Northwood First Hockey Team Ranked No 2 In the Country!
The Northwood 1st hockey team have started their season in emphatic fashion with 9 wins from 9 games. After convincing wins against Kearsney and Michaelhouse the team took on the highly rated Millfield School from England.
The game was an extremely competitive affair played in front of the entire school. Northwood came out the stronger of the two teams when they scored early through Matthew Robinson who latched onto a short corner rebound. Millfield struck back with a piece of individual brilliance after a lapse in concentration from the Northwood defense.
This sparked the home team into action and they played some dominant hockey with goals coming from Dale van der Merwe and Steve McManus to secure a solid 3 – 1 victory. This result gave the Northwood team some good confidence going into their annual Founders festival at Rondebosch School in Cape Town.
First up at the festival was the traditionally strong school of Paul Roos and the match met all the pre-match hype when both teams played a fantastic brand of hockey. Northwood came out on top with a fantastic 4 – 2 win with goals from Simon du Plessis, Steve McManus, Dale van der Merwe and Matthew de Sousa.
Day two saw the team taking on Paarl HJS and Potchefstroom Boys High with Northwood producing dominant hockey to win 4 – 1 and 8 – 2 respectively.
The Paarl match was a physical affair with the opposition looking to break down Northwood’s fluid attacking brand of hockey. In the end Northwood had too much firepower with goals from Matthew Robinson, Steve McManus, Dale van der Merwe and Matthew de Sousa.
In the second match Potchefstroom came out the stronger and caught the Northwood team early with a well worked goal. This ignited the team into action and they scored 8 goals before conceding a second before the final whistle. Dale van der Merwe produced some brilliant finishing when he scored 4 goals with the others coming from Jamie Pillay, Simon du Plessis, Steve McManus and Matthew de Sousa.
Day three continued much the same as the previous day with Northwood stamping its dominance on the festival with emphatic victories against DF Malan (6 – 0) and Noordheuwel (5 – 0).
It was a good day for the team as not only did they continue their winning ways but they did not concede any goals in both games. Dale van der Merwe dominated the score sheet again with 4 more goals against DF Malan. The other scorers were Matthew de Sousa and Simon du Plessis.
The goals in the Noordheuwel match were scored by Steve McManus who got a brace, Dale van der Merwe, Matthew Robinson and an own goal from an unlucky defender.
On the last day Northwood’s final opposition were St Davids who had produced some competitive hockey throughout the festival. The Northwood team produced their best hockey of the season to date with pace and precision when they dominated from the first to last whistle to beat St Davids 8 – 0. Steve McManus and Dale van der Merwe both grabbed hat-tricks whilst the other goals came from Greg Wright and Matthew de Sousa.
The team played fantastic hockey throughout the festival and were lead brilliantly by the superb Matthew de Sousa. They scored a resounding 35 goals whilst only conceding 5. This run of form has seen the team ranked as number 2 in the country on the same points as Wynberg who sit in first position. Whilst it is still early in the season it is good to see Northwood hockey amongst the top schools in the country.
There were some outstanding goal scoring achievements over the six games with Dale van der Merwe scoring 14 and Steve McManus 8.
The other notable achievement was that this was Northwood’s third consecutive undefeated Founders festival in as many years.