It’s all to play for in Kwa-Zulu Natal as Maritzburg College prepares to host Glenwood High School in the annual KZN derby for the first time this season at the Pape’s Astroturf on Saturday at Maritzburg.
The two sides, rich in history, have battled it out for several years with little to separate them.
In their last encounter, which was in August last year, College thumped the green machine 4-0 to end a near-perfect season after producing some eye-catching results like beating Affies (2-1), King Edward (3-0), and Durban High School (2-1).
After losing their inspiration, Captain Matthew Ponter, the current season has come with challenges for College, and the team has found the going much harder, producing performances that have been far from convincing.
Known for their counterattacking and punishing teams on the counterattack, the Maritzburg side has succumbed to unexpected defeats against Michaelhouse (3-2), DHS (2-1), and Wynberg Boys High (2-0) early in the season.
Mark Sanders’ team, however, will draw encouragement from outstanding victories in some of the preseason games against St. John’s (2-1), Grey High School (2-1), and Helpmekaar (4-0).
On home soil, they will also be relying on the skills of Kyle Dobeyn, who was named the “Most improved player” in last year’s awards ceremony.
On Glenwood’s side, they go into the match high in confidence after playing some good hockey that saw them win three, draw one, and lose one match at the Kingswood College Hockey Festival last weekend.
The “Green Machine,” as they’re known, are starting to claim their stake, proving that it’s not just their rugby team to look out for.
The side coached by Luke de Bruyn has also shown that it’s not how you start but rather what you learn from your mistakes after suffering a humiliating 7-0 loss to Northwood early in the season.
The gutsy wins collected against St. Andrew’s (2-0), York High School (4-0), Graeme College (4-0), and Glenwood House School (2-0) down in Makhanda will surely serve as a confidence booster.
Maritzburg College: Nicholas Holmes, Ipheleng Mosupye, Uyanda Dlamini, Liam Armstrong, Kyle Dobeyn, Asanda Khumalo, Phiwa Dlamini (captain), Siviwe Sithumbu, Julian Konigkramer,
Banele Dlamini, Ryan Bernstein, Ryan McKean, Landiswa Seshemae, Jacques Bradford, Greg Askew.
Glenwood High School: Liam Ryland (GK), Connor Johnston, Matthew Francis, Alwanduthando Qulu, Siyabonga Malatjie, Ndumiso Majali, Cameron Laing, Ntandoyenkosi Soni, Ntando Vezi, Xolani Zondo, Jayden Aylward, Sibani Mtolo, Braigen Yunnie, Miondi Nyawose, Slade Locke, Amukelo Mchunu.
08:00 – Voortrekker (Pietermaritzburg) vs Carter High; 11:15 – Westville Boys’ High vs Jeppe High School for Boys’; 11:15 – Hilton College vs Durban High School; 11:15 – Kearsney College vs Michaelhouse; 11:30 – Maritzburg College vs Glenwood.