The St Andrew’s College 1st water polo team participated in the 40th annual Vides Water Polo Tournament hosted by Selborne College in East London over the past weekend.
This was the team’s first tournament of the year and they were looking to set a good standard for the season. Their first match was against Stirling High School on Thursday where they managed to post their first victory, beating Stirling 16-4. They followed this up with wins against Selborne 2nds 12-3 and a very strong Paul Roos team 6-4 where Matthew Stainforth managed to score 4 goals. Out of the pool stages and into the quarterfinals where they met an ever improving Michaelhouse outfit. The Blues started the game like men possessed, as they went into the half leading 7-1. The team had a temporary lapse of concentration and allowed the fast finishing Michaelhouse to start sneaking back into the game with the College boys leading 8-5 with 3 minutes to go.
The boys stuck to their guns and they finished Michaelhouse off with a superb goal by Sazi Sandi, winning the match 9-5.
The Blues semi-final was against a tough Northwood team from Durban, the game started off with both teams exchanging blows and the score ending 6-5 after the 2nd chukka. The boys were going to have to dig deep if they wanted to come out winners, as the Northwood team were well structured and well drilled. The blues held there nerve to run out, as close 7-6 winners with Wesley Williams blocking the Northwoods last ditch attempt at an equalizer. The 2nd semi-final saw Selborne beat Grey 5-4 and thus a final show down had developed.
Both Selborne and St Andrew’s had not lost a game in the tournament but there could only be one winner so onto the much anticipated final at 7pm on Saturday evening. In front of a capacity partisan crowd, The St Andrew’s College boys were focused from the first whistle and it resulted in them establishing a 4-0 lead at the end of the first chukka. Selborne were never going to be held at bay for long and they started to get more into the game, eventually levelling the scores at 6 all with 1 chukka remaining. Through courage, determination and pure guts the St Andrews 1st team refocused and put huge pressure on their opponents scoring 3 goals in succession going up 9-6. The team fought for every moment of the game and ran out deserved winners in emphatic fashion
The gold medal was earned by every member of the St Andrew’s College team and they are to be congratulated on their fantastic pool side manner and behaviour in and around the tournament.
At the conclusion of the tournament Wade Ackermann was named best attacker of the tournament, Wesley Williams was named best defender of the tournament and Matthew Stainforth was voted by the referees as the best player on finals day!