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Day three of KES Festival delivers a thrillfest


Eldoraigne vs Grey College. Photo: Theo Garrun.
Eldoraigne vs Grey College. Photo: Theo Garrun.

Parents, family, friends, schoolmates, and regular spectators who made their way to King Edward VII School (KES) on Easter Sunday were treated to top-drawer hockey on the third day of the annual KES Easter Festival.

The 20th edition of the showcase kicked off on Thursday and will end on Monday.

KJ Friend’s Selborne College maintained their unbeaten run over the course of three festivals in three weeks with two wins on Sunday, shrugging off the challenges of Parktown Boys’ High and Kearsney College.

An equally outstanding Grey College also registered two wins, against Eldoraigne and Kearsney.

Rondebosch Boys’ High went up against KZN’s Maritzburg College and Northwood School and walked away from both encounters with draws in low-scoring thrillers.

St John’s College gathered momentum with an emphatic 3-1 win over St Charles College. “We have certainly managed to improve from day one. Yesterday, we lost to Northwood towards the end of the game and the lessons learned there helped us for our next game. We improved our game management and managing the tempo of the play,” said St John’s coach Gilbert de Villiers.

However, one of the big stories of the festival has been the achievements and growth of Hoërskool Eldoraigne. The boys from Pretoria have shown that they are not attending the event to make up the numbers.

When Stefan Coertzen took over the head coach’s position at Eldoraigne, their hockey programme was in infancy. Two years later, they are gathering momentum, developing 14-year-olds with limited skill and experience into decent 16- and 17-year-olds.

In past years, opposition teams made a habit of scoring plenty of goals against them. That is no longer the case. Coertzen has taken steps to fortify their defensive play.

On day one of the festival, Eldoraigne conceded four goals against Parktown but recovered to minimise the damage, conceding only two goals against Jeppe.

“Coming from a school that is still developing our hockey structures, we have not been too bad. I think our defensive effort has been good, especially in our first and second games. Our scoreline against Jeppe will be a good confidence boost for my boys. They were used to taking a lot of goals,” Coertzen told Supersport Schools Plus on Saturday.

After those games, Coertzen’s sought to find a way to help his charges shift to a more offensive brand of play to make them more competitive. “Just defending the whole time, the dam wall will break. Obviously, they will get through our lines and score. We can’t just defend for the whole of the game,” he said.

On Sunday morning, Eldoraigne attacked and scored their first non-consolation goal of the festival in a 1-3 loss to an in-form Grey College team. They didn’t park the bus. Rather, they played with the drive to compete.

When they went head-to-head with KES, Eldoraigne showed more intent and attacked from the start. Coertzen’s boys were on the scoreboard first but then reverted to type after KES’s equaliser in the second half.

They were holding on for dear life when the hosts made it 2-1 in the third chukka but rediscovered their spark in the fourth quarter. Instead of playing to limit the number of goals against them, they fought to equalise. KES repelled all their efforts.

Eldoraigne’s newfound confidence and attacking brand of play will be tested on Monday morning when they face a rampant, defensively sound, and attacking Selborne College in the first match of the day. An enticing schedule of thrilling high-quality hockey will be finished off by a contest between St Charles and Parktown.

Results

Jeppe 2-0 St Charles, Rondebosch 1-1 Maritzburg College, Selborne 3 -1 Parktown, KES 1-4 Northwood, Waterkloof 2-1 Queen’s College, Grey College 3-1 Eldoraigne, St John’s 3-1 St Charles, Selborne 2-0 Kearsney, Northwood 1-1 Rondebosch, Maritzburg 3-0 Parktown, KES 2-1 Eldoraigne, Grey College 1-0 Kearsney.

Monday

Weinberg Astro

07:30 – Selborne vs Hoëskool Eldoraigne, 08:40 – KES vs Queens, 09:50 – Waterkloof vs Northwood, 11:00 – Jeppe vs Rondebosch, 12:10 – St John’s vs Kearsney, 13:20 – Maritzburg College vs Grey College, 14:30 – Parktown vs St Charles

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