View from the Dugout - Sports News 11 October 2018
The FNB Springboks have recently been running a TV advertisement campaign called #HelpInspiresGreatness. The advert highlights the various individuals who have played a role in helping the current springbok team members to become the players that they are today. In the ad they feature a range of people from family members to the team physio and even past school coaches – all of whom have quietly and passionately supported these men in the background. For me, the brilliance of the campaign is the acknowledgement of the fact that in order for an individual (or team) to achieve anything significant, they will require numerous unsung heroes to help them get there. Hilton College Sport runs because of unsung heroes. All of our sports have numerous people in the background who selflessly contribute for the betterment of our boys’ sports. Most obvious amongst these are our parents and coaches who sacrifice so much of their time and who go the extra mile. An excellent example of this is our parent response to our call for help with next year’s Pretoria Boys’ High winter sports fixture. The overwhelmingly positive reaction to accommodate boys means that we will be able to successfully host the “home” edition of the match.
There are, in fact, a number of other unsung heroes at Hilton. These people go about their business with pride, they are die-hard supporters of the black and white and, I believe that their contribution is as invaluable as any other. In our administration division these heroes include our sport secretaries Mrs Nel and more recently Mrs Barker who work so meticulously to ensure that our systems and communications are functioning. Mrs Miller, Mr Wessels and the Spectrum team (grounds) do incredible work to ensure that our facilities are ship shape. Mr Kundalram and his BROLL team (maintenance) have a magical ability to get things built or repaired. Royal Mnandi (our caterers) and Mr Saus provide so many excellent meals and teas (sometimes with very little lead-time!). As mentioned, the greatness of any individual, team or organisation is directly dependent on unsung heroes who take care of those things that we often take for granted. The next time you are at our beautiful school please take some time to notice all that happens in the background and, if you get the opportunity, please assist me to thank them for all that they do. After all - #HelpInspiresGreatness!
The past weekend could not have finished any better than with the incredible performance of our golfers at the annual “Douglas Cup” on Sunday. The “Douglas Cup” is a competition not dissimilar in format to that of the famous “Ryder Cup” and this year’s match was the 18th edition of this traditional Hilton College versus Michaelhouse fixture. Michaelhouse fielded an incredibly strong team on the day which gave them the favourites tag, However, our younger team were up for the fight. In the 1st team match. The morning started well for us with the boys taking an unexpected 4 – 2 lead in the pairs. In the second format, the foursomes, our boys put on an incredible team performance to win 5 – 1 and in so doing built up a very healthy 9 – 3 lead. This meant that the 1sts only needed 3½ points (out of 12 on offer) in the last format (singles) to win the match. Michaelhouse came out firing in the afternoon but, after our nervous start, the boys soon settled to win 3 out of the first 4 matches. The good form continued throughout the remainder of the singles with the team completing a comprehensive 8½ to 3½ routing in this format. All-in-all it proved to be a most successful day for our Golf Club as they registered not only a 3rd consecutive win but a record victory margin or 17½ to 6½. The 2nd team also enjoyed their day but, in the end, were beaten 11 – 7 in a competitive fixture.
The 1st basketball team competed at the Kearsney Stayers Tournament during the holidays. This competition is a pre-season opportunity for teams to get game time before the season starts. Our boys got off to their best ever start at this tournament to advance to the plate section playoffs. After a good win against St. Nicholas in the quarter-final we came unstuck thereafter, losing narrowly against Bishop Bavin in the semi-final and then to Clifton in the final positional playoff. Unhappy with the way they finished the tournament, the boys promised to make good last weekend in their domestic league re-match against Clifton. Clifton would have been confident after their win against us at Kearsney but our boys came good, dominating the Durbanites to comfortably win 63 – 38. The rest of the teams also enjoyed a successful day at home with our only loss on the day being the U14A.
The 1st, U17A, U15A and U14A all enjoyed their Michaelmas Festivals this past holiday. Our teams all drew top opponents which is good preparation for the summer ahead.
The first team played against Jeppe, KES, St. Andrews (Grahamstown) and Westlake boys from New Zealand. They were clinical in their matches versus Jeppe and St. Andrews, winning both comfortably - batting first and allowing the bowling attack to strangle the opposition out of the game. This was not the case against a batting strong KES team. In this match, we failed to build on a good start with the bat and set a total that proved to be too difficult to defend. In the end, KES ended comprehensive winners but it is a defeat we will have learnt a great deal from. In the final game, Westlake were no match for our first team as the batsmen cashed in with runs and the front line bowlers added to their impressive haul.
The U17 Festival at Michaelhouse saw the U17A team have good wins over PBHS, KES, KDCC and St. Johns. This was exceptional as in many of the matches individuals were called upon to get their team over the line in tense circumstances – which were opportunities duly taken. A loss in their final T20 match did put a dampener on things - however, we were proud of the boys for what was a very successful festival from a results perspective.
The U15 Grey PE Festival saw mixed results as the team won two of their four matches. Good wins over Wynberg and Woodridge were the highlights of the tour. Although competitive in the other fixtures, a lack of runs proved to be our undoing versus Affies, while minor mistakes allowed a strong Grey team to get over the line.
