What has started as a thrilling hockey season in schools around South Africa will resume this weekend, with several school rivals taking to the turf in hopes of building momentum and cementing their stake early in the season.
Among other provinces, the Eastern Cape will be graced with appetizing fixtures throughout the weekend as traveling teams look to make their mark away from home while next-door neighbours will be left to battle it out for bragging rights.
The game of the weekend will arguably be between Queens College from Komani and East London’s beloved Selborne College in the Queens College Reunion Derby.
The two sides, rich in history, will play each other for the first time in 2023 after Selborne registered that emphatic 4-0 win in last year’s closing match. Post-COVID-19, there has been little to separate the two sides.
The hosts have had a rather impressive start to the season, surprising a few people in their matches leading up to this one.
On paper, both teams look good; however, the Queenians will feel they have a better chance, having started the season on a high note with a 3-1 win against an old foe, Dale College, at the Merrifield Hockey Festival.
They went on to beat Westering 6-1 before playing out two draws against Makanda powerhouses St. Andrews and Kingswood College, respectively.
The highlight for the Komani side, however, will be the two scalps claimed at the Founders Hockey Festival, where they outplayed Affies to win 1-0 before edging out Michaelhouse with the same score.
As for Selborne, they will also be backing themselves to register a win away from home after having a solid start to the season.
A season described as “solid team performances” by coach KJ Friend began at the Tony Godding Hockey Festival with three out of four wins against Parel Vallei (5-2), Voortrekker (5-0), and Woodridge (3-1).
The team then left for an overseas tour to the Netherlands, where they won all six matches with a relatively young squad while some first-team players stayed behind. Upon their return, the side played out a 1-1 draw against Pearson High last weekend, where they let the match slip in the dying seconds.
On the Queen’s side, you can look out for Bevaneo Maytham, Khanya Lusiki, and Luke Du Preez to make an impact, whereas Ben van der Merwe, Tre’ Gilbert, and James Carr were named as the dangerous players to watch out for by Selborne coach KJ Friend.
Kick-off between the two sides is at 12:30 on Saturday.
In other fixtures to look out for, Gqeberha’s Grey High will welcome Dale College to their shores. Grey lost 2-1 against Paul Roos last Friday and, after letting the match slip in the final quarter, will look to improve against a hungry Dale side.
Down in East London, Hudson Park, which has had a rocky start to the season, will be licking their lips when they host neighbors Port Rex THS at the Bucco Astroturf.
Cambridge High School will also host Graeme College from Makanda, while Stirling High welcomes Pearson in its annual derby.
Queen’s College: Luke du Preez, Brett Hoffman, David Sarpong, Khanya Lusiki, Asi Tybosch, Connor Oelofse, Keaneo Maytham, Ziya Bidi, Damian Miles, Lucan Hykes, Aiden van Jaarsveld, Lumuba Gqongqo, Rowan Miles, Calvin Blooms.
Selborne College: Charlie Caswell, Zenzo Xawuka, Daniel Gaylard, Shane Stagg, Ben van der Merwe (captain), Masibulela Siswana, Tre Gilbert, Murray Kemp, Riley Boardman, James Carr, Daniel Sirgel, Lunga Malusi, Jaques van der Merwe, Waeden Plaatjes.
Friday, 21 April 2023
15:00 – Westring vs Volkskool
15:30 – Cambridge High School vs Graeme College
16:00 – Hudson vs Port Rex
17:00 – Grey High vs Dale College
19:00 – Stirling High School vs Pearson High School
Saturday, 22 April 2023
12:30 – Queens College vs Selborne College