Bad weather, which led to a two-hour delay, and competition for the final were the order of the day at the ITEC Grey College Water Polo Tournament on Saturday in Bloemfontein.
As had happened on Friday, bad lightning halted play for several hours, which resulted in late starts for the semi-finals’ showdowns involving Selborne College, Northwood, Affies, and Grey High School.
The delay didn’t seem to have any negative impact on the final four teams as they brought their A-games to the contests which would decide the finalists.
Selborne College and Affies entered the semi-finals as the only teams unbeaten after breezing through the pool stages and securing victories against Jeppe and Glenwood respectively in the quarterfinals.
Northwood, on the other hand, edged Pretoria Boys High 6-5, while Grey High broke the hearts of the hosts, beating Grey College 13-10.
There was little to separate Northwood and Selborne in the first of the semi-finals. The sides were neck-and-neck and went into half-time level at 2-2, courtesy of goals by Northwood’s Morne Earle and Selborne skipper, Liam Hansen.
The defending champions however, flipped the script in the final two chukkas. They scored six goals and conceded only three, with Hansen completing his hattrick, while a brace by Armand Van Rooyen also added to their 8-5 victory.
The second semi-final saw last year’s runners-up, Affies, down Grey High in the last match of the day.
Affies began Saturday was a tough 13-10 win over Jeppe in their final pool match. They comfortably accounted for Glenwood in the quarterfinals to keep the unbeaten record intact. Thus, it was no surprise when they booked themselves a place in the final by defeating Gqeberha’s Grey High 11-6.
On Sunday, they’ll aim to reverse their 5-11 defeat to Selborne in the 2023 final. The match takes place at 13:00 on Sunday.
Northwood will face Grey High in the third/fourth play-off match, while Jeppe and Grey College will scrap it out for fifth and sixth. It’s Stirling versus Glenwood for seventh and eighth. The action begins at 08:00 with the ninth/10th play-off between Pretoria Boys’ High and Pearson.
All the matches will be live on SuperSport Schools.
Day 3: Results
Affies 13-10 Jeppe
Selborne College 18-2 Pearson High School
Grey High 17-9 Glenwood High School
Stirling High School 12-9 Pearson High School
Affies 19-7 Glenwood High School
Selborne College 13-6 Jeppe
Grey High 13-10 Grey College
Northwood 6-5 Pretoria Boys high
Jeppe 9(4)-9(3) Pretoria Boys High
Grey College 16-7 Glenwood High School
Selborne College 8-5 Northwood
Affies 11-6 Grey High
Day 4, Sunday, 4 February @Grey College
08:00 – Pretoria Boys’ High vs Pearson 31; 09:00 – Glenwood vs Stirling; 10:00 – Grey College vs Jeppe; 12:00 – Northwood vs Grey High; 13:00 – Affies vs Selborne College
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.