The U14 Festival proved to be a great success as the U14 team, matched against Wynberg, St. Stithians, Rondebosch and St Albans, completed an unbeaten home festival. It was good to see our boys tested by some excellent teams and yet come through with flying colours.
This past weekend, we faced off against Clifton. This school has a highly respected cricket programme and we knew that our matches would be closely contested. This proved to be the case in a number of games, however, in the final analysis our boys showed good fortitude to win the majority of the contests. In the 1st XI match, our boys made to fight exceptionally hard. Defending our modest total we did well to suffocate Clifton and lure them into crucial mistakes. In the end, the 12 run win was an indication of a quality game of cricket.
The U14A also were made to “sweat” but they got over the line thanks to a solid team effort and some individual brilliance from Kristopher Watt who scored a century. The 3rd, U15A and 14C were our most dominant teams on the day with each of these outfits registering big wins.
Congratulations to Chris Pistorius and Dylan Thomson who have recently returned from the U15 Indoor Cricket World Series. The South African team did exceptionally well to qualify for the final, a match which they ultimately ended up losing to Australia. The silver medal they achieved is, nonetheless, a wonderful reward for their efforts.
Congratulations to our senior boys, James Ritchie, Michael Sclanders and Gareth Schroeder who have been selected by CSA to attend the SA U19 Midlands Training Camp on the 16th October 2018. The camp will serve as trials for the upcoming U19 Tour of India.
At the beginning of the holidays the U15A water polo team took part in the Ian Melliar Cup, hosted by Wynberg Boys’ High School in Cape Town. Our boys performed well in the group stages, winning 3 games in a row and losing 1 game against Rondebosch. Due to these good results we finished 2nd in the group and went straight into the quarter-finals. In this match we drew a very strong Bishops outfit (eventual winners) and unfortunately lost. The boys however, bounced back nicely to defeat St. Andrews, Grahamstown to finish 7th out of 20 teams that were in attendance at the Tournament. To cap off a good weekend, Jonty Alexander was named in the Tournament Team.
The 1st team travelled to Durban during the holidays to take part in the much anticipated Clifton Tournament. The Hilton 1st team got off to a flying start, beating DHS comfortably. After a 5-5 draw against Glenwood, the Hilton boys needed to win against KES by 3 goals or more to top their pool. They did so by pulling out all the stops in the last quarter of the match to complete a 7-3 win. Hilton was drawn against Westville in the quarter-finals in what would be an epic KZN battle. Westville came out on top, leaving us to fight for 5-8th place. Our boys bounced back nicely against Kearsney with a resounding 9-5 win. In the end, we were placed 6th in the final standings out of 16 teams.
Our Water Polo Club hosted the annual Hilton College U14 Water Polo Festival in the holidays. 10 premier water polo schools from all around the country were in attendance and, notably, Bishops, Reddam (Cape Town) and KES attended for the first time. The competition was fierce with many closely fought contests. Most pleasing was that all teams made significant improvement as the festival progressed. Not much emphasis was put in scores at the festival as the aim of the event was to develop players without the pressure of having to win. Regardless, it was good to see our boys playing some brilliant water polo and show that they can compete with the best teams in the country.
Hilton U16A team took part in the DHS tournament during this past weekend. Our boys dominated the group stages beating Reddam, Michaelhouse and Jeppe convincingly, but narrowly losing 3-4 to Selborne. This placed the U16A’s in 2nd in their pool and straight into the quarter-finals. In the knockout stage of the competition we firstly squared off against Westville, playing some of our best polo yet – we won this quarter final 4-1 to qualify for the semi-finals. In the semi-final we drew St. John’s College and unfortunately went down 3-6 to this well-drilled team. Our final match was the bronze medal play-off which we narrowly lost to Selborne 4-5. Overall, the U16A’s finished a commendable 4th out of the 20 teams that participated. James Presbury and Thomas Joubert were named in the tournament team, and James was awarded the goalkeeper of the tournament.
The Water Polo Club squared off against Clifton on Saturday, minus the 1st, 2nd and U16A teams. In the recent past we have significantly narrowed the gap between ourselves and this water polo powerhouse, so we were hoping for another competitive day in the pool. This was indeed the case with numerous games going down to the wire. Our standout team was the U15B team who completed a dominant 8–1 victory, whilst the U14A also deserve a mention for completing a nail-biting 7–6 win after scoring a goal on the stroke of full time.
The South African Air Rifles Championships took place on Friday and Saturday (5th and 6th October) in Durban. The best shottists from each province were invited to compete. Our Hilton boys Aidan Schroeder and Jean-Luc Krause were selected to represent KZN. They performed exceptionally with Jean-Luc being placed 5th nationally in the under 20 category achieving a bronze medal and Aidan being placed 6th in this category. Well done boys!
Latica Nela recently attended the SARU Green Squad Camp in Cape Town. This camp includes exceptionally talented rugby players from all over the country and, as such, it is a honour to be invited to attend. Well done Latica!
Matthew Allwood, Rhys Barnes and Matthew Wilson all completed the Fish River Canoe Marathon with their dads.
This is an outstanding achievement – well done !
Executive Director - Sport