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Hudson high in confidence with season opener looming

By Avuyile Sawula , in Hockey | News , at 2024-04-03 Tags: , ,

Hudson Park skipper, Tarelle Jones driving forward during the Belgotex Sport Easter Hockey Tournament in Cape Town. Photo: Belgotex
Hudson Park Captain, Tarelle Jones driving forward during the Belgotex Sport Easter Hockey Tournament in Cape Town. Photo: Belgotex

After finishing 10th out of 40 schools in last week’s Belgotex Sport Easter Hockey Tournament, the Hudson Park High School girls’ hockey team will aim to carry that momentum into their opening league match of the season against Cambridge High School in East London on Friday.

The opening whistle will sound at 16:15 on the Cambridge High Astroturf.

Early in the season, Hudson has been one of the most promising Eastern Cape sides, playing an appealing brand of hockey, while holding their own against some of the best teams in the country.

They began competitive action at the Greg Beling Festival in East London early last month.

There, Hudson only lost two matches against St Anne’s Diocesan School (0-5), and Oranje (2-10), both sides who have made cases for being among the best in South Africa this year.

Coach Jerry Snyman‘s girls did, however, record a 1-0 win over Collegiate, before holding last year’s number one ranked team in the country, Eunice, to a 1-1 draw.

“The girls have come together nicely and fairly early in the season, which is encouraging to see,” he told SuperSport Schools.

“We’ve put in a lot of effort behind the scenes to ensure we get the best out of our girls this season. There are still some aspects that need work. It’s not picture-perfect. But sport never is.”

Hudson defied the odds at the Belgotex Sport Easter Hockey Tournament, and their 10th-place finish was just three spots behind Woodridge College, who ended the event as the best of the Eastern Cape teams.

On their way to that 10th place finish, Hudson impressed in Pool A, losing only one match to the eventual runners-up, Hoërskool Middelburg.

In the Plate final, they East London side was edged out 0-1 by Fairmont, who scored a late winner.

Coach Snyman said he was proud of how his players carried themselves throughout the tournament, adding that he is excited to see how the mix of youth and experience helps the side evolve during the course of the season.

“We are very happy with the performance of the girls at Belgotex,” he stated.

“It was a tough one as the top of every pool went automatically into the top eight. Nonetheless, the girls played well, adjusted to each game, and worked as a team.

“We have six new players in the set-up this year, who moved up from u16A last year. The girls have all played with each other at some stage.

“We only have two matrics in the team, so it’s a fairly consistent side and will remain so for the next two years.

“The juniors in the team are hungry for the game and have a lot of potential and growth to offer in the sport.”

Last year, Hudson Park won home and away against Cambridge. They will be confident, if they bring their A-game, that they could repeat that feat.

Their opponents have had a challenging start to the season but are slowly finding their way. They were most recently in action at the York High Easter Hockey Festival, where they won three of their five matches.

Those wins were over Pinelands (2-1), St Dominic’s (2-0), and Curro Durbanville (2-0). Against Hudson Park, they’ll be looking to Akhile Mdlalane to lead the assault on the opposition’s defences.

Meanwhile, coach Snyman’s troops will count on the experience of captain, Tarelle Jones, alongside Melnique Langley, Busiwe Mayekiso, Erin Batting, and Hanna Faro, to guide them in their quest to continue their winning ways against their arch-rivals.

Hudson Park

Mbali Khumalo, Erin Batting, Nandi Ndava, Jorja Wilson, Rania Khan, Jordyn Wilson, Mia Smit, Inathi Lubelwana, Hannah Faro, Tarelle Jones, Kara Batting, Melnique Langley, Busiwe Mayekiso, Keera Van Vuuren, Avuyile Qusheka, Faith Nxoyi.

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