THERE was a festive atmosphere at the Independent Schools Hockey Festival (ISHF) recently hosted by St Andrew’s College.
Eleven schools from all major hockey playing centres of the country attended the ISHF, with the young players getting their first taste of an inter-school hockey festival as they begin their senior school years. For many, this was their first taste of playing any sport against boys from a school outside of their province.
Schools which competed were Bishops, York High School, Woodridge College, Merrifield College, Clifton College, St Charles College, Michaelhouse, St John’s College, Cornwall Hill College, St Andrew’s School and hosts, St Andrew’s College.
Although the nature of the festival is just that, the competition was fierce as each match was contested with passion and determination. Despite this, the behaviour of the players on and off the field was in the true spirit of the game of hockey. A most special feature of the weekend was the bringing together of like-minded coaches and managers. Although all coaches urged their players to give of their best and play to win, the interaction between the various coaches was highly respectful and friendly providing a positive example of “once off the field” hockey is about building and growing relationships.
It is highly likely that many of these players will play against each other at future ISHF, but also at inter-provincial level as many of the players on show were highly skilled and clearly have a schoolboy hockey future.
There was quality hockey from many sides, but the teams which proved the most consistent and remained unbeaten were Clifton College, Bishops and St Andrew’s School. However, equally pleasing is that no side left without a victory.
St Andrew’s College players gave of their best after a long holiday, and by day two some of the boys struggled with the intensity of playing two matches a day as many of the players suffered from stiff limbs. However, after beating St Charles and Merrifield, and having lost against a very good Clifton College team the players competed manfully against an ever-improving Michaelhouse, but were beaten by the odd goal. On the final day a tightly contested match against St John’s College followed, in which both teams played good attacking hockey. Unfortunately for St Andrew’s they conceded a goal with minutes to play, thereby losing. The last match of the festival saw a classy Bishops side outplay and outscore St Andrew’s.
St Andrew’s College extended thanks to all of the schools for coming to Grahamstown to play in this festival, and looks forward to its next occasion to host.
U14 Independent Schools Hockey Festival hosted by St Andrew’s College, results:
Day 4 (Sunday April 22):
St Andrew’s College 0 St Johns 1
Clifton 8 York 2
Woodridge 1 St Andrews School 3
Merrifield 4 St Charles 2
Cornwall Hill 0 Michaelhouse 5
Bishops 6 St Andrew’s College 0
Day 3 (Saturday April 21):
St Andrew’s College 2 Merrifield 0
Bishops 3 York 1
Cornwall Hill 1 St Charles 0
St Andrews School (Bloem) 2 Michaelhouse 1
Clifton 3 St Johns 0
Merrifield 0 Woodridge 4
Bishops 4 Cornwall Hill 0
St Andrews school 2 St Charles 0
York 2 St Johns 2
Clifton 5 Woodridge 0
St Andrew’s College 0 Michaelhouse 1
Day 2 (Friday April 20):
Woodridge 0 St Charles 1
St Andrew’s School (Bloem) 5 Cornwall Hill 0
Michael house 3 York 1
Merrifield 0 Clifton 3
St Johns 2 Bishops 1
SAC 4 St Charles 1
Merrifield 0 St Andrews School (Bloem) 3
Bishops 5 Michaelhouse 2
St Andrew’s College 0 Clifton 4
St Johns 6 Woodridge 1
Day 1 (Thursday April 19):
St John’s 2 Cornwall 0