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The battle for the Aitken Cup starts on Friday

By Vuyo Ndudane , in Hockey | Featured Hockey | News , at 2024-05-16 Tags: , , , ,

St Stithians will have the advantage of playing at home when they defend the Aitken Cup title.
St Stithians will have the advantage of playing at home when they defend the Aitken Cup title.

After annexing the 2023 Aitken Cup, St Stithians College will attempt a defence of the prestigious title this weekend. The tournament starts on the Saints’ Astros on Friday and wraps up on Sunday.

Last year, St Stithians outplayed St John’s College 5-1 to qualify for the final. Facing Jeppe High School for Boys for a second year in succession for the title, they triumphed 4-2 in a penalty shootout, after the teams had finished regulation time all square at 2-2, to be crowned the champions.

It was a superb fightback from Saints, who had trailed 0-2. Connor Sneddon pulled one back with a fine effort and a Taine Tanner-Ellis penalty corner goal levelled the scores.

The 2023 result was a reversal of the 2022 final, when Jeppe got the better of St Stithians.

Jeppe is the most successful team in the history of the competition, and before they were beaten by Saints last year, they had won it six times in succession.

This year, the Zebras have been up and down, struggling for consistency, but coach Siya Sityana‘s charges cannot be counted out, especially when there is silverware on the line.

Their recent results have been a cause for optimism. They outgunned Krugersdorp High School 7-0 and settled for a 2-2 draw with Affies. They also recorded a 3-2 win over King Edward VII (KES) and, in April, ran out 3-1 winners over the visiting Westville Boys’ High School.

Saints will open their challenge on Friday with an outing against Helpmekaar Kollege, who warmed up for the game with a 2-1 victory over Heronbridge on Wednesday evening.

Jeppe, on the other Astro, will face St David’s Marist Inanda in the second clash of the day. It’s a big game for both sides, especially since St David’s recorded a big 4-1 win over Jeppe in early April.

That clash will be followed by St Benedict’s College against KES. Bennies has enjoyed a solid season and should be favoured in the game, but there are no foregone conclusions, and a good tussle should be expected.

FRIDAY FIXTURES

7:30 – St Stithians v Helpmekaar; 07:45 – Jeppe v St David’s; 08:20 – St Benedict’s v KES; 08:35 – St John’s v Noordheuwel; 09:20 – Parktown v Randpark; 09:35 – Northcliff v Monument; 10:00 – Linden v Fourways; 10:15 – Trinityhouse v Beaulieu; 11:00 – St Stithians v Parktown; 11:15 – Jeppe v Northcliff; 11:50 – St Benedict’s v Linden; 12:05 – St John’s v Trinityhouse; 13:20 – Helpmekaar v Randpark; 13:35 St David’s v  Monument; 14:10 – KES v Fourways; 14:25 Noordheuwel v Beaulieu; 15:10 – St Stithians v Randpark; 15:25 – Jeppe v Monument; 16:00 – St Benedict’s v Fourways; 16:15 – St John’s v Beaulieu; 17:00 – Helpmekaar v Parktown; 16:15 – St David’s v Northcliff; 17:50 – KES v Linden; 18:05 – Noordheuwel v Trinityhouse.

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