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Alexa de Villiers inspires Herschel to second Old Petrian’s title

By CS Chiwanza , in Water Sports | Featured Water Sports | News , at 2024-02-25

Alexa de Villiers was sensational as she led Herschel to their second Old Petrian’s u19 Girls Water Polo Tournament title at the Wahoo Aquatic Centre in Sandton on Sunday afternoon.

The Western Cape side, who won their first title in 2011, defeated 2023 champions St Stithians College 9-6 in a hard-fought final. The event featured 27 of South Africa’s leading girls’ water polo teams.

De Villiers scored four of the nine goals that Herschel put past the Saints’ defence. The Johannesburg team was in control for large parts of the encounter, and through the first to third chukka, Saints led at multiple points, only for Herschel to equalise, often through De Villiers.

Herschel broke the trend in the fourth chukka when they went ahead 7-6 and, once they got in front, they did what Saints had failed to do each time they took the lead, by creating a two-goal gap. In the last couple of minutes of the match, the Cape Town team scored another to put the game beyond Saints and banish any hopes they may have had of a comeback.

The final marked the second time the teams had met in the tournament. Herschel and St Stithians first locked horns during the group stages, when the Cape Town side triumphed 8-5, which meant Saints had to take a longer route to the final.

After finishing second in Pool A, Saints had to get by Clarendon in the playoffs before squaring up to Roedean in the quarterfinals.

In the semis, coach Etienne Le Roux‘s team took on an unrelenting Reddam House Constantia. Courtney Calenborne, who had been outstanding for Saints throughout the tournament, stayed true to form. The Central Gauteng star breached the Reddam defence three times as the teams settled for a 4-4 draw after the fourth chukka. The contest was then decided by a penalty shootout, which Saints edged 3-2.

The finalists’ paths to the title-decider couldn’t have been any more different. After topping their group, Herschel stamped their ticket for direct qualification to the quarterfinals with an 11-8 win over Durban Girls’ College (DGC).

In the semifinals, Sophie Vickers put five goals past DSG to book a date with St Stithians in the final. By her standards, the Western Province player had a muted campaign, choosing to play a supporting role to her more experienced teammates, Anne Lieberman and Amy van Breda. The pair was prolific as Herschel effortlessly sailed past each of their opponents.

It was a testament to Herschel’s all-round excellence, however, that they produced numerous matchwinners on their way to the title.

Herschel and Saints were two of the three top goal-scoring teams of the tournament. Herschel topped the list, with 107, while Saints were third, with 95. Sandwiched between them was Roedean, on 104 goals.

Amy Mather, from Crawford, was the leading goal-scorer, with 32, while DGC’s Kayla Andrews struck 28 times, and Hannah Banks, from Reddam Constantia, was third with 27.

Lesser honours were accorded to the Shield winners, St Peter’s, who defeated Chisipite, 5-4, Bowl winners’ Crawford, who overcame Stirling, 5-3, and the Plate winners’ St Dominic’s, who outplayed St Mary’s 5-3.

Playoffs and Final Standings

25th-24th Playoff: Alexander Road 1-4 Springfield
Plate semi-final: Clarendon 5-9 St Mary’s
25th-28th Playoff: Pretoria Girls 3-4 Rand Park
Plate semi-final: St Dominic’s 4-3 Reddam Bedfordview
17th-20th Playoff: Westerford 5-13 Collegiate
Shield semi-final: Reddam Helderfontein 3-6 St Peter’s
17th-20th Playoff: Rustenburg 6-5 Hudson Park
Shield semi-final: Chisipite 8-1 Wynberg
5th-8th Playoff: St Anne’s 7-6 DGC
Bowl semi-final: Crawford 4-2 Kingsmead
5th-8th Playoff: Roedean 13-3 Kingswood
Bowl semi-final: Stirling 4-3 Pearson
27th-28th: Alex Road 4-3 Pretoria Girls
Cup Semi-Final: Herschel 5-4 DSG
25th-26th: Springfield 5-3 Rand Park
Cup semi-final: St Stithians 4 (3)-4 (2) Reddam Constantia
23rd-24th: Reddam Helderfontein 2-4 Wynberg
Shield Final: St Peter’s 5-4 Chisipite
19th-20th: Westerford 4-6 Hudson
17th-18th Collegiate 7-1 Rustenburg
Bowl Final: Crawford 5-3 Stirling
15th-16th: Kingsmead 4-3 Pearson
Plate Final: St Mary’s 3-5 St Dominic’s
11th-12th: Clarendon 5 (4)-5 (3) Reddam Bedfordview
5th-6th: St Anne’s 3-7 Roedean
7th-8th: DGC 6 (1)-6 (3) Kingswood
3rd-4th: DSG 4-8 Reddam Constantia
1st-2nd: Herschel 9 – 6 St Stithians

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.