A hattrick of goals by Ross Stewart and a brace from Tim Young steered Bishops Diocesan College to an emphatic 11-5 victory over SACS in round one of the 2024 SACS Night Series in Cape Town on Tuesday.
The annual series, which is played over six rounds, culminating in the final late next month, began in a most unforeseen manner in front of a lively crowd, buzzing with enthusiasm.
Heading into the match, Bishops had, in recent times, fallen short against SACS on numerous occasions, including in the pre-season matches the two had contested.
It appeared to be a case of déjà vu for Jabulani Sibiya’s side as they went behind early in the encounter and trailed 1-4 at the halfway mark, with SACS scoring their goals through Zack Cicero, Connor Melling-Williams, and a brace from Nicholas Fall.
The visitors were, however, kept in the game by the superb efforts of their shot-stopper, Jordan De Sousa.
With his charges trailing at the break, Sibiya’s team talk must’ve been one for the books as his side came out looking like a totally different unit.
The visitors first clawed their way back to make it 4-4, courtesy of goals by James Malan, Matt Fenn, and the skipper Stewart.
From there, there was no stopping them as they turned attack into the best form of defence and countered on every opportunity that arose.
Bryn Parry, Cameron Moon, Tim Young, Milo Letschert, and Owen Cross all got in on the goalscoring action in the third and fourth chukkas.
During that time, Bishops netted 10 times and conceded only once, powering their way to an emphatic victory, which sent shockwaves across the Western Province school scene and beyond.
“We’re so excited to start on a high for the season. What we saw on the scoreboard was backed by preparation,” Bishops’ head coach Jabulani Sibiya told SuperSport Schools after the match.
“We started very early in the pre-season, and we’ve been working really hard. We had a couple of practice games, where we’ve lost against them, so I think we did extremely well to come out and start the season on a high.
“SACS is a very competitive side, one of the top sides in the country, after last year’s rankings, so we really are excited to start the season by beating them convincingly.”
In another first round encounter, Rondebosch Boys’ High also made a winning start, downing a motivated Reddam House Constantia side 14-6.
The Rondebosch boys did it in style, with Luke Burger, and Noah Reiback scoring hat-tricks.
Meanwhile, Paul Roos were dominant in their clash against Wynberg in the final match of the day.
Arkin Marais, Milan van der Westhuizen, Thomas Cruickshank, Adam October, and Nicolaas van der Westhuizen were all on the scoresheet as their team recorded an 11-6 win to get their campaign up and running.
Scorers from SACS vs Bishops
SACS (5): Zack Cicero, Connor-Melling Williams (x2), Nicholas Fall (x2). Bishops (11): Ross Stewart (x3), James Malan, Matt Fenn, Bryn Parry, Cameron Moon, Tim Young (x2), Milo Letschert, Owen Cross.
Round 2 fixtures
17:00- Reddam House vs Wynberg
18:00- SACS vs Rondebosch Boys High
19:00- Paul Roos vs Bishops
Avuyile Sawula is a multimedia sports journalist, broadcaster, and writer. He possesses a journalism qualification from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. During his time in the media industry, he has worked for various online media publications covering big matches and events across the country. He also has a broadcasting background having worked as a news journalist at one of Cape Town’s commercial radio stations. His reporting beats include hockey, rugby, water polo, and cricket. Apart from writing, he has a knack for creating sports content, and video editing.