Prior's Field September 2018

Benny girls tour South Africa

Published Thursday 17th of September 2015 12:40:28 PM

Thirty one girls and accompanying staff from St Benedict’s School enjoyed a highly successful Hockey and Netball preseason tour to South Africa in August. It was a hectic schedule, with matches sometimes being played on consecutive days. The hockey teams acquitted themselves well, with a notable victory against Bergvliet High School. Some of the matches were against club sides, which provided very useful experience for the girls. The netball first team won all three of its matches against school opposition. Players of the tour awards went to Trinity Yau and Anna Rice for Hockey and Mfon Bassey, Annabel Samols and May Nielsen for Netball. Cape Town was the first stop with games against Central Hockey Club. It was a baptism by fire - with the South African hockey season in its final stages, the club players were fitter and faster and provided the toughest opposition Bennies faced all tour. These were the girls’ first matches together and showed both the potential and promise of performance, particularly with the added strength of the younger girls. The next evening’s netball matches against Wynberg High School provided the first win of the tour. The 1st team pulled away from their opposition in the last two quarters to win 21-12, with Jolie Bediako taking player of the mach. The next day it was back to hockey. In the two matches against Wynberg High School the girls fought hard to perform well. Some changes in the first team saw Robyn Mellor move to the midfield where she worked hard to hold shape and distribute, providing a rest for Sian David as she moved to Centre Forward. Meanwhile Molly Bish found her niche on the right wing, driving hard down the line beating players regularly. She scored the only goal from a tight right hander shot lifted craftily into the net. Progress was also being made in defence as Trinity Yau, Jolie Bediako and May Nielsen all found their feet working together. Jessica Constable contributed well, affording the team flexibility as she moved smoothly between rows. The final score of 4-1 did not reflect the possession or chances but the second half was a 1-0 win to St Benedict’s. A busy afternoon of four fixtures against Bergvliet High School followed. The Netball teams played first, producing a win against the hosts for both teams. Luisa Howell and Alex Thomas were awarded joint players of the match for the first team with a 21-7 victory. The second team won 14-7 with player of the match Cora Doherty playing her heart out. The girls’ last hockey matches of the tour followed. Even though the girls were tired, both teams played their best matches of the tour, clearly showing progression since day one. Great team work and passing paved the way for some tremendous goals from Robyn Mellor and Sian David, and St Benedict’s came away with a well-deserved 3-0 victory. The final three Netball matches were against Rustenberg. The first team fought hard to hold their opposition at bay with the final result uncertain until the last few minutes of the game and the first team girls came away in the end with another victory. Rustenberg’s amazing hospitality - a BBQ cooked by parents will be a fond lasting memory for our final matches of the tour. The Benny tourists visited Robben Island, famous for Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment, and Langa Township for an eye opening tour and some interaction with the local children. They had an all day trip round the Cape peninsula, which included a boat cruise to Duiker Island to visit a local seal Colony and a visit to Cape Point, the South Western most tip of Africa. The weather was perfect for the trip to Table Mountain. Sampling the local cuisine and visiting local markets were two more very enjoyable activities outside the strenuous training and games schedule. The finale safari was a wonderful way to finish off the tour. Miss Woodroffe, Director of Sport summed up: “The girls should be commended for their dedication and hard work. They did St Benedict’s proud and laid great foundations for the sporting seasons ahead.”
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