AFTER two heavy defeats the week before, the Northwood first hockey team are back on the winning trail, while the Maritzburg College juggernaut shows no signs of stopping.
Northwood 3 St Charles College 2
Visitors Northwood were made to work hard for their 3-2 victory against a competitive St Charles team on Saturday.
Northwood opened the scoring when captain Shane Bradbury went on a sniping run and fired a reverse-stick missile across the face of the goal to fellow striker Joshua Cowell, who deflected home. St Charles soon equalised after some well-worked play.
Both teams created more scoring chances but it was Northwood who took a 2-1 lead into the half-time break. The second half saw St Charles pile on the pressure and Northwood lost their way, poor discipline resulting in 12 minutes’ worth of sin-bin banishments. St Charles saw their pressure rewarded when they scrambled the ball home to bring the scores level at 2-2.
Northwood took the match-winning lead again with their second penalty corner when Ighsaan Manuel sent a powerful flick into the bottom corner of the goal for the 3-2 final scoreline. St Charles threw everything into attack and created numerous field-scoring chances and penalty corners, but they were unable to beat the brilliant Goldman in the Northwood goals.
Maritzburg College 6 St Charles College 0
St Charles College visited Pape’s on Thursday afternoon to face the top-ranked schoolboy team in the country, Maritzburg College, who went into the match with 14 wins and two draws from 16 outings this season.
The match started with good intensity and Maritzburg College drew first blood after an attack down the right, Michael Forrest opening the scoring at the far post. Five minutes later College doubled their lead with a tap-in from Amkelwa Letuka as a result of exchanges between Gareth Herselman, David Small and Andile Ndlovu.
College’s third goal came when David Small beat the St Charles goalkeeper with a precise, flat backhand strike. St Charles had a chance to pull one back after complacent College defending, but did not capitalise, the half-time score reading 3-0.
The second stanza started tight until College scored their fourth goal through Herselman.
With eight minutes to go, Oliver Santoro stepped onto the park for his first outing in a first-team jersey and scored two goals, the assists coming from Small and Letuka, leaving the final score 6-0 to Maritzburg College.
Kearsney College 3 St Stithians College 2
Sihle Ntuli, the Kearsney coach who has just been appointed SA U16 coach, said the team’s 3-2 win over St Stithians in Johannesburg was a tough outing.
“It was an even game between two structured teams presenting phases of pressure and the first half was about missed opportunities.”
Visitors Kearsney had penalty corners which they failed to convert, but were able to score within two minutes of half time through Blake Tyack’s counter attack.
St Stithians came back hard in the second half, scoring in the first minute through a defensive error from Kears-ney. The game was locked at 1-1 for 10 minutes, before great work in the midfield by Kearsney’s Garrett Steven put his team 2-1 up. After turning over possession, Steven set up Matthew Lees to finish with a great reverse-stick shot.
Stung by the goal, the home side placed Kearsney under pressure for a considerable period of time. The Botha’s Hill lads conceded a number of penalty corners, which St Stithians were eventually able to capitalise on to draw the match level at 2-2 with two minutes to go.
After earning their first penalty corner of the game with a minute to go on the clock, Kearsney netted the winner, to take the game 3-2 with 10 seconds left.
Northwood 2 Westville 1
Earlier in the week, Northwood bounced back with a superb 2-1 win against Westville.
Northwood, left reeling after two humbling defeats against Kearsney and Maritzburg College the previous week, showed character to beat a strong Westville team who had outshone them earlier in the year.
Captain Shane Bradbury and keeper Garick Goldman were the stars, Bradbury scoring the two goals and Goldman making crucial saves to help his team to the victory.
Other results: Clifton College 2 DHS 1; Hilton College 2 DHS 1