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Kearsney crowned Reef Cup champions

By CS Chiwanza , in Water Sports | Featured Water Sports | News , at 2024-03-03

Kearsney College capped off an outstanding campaign at the Reef Cup Water Polo Invitational Tournament with a 10–8 win over St Alban’s College in the final on Sunday to lift the title.

Both sides were in top form and provided thrilling entertainment as they battled for supremacy in the 44-year-old event, which was hosted by St Stithians College.

Kearsney qualified for the final by dominating Pool C, where they scored 81 goals and conceded only 21, for a goal difference of 60, which was the third-best goal difference during the group stages. They then scored 26 goals and conceded 10 against Reddam Helderfontein and St David’s Marist Inanda in the quarter- and semi-finals.

St Alban’s, on the other hand, sailed through Pool B with ease before overcoming Woodridge 11-8 and Michaelhouse 9-6 in the quarter- and semi-finals respectively.

A cracking final was expected, and the teams did not disappoint.

Despite missing a penalty that could have put the KwaZulu-Natal side ahead, and going down 0-2 in the first few minutes of the first chukka, Kearsney seized control and dominated proceedings.

Coach Nicholas Rodda‘s charges denied St Alban’s possession and camped in front of the Johannesburg side’s goal, which required Chris Evans, the opposition goalkeeper, to make several saves. But Kearsney’s relentless attack was rewarded as they finished the first chukka leading 5–3.

They carried their momentum into the second chukka and quickly buried two goals without reply. But St Alban’s was not done. They fought back and their resilience was rewarded with two goals. At the end of the chukka, though, they trailed their KZN opposition 5–7.

St Alban’s headed into the championship quarter intent on not just equalising but taking control of the match. They had to begin by reducing their two-goal deficit and midway through the chukka they had pulled to within one of Kearsney.

However, just when it seemed that coach Nardus Badenhorst‘s side was on course to level matters, Kearsney brought forth a new wave of energy and pulled away to finish the chukka 9-7 to the good.

In the fourth chukka, the waves of attack went from one end to the other. Much of the quarter was edge-of-seat entertainment, with the sides separated by only one goal after St Alban’s had breached the Kearsney defence early in the final stanza.

But the boys from Botha’s Hill held firm and repulsed the St Alban’s attempts at evening the score. Rodda’s side, though, missed their fair share of chances in front of the St Alban’s goal before Thomas Aylward found the back of the net to re-establish a two-goal advantage.

With the two-goal cushion, Kearsney had two jobs: to minimise St Alban’s shots on goal and to keep out the ones they attempted. They were outstanding on both counts and deservedly finished as the victors.

St David’s and Michaelhouse, who gave the finalists a good run for their money in the semifinals, met with third place on the line. St David’s won that contest 13-7.

Results

Rand Park 13-12 Crawford Lonehill
Beaulieu 6-7 Reddam Bedfordview
Steyn City 7-4 Reddam Umhlanga
Parktown 11-7 Falcon
Glenwood 7-12 St Peter’s
Grey College 10-14 DHS
Reddam Helderfontein 5-8 Woodridge
St Benedict’s 6-11 Affies
St David’s 13-7 Michaelhouse
Kearsney 10-8 St Alban’s

Final Standings

1. Kearsney
2. St Alban’s
3. St David’s
4. Michaelhouse
5. Affies
6. St Benedict’s
7. Woodridge
8. Reddam Helderfontein
9. Durban High School
10. Grey College
11. St Peter’s
12. Glenwood
13. Parktown
14. Falcon College
15. Steyn City
16. Reddam Umhlanga
17. Reddam Bedfordview
18. Beaulieu
19. Rand Park
20. Crawford Lonehill

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