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Parktown and Jeppe record wins on day one of KES Easter Festival

By CS Chiwanza , in Featured | Main Hockey | Featured Hockey | News , at 2024-03-28 Tags: , , , ,

Day One of the 20th edition of the King Edward VII School (KES) Easter Festival did not disappoint and the first eight teams to grace the Weinberg Astro put up an exhibition of exciting hockey action.

The four-day festival runs from Thursday, 28 March, to Monday, 1 April, and is hosted by KES, with six of the 35 games taking place at their close neighbours, St John’s College.

Coach Kyle Reddy‘s Parktown Boys’ High was the first team on the astro, squaring up to Hoërskool Eldoraigne. The Ryan Venter-captained unit had a difficult preseason, thanks to lightning-prone Johannesburg, which prevented a number of practice and friendly matches taking place.

But they did manage to squeeze in two fixtures, playing to a 3-3 draw with St Alban’s and easing to a one-sided win over CBC Boksburg. They arrived at the Founders Festival in KZN a little underbaked and produced mixed results.

In their game against Eldoraigne, Parktown seized the initiative by pressing hard and putting the opposition under pressure. They were rewarded with two goals in the first half. They failed to follow up that strong start with a convincing third chukka and ceded control of the match.

“We have two or three players who were part of the team that played at Founders that were not here, just to give the other boys an opportunity to play first-team hockey and see how they do. When they came on, we tried different combinations, a slight adaptation to the press and that was shaky,” Reddy said.

Parktown regained control, however, after they reverted to their regular style and went on to win by three goals.

That encounter was followed by a fiercely contested match between St John’s and Queen’s College. Gilbert de Villiers’ boys looked well organised as they dominated the early proceedings. De Villiers, who moved to St John’s after a successful five-year run with Jeppe, is still in the early days of moulding the team into an outfit that embodies his vision.

“That vision is our boys dominating our own space, making sure we are accountable for our mistakes and successes. Individual accountability is a big thing. And defending to win is another big one for us,” said De Villiers.

Michael Baiden’s Queens College was happy to sit deep and absorb the pressure from St John’s. A hallmark of Baiden’s style of play is attacking on the counter, a ploy they tried a few times. But the Murray Halstead-Cleak-marshalled defence held firm, denying the opposition a way in.

The contest spilled into a frenetic fourth chukka that had action from one goal to the other. Eventually, it was Queen’s who won a penalty corner, which they converted, with seconds left on the clock, to snatch a draw.

Siya Sityana’s Jeppe posted a solid 4-1 win over Waterkloof. The scoreline suggests it was a blowout. It wasn’t.

Jeppe was on fire as they scored three goals in the first chukka. Those quick strikes left Waterkloof a little shell-shocked, but they composed themselves and came out fighting in the second chukka. “We stopped doing the basics correctly,” Sityana remarked.

After the match, Waterkloof coach Mark Lamprecht shared that he felt his team had not done enough to convert the opportunities they created. “We had a lot of chances that we left out there. We created a lot of opportunities; we just weren’t able to capitalise on them,” he said.

Waterkloof has had an up-and-down season so far, characterised by good performances mixed in with inconstant outings. However, Lamprecht was impressed by the nature of his charges’ last few matches where his players demonstrated better form and consistency. Looking forward, the Waterkloof gaffer said he hopes his side will play more to its strengths.

“We have a fast team, and the boys are aggressive. So, we try to put the other team under as much pressure as possible. So, we do a full press, try to turn over the ball quite high. We’ve got some very skilful strikers and try to get them to receive inside the circle and get some outcomes,” he explained.

Sityana, who is in his first season as the Jeppe head coach feels his team is not yet quite where he wants them to be, but it is certainly on the right path. “There is room for improvement. But I am happy with the result,” he said.

The action wrapped up with KES and Rondebosch sharing the spoils in a six-goal thriller.

There will be no action on Good Friday. The festival resumes on Saturday morning with a mouthwatering contest between Parktown and Grey College.

RESULTS

Hoërskool Eldoraigne 1-4 Parktown, St John’s 1-1 Queen’s, Waterkloof 1-4 Jeppe, KES 3-3 Rondebosch

FIXTURES

Saturday

Weinberg Astro

07:30 – Grey College vs Parktown, 08:40 – Selborne College vs St Charles College, 09:50 – Jeppe vs Kearsney, 13:00 – Maritzburg College vs Waterkloof, 14:10 – Grey College vs Rondebosch, 15:20 – Jeppe vs Hoërskool Eldoraigne, 16:30 – Selborne vs Northwood, 17:20 – KES vs Kearsney, 18:30 – St Charles vs Queen’s

St John’s College Astro

07:30 – Maritzburg College vs Queen’s, 08:40 – St John’s vs Northwood, 17:20 – St John’s vs Waterkloof

Sunday

Weinberg Astro

07:30 – Jeppe vs St Charles, 08:40 – Selborne vs Parktown, 09:50 – KES vs Northwood, 11:00 – Grey College vs Hoëskool Eldoraigne, 13:00 – St John’s vs St Charles, 14:10 – Maritzburg College vs Parktown, 15:20 – Northwood vs Rondebosch, 16:30 – KES vs Hoëskool Eldoraigne, 17:20 – Grey College vs Kearsney

St John’s Astro

07:30 – Maritzburg College vs Rondebosch, 08:40 – Waterkloof vs Queens, 13:00 – Selborne vs 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.