Joy and despair for Selborne
After two days of non-stop action, the finals of the 32nd edition of the annual Sterrenberg Shield Under 15 Waterpolo Tournament played out in cool overcast conditions on Saturday afternoon at the Selborne College Waterpolo Complex.
Comprising of 23 teams between the A (Sterrenberg) and B (Milton Gates Plate) sections, excluding the top four sides from the recent Wynberg Boys tournament, teams from as far as Johannesburg and Bloemfontein had descended on the Joan Harrison and Selborne polo pools. As the only under 13 side competing in the Milton Gates Plate, the Selborne Primary team punched well above their weight in beating a number of under 15A teams including Woodridge and Hudson Park as well as the Selborne under 15B side to finish in fifth place out of 13 teams.
On the road to their Plate Final, the host school's under 14 team showed a clean sweep of convincing wins with only Grey PE U15B and Merrifield College showing a one-goal deficit.
They beat Grey Bloem in the final 4 - 3 to be crowned 2019 Milton Gates Champs. Defending champions for the last two years of the Sterrenberg Shield, the Selborne under 15A side got off to a tough start in their opening encounter going down 1 - 3 to Grey Bloem.
The team showed tremendous character in winning all their remaining fixtures and turning the tables on Grey Bloem in their semi-final, winning 2 -1.
For the eighth consecutive year, the final saw the hosts up against Grey PE in yet another titanic battle. With the lead having changed hands twice in the match, the final whistle blew with the score at four-all. In the cruel nature of the ensuing penalty shoot out, Selborne succumbed 5 - 4.
The Sterrenberg Tournament Team of 2019 saw five Selborne boys selected, they were Logan Mauer, Jordan Fenn, Troy Allie, Connor Voke and Gabriel Kriel while Merrifield College also had a representative in Corbin de Villiers.
Director of Waterpolo at Selborne College, Mike Cousins said the Sterrenberg Milton Gates was a great advert of how East Londoners can host a tournament, "From referees, table officials, managers, and coaches, a smooth slick tournament was enjoyed by all."