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What a thriller

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Wildeklawer Super Schools tornament dished up a banquet of excitement for sports fans

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Grey College (dark blue jersey) held off a spirited Paarl Boys High (maroon/gold jersey) on Saturday night. Grey College won the game 47-33. Picture: Danie van der Lith

The 2019 Wildeklawer Super Schools tournament wrapped up proceedings on Saturday night when the curtain came down on of another highly successful sports festival.

Kimberley was a hive of activity during the past week when large crowds of players and supporters descended on the city; the crowds were especially concentrated at the Diamantveld High School’s sporting facilities during the festivities, and they were treated to plenty of entertaining sporting action on the netball courts and rugby fields.

Here and there there was the occasional match when a powerful team took on opponents who found themselves out of their depth resulting in a mismatched contest. However, apart from the few mismatches, overall there were exciting and tightly-contested rugby and netball matches that thrilled the crowds.

The two ‘big’ matches of the tournament that it seems everyone wanted to see were the Paarl Boys’ High versus Affies encounter and the Grey College versus Paarl Gym clash. Both games were humdingers.

The North vs South clash between Paarl Boys’ High and Affies saw the team from the south proving to be too strong for Affies. Paarl won the match 39-12.

The other much-anticipated clash saw Grey College ahead 26-12 at the half-time break against the much fancied Paarl Gym. The team from Paarl showed great commitment and application and turned up the heat early in the second half, but Grey held on, absorbed the pressure and came back strongly taking the match 47-33 in the end.

The two local schools, Diamantveld and Northern Cape High were very disappointing in their last matches.

Northern Cape had narrowly won their first game by a single point on Thursday beating Helpmekaar 34-33. In their second outing, however, the Kimberley side was trounced 50-7 by Outeniqua after the visitors had taken a 21-0 lead at half-time.

Meanwhile, the hosts, Diamantveld played their first game on Wednesday evening, after the official opening and were narrowly beaten 22-19 by Stellenberg. In their second encounter things got much worse for DHS when they were thumped 38-5 by Waterkloof. The visitors had taken a 12-0 lead at the break and just continued to open the taps in the second half, tearing the DHS defence apart at will.

One spectator, who spoke on condition of anonimity, told the DFA after Thursday’s match and said that he felt sorry for NCH as he thought their forwards were too small and too light for the Outeniqua onslaught and added to that the Northern Cape High players just made far too many errors.

He added that the match against Waterkloof was the worst performance he has seen by the Diamantveld team in five years. “They kept kicking the ball away, and their backs ran across the field instead of forward towards the try line, and their line-outs were very poor,” he said.

When asked about which teams impressed this year, he didn’t hesitate. “Paarl Boys’ High and Grey College were the two best teams on show on the day.

“I must admit, Affies’ backline was really poor, while Paarl Gym fought hard,” he said.