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Big guns on song, Nelson Mandela Bay edge out Buffalo City

By Brad Morgan , in Featured | Main Water Sports | News , at 2023-12-09 Tags: ,

Saturday, 9 December, day one of the 2023 Boys’ u19 Schools Water Polo South Africa Inter-Provincial Tournament in Gqeberha was cold and wet, but a number of the favourites heated up the Grey High School pool with confident showings.

Catch all the action from the tournament live on SuperSport Schools (www.supersportschools.com).

For the defending champions, Gauteng Central A, it was a smooth introduction to the event. They overpowered Eastern Gauteng 29-0 in their first outing and then romped to an 18-2 win over the Northern Tigers.

While they scored 47 times, it was their smothering defence that most caught the eye, and which accounted for numerous turnovers and goal-scoring opportunities.

KZN A, also, recorded two emphatic victories, downing Zimbabwe 20-3 and then handing Eastern Gauteng a 21-1 loss. The second time out, the KZN boys were far more cohesive – they seemed to barely get out of second gear against Zimbabwe – and they used their structure well to manipulate regular openings against Easterns.

Mitchell Slade produced a fantastic all-round performance for coach Jason Sileno‘s outfit, scoring four goals and also pulling off four steals. Like Central Gauteng, their dominance was based upon their smothering man-to-man defence.

Those two teams were, not unexpectedly, the class of Pool A, while in Pool B Western Province A, the tournament favourites, ran out 11-6 winners over Western Province B in a match that was closer than the score reveals.

The B team powered out the blocks, quickly snatching a 2-0 lead, but the A team, composed and assured in their ball movement, responded in style to build up a healthy 6-2 advantage. They appeared to be on course for a routine victory, but their B team, familiar with the A side’s players and approach, came roaring back into the contest.

They pulled to within 7-6 and then won a penalty, which gave them an opportunity to level the scores late in the contest. The penalty attempt was rejected, however, and with that missed chance the momentum swung back in the favour of the A team. They finished strongly, adding another four goals without reply to take an 11-6 win.

Buffalo City won a crucial early contest against Central Gauteng B 9-8. “It was a game that we really wanted to win,” coach Khanyisa Mpumlwana said. “There’s only five of us in our pool (there are six in Pool A), so every goal and every point counts right now.”

Mpulwana said getting pressure onto the ball and then trying to get it to the right places helped the team from East London to victory, but he lamented some lack of accuracy when passing, which could have led to a more convincing win.

Buffalo City had prepared for the tournament by participating in a camp that involved the Central Gauteng A and B teams, as well as the Central Gauteng u16 side, so that familiarity with the opposition was a challenge for both teams, but it also provided useful knowledge.

It was a big day for Buffalo City as they faced Nelson Mandela Bay in the final match of the day, under lights, in an Eastern Cape derby.

In the first chukka, it was Buffalo City that edged ahead by a 4-2 margin, but Nelson Mandela Bay then scored three times before Buffalo City levelled again at 5-5. The home team, with a good number of Grey High boys in their ranks, playing in their home waters, then edged ahead, but time after time the East London outfit pulled one back.

In the fourth quarter, Nelson Mandela Bay finally managed to open up a gap on Buffalo City. It had less to do with their offence than it had to do with an absolutely outstanding effort by goalkeeper Oliver Klatte, who pulled off a series of stunning saves to stymie Buffalo City.

At the same time, Buffalo City did themselves no favours by conceding five penalties. Nelson Mandela Bay scored four times from them, while not conceding any penalties themselves, and that made a crucial difference in the contest.

KwaZulu-Natal B launched their challenge in the early evening against Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwean side started out strongly and raced into a two-goal lead, but KZN soon found their rhythm and ultimately won comfortably by 21 goals to nine.

Luca Di Vincenzo topped the goal-scoring charts in the contest, finding the back of the net on four occasions, while Ethan Lyne scored twice and was responsible for a couple of steals.

A big 12-game programme on day two includes Western Province A against Nelson Mandela Bay, and based on the opening day’s action second place in the pool could be between the home team and Western Province B, providing there is no shocking upset of the Western Province A side.

Western Province B vs Buffalo City likely favours the Western Cape line-up, but it is far from a foregone conclusion. KZN A take on KZN B, and matches between familiar opponents are often tricky encounters, but the A team should take the points from that clash.

Results

Central Gauteng A 29-0 Eastern Gauteng

Central Gauteng A – Caleb van Loggerenberg (4), Nicholas Pearce (4), Samuel Lister (4), Trista Grimett (4), Marc Smith (3), Greg Pryce (2), Leonardo Perreira (2), Tanner Kleynhans (2), Ross Rovelli (2), Connor Flinn (1), Taeg Mosehla (1)

Central Gauteng B 8-9 Buffalo City

Buffalo City – Daniel Breetzke (2), Charles Caswell (2), Reece Miles (2), Philip Wagner (1), Matt Johnson (1), Sean Audie (1)
Central Gauteng B – Mark Hudson (2), Brogan McEwan (2), Jack Wilkins (2), Alessio Cimato (1) – (Only seven goals accounted for on the scoresheet)

KwaZulu-Natal A 20-3 Zimbabwe

KwaZulu-Natal A – Mitchell Slade (3), Oliver Ditz (3), Matthew Hayes (3), Warwick Field (3), Jed Poovan (2), Max Scully (2), Rhys Hall (2), Jamie Spence (1) , Meyer Malherbe (1)
Zimbabwe – Sonny Brebner (1), Joshua Covill (1), Codie Selman (1)

Central Gauteng A 18-2 Northern Tigers

Central Gauteng A – Connor Flinn (4), Tristan Grimett (3), Marc Smith (2), Caleb van Loggerenberg (2), Nicholas Pearce (2), Karabo Mamaregane (1), Greg Pryce (1), Leonardo Perreira (1), Anton Arwidi (1), Samuel Lister (1)

Northern Tigers – Benjamin Melville (1), Petrus van der Merwe (1)

Western Province A 11-6 Western Province B

Western Province A – Nicholas Fall (2), Ben Reibeck (2), Richard Skeeles (2), Conor Melling-Williams (1), Zack Cicero (1) Johannes Reyneke (1), Noah Bigara (1), Thomas Wiltshire (1)

Western Province B – Cosmo Enthoven (2), Paul Enthoven (1) Sebastiaan White (1), Salahuddin Khan (1), Mac Lecuona (1)

KwaZulu-Natal A 21-1 Eastern Gauteng

KwaZulu-Natal A – Mitchell Slade (4), Warwick Field (4), Meyer Malherbe (2), Stef Swart (2), Rhys Hall (2), Jamie Spence (2), Max Scully (1), Oliver Ditz (1), Matthew Hayes (1), Jedd Poovan (1), Jonathan Bregman-Frangos (1)

Easterns – Robert Carr (1)

KwaZulu-Natal B 21-9 Zimbabwe

KwaZulu-Natal B – Luca Di Vincenzo (4), Blake Kruger (3), Marnu Koekemoer (2), Josh Lortan (2), Ethan Lyne (2), Tallin Laas (1), Jared Byleveld (1), Troy Rees-Jones (1), Mitchell Wilson (1), Jack Slater (1)

Zimbabwe – Samuel Edwards (3), Garrick Duff (3), Codie Selman (2), Joshua Covill (1), Michael Chaniwa (1)

Buffalo City 8-11 Nelson Mandela Bay

Nelson Mandela Bay – Samuel Marston (4), Nicholas Franklin (3), Jon Hobson (2), Tawfiq Akomolafe (2)

Buffalo City – Charles Caswell (3), Reece Miles (3), Matt Johnson (2)

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