the team up for the middle order to contribute. Nick Campbell, with 4 for 24 in his 10 overs, ripped the heart out of the Westville run chase. In the end, Westville was eventually bundled out 200/10. Although the 3rd team showed great fight to take their game to the last ball, they ended on the wrong side of the result losing by a paltry 2 runs. A well-played 71 by Andrew Winskill was just not enough to get the team over the line.

The U15A team showed great character to win their match given that they were missing 4 regular players. Craig Yammin’s 59 in partnership with Dylan Thomson’s 106 was the difference in the game as the team won by 2 runs. Well done to the whole bowling unit, who stuck to their task. Unfortunately, the loss of players higher up hurt our lower U15 teams who were overpowered by Westville’s impressive depth in this age group.

The U14A team struggled against some hostile bowling and as a result of our indifferent shot selections we were reduced to 117 for 7. Lower order contributions by Olwethu Kweyama and Luthando Sigwebela in partnership with Matt Rout (50) saw the team post a defendable if not below par 213. Credit to Westville, their batting did not falter and they got over the line by 5 wickets with two overs to spare. Good wins by the U14B and U14C teams were real highlights for us – particularly against a school of this size. A good all-round performance by Chris Roy (3/26 and 60) and a well-played 66 by Cole McLaggan was the winning of the game for the B team. A great team effort saw the U14C’s over the line in a hotly contested match. Posting 130 we eventually shut out Westville who reached 123/6.

(Thanks to Warren Kirsten for his contribution to this report)

ROWING

The new rowing season got underway with the Roodeplaat Regatta. This was an important event for boys to get race ready and to achieve qualifying times for the Gauteng Championships. Unfortunately, the regatta ended a little prematurely due to a storm; however this did not prevent our boys from registering numerous top finishes in the early events. The results were as follows:

Event: U19 1st Quad
Position: 1st
Crew: 

  • Patrick Plunket 
  • Nick Weinberg 
  • Rory Plunket 
  • George Gearing 
  • James Coull (cox)

Event: U16B Quad
Position: 2nd 
Crew: 

  • Andrew Winskill 
  • Jaiden Wilde 
  • Joubert Smit 
  • James Weinberg 
  • Richard Karlson (cox)

Event: U19 3rd Double
Position: 1st
Crew:

  • Mosa Moagi,
  • James Coull 

Event: U16A Double
Position: 3rd
Crew:

  • Rhys Barnes
  • Richard Karlson  

Event: U16B Double
Position: 2nd 
Crew:

  • Jaiden Wilde
  • James Weinberg 

Event:U16B Double
Position: 3rd 
Crew:

  • Chae vd Berg
  • Aedan Dicks

Event: U19 1st Scull 
Position: 2nd
Crew: Patrick Plunket

Event: U19 1st Scull
Position: 3rd 
Crew: Rory Plunket 

Event: U19 2nd Scull 
Position: 1st
Crew: Nick Weinberg

WATER POLO

The 1st team stayers played in the St. Stithian’s Tournament from Thursday to Sunday, 18 to 21 October. The boys put in two solid performances on the first day sweeping aside Parktown (14 - 2) and Glenwood (9 - 2) with relative ease. Two important games followed against top seeds Bishops and St. Johns. Unfortunately, we lost both of these matches 5 – 6, which effectively put paid to any hopes of playing in the cup finals. A final loss against Jeppe (0 – 2) in the pool games relegated us to the plate play-offs. In the plate semi-final, we finished “honours even” with KES, which resulted in a penalty shootout. More misfortune was in store for the boys as we endured another heart-breaking loss 2 – 3 in this tie-breaker. In the final positional play-off against St. David’s the boys put in a good all-round performance to win 6 – 3 to claim 11th position out of the 20 teams that were represented. In the final analysis, whilst this position was well below our goals, the 4 narrow losses we sustained were all against top flight teams – which goes to show that we are right up there. With a bit more hard work we are expecting that we will be fighting it out for top honours in the near future.

With the 1st team Stayer’s Tournament on the go, the remainder of the water polo club went head-to-head with Westville. Our teams did brilliantly to win all but 1 match. The results were as follows: 2nd (9 - 6), 3rd (18 - 3), 15B (13 - 4), 14B (13 - 3), 14C vs Westville 14B (6 – 7).

Senior Inter-house Water Polo was won by Churchill House and Ellis House were winners of the junior event. Well done to both these teams!

Tony Shuttleworth
Executive Director - Sport

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