Polo season ends on a good note




Clockwise from the top: Mr Stuart Short presented the prizes; hard-working mothers Mrs Liesl Lang (left) and Mrs Chantelle Matthews are thanked by MIC Mr Matthew Schneider; Mr Josh Allen calling the shots; Kyle Arendse in action for the 1st team at KES; Allan Weber in action for the under-15s at Parktown.

The schools water polo season came to an end last weekend with the 21st hosting of the annual Ken Short Shield national under-14 tournament. The Ken Short has earned the reputation of being the top tournament in the country at this level and all the top sides were here, with others clamouring to get in.

It was, as usual, very well run, thanks to the efforts of the water polo section staff, the mothers, and a host of Jeppe boys who volunteered their time over what was a very long weekend.

The tournament was won by St John’s College, who beat Rondebosch in the final. Mr Stuart Short, the son of the late Ken Short, presented the prizes.

Jeppe did very well to come second in their group behind Reddam House Constantia. They then lost to Bishops in a hard-fought quarterfinal and went down narrowly to St David’s in the 7th place playoff. They were the top-placed school that does not have a junior school water polo feeder system.

The Ken Short final standings were: 1 St John’s, 2 Rondebosch, 3 Bishops, 4 Reddam House, 5 SACS, 6 St Stithians, 7 St David’s, 8 Jeppe, 9 Selborne, 10 KES, 11 Grey College, 12 Maritzburg College, 13 St Alban’s, 14 Durban High School, 15 St Benedict’s, 16 Pretoria Boys’ High, 17 Westville, 18 Parktown, 19 Affies, 20 Glenwood.

The under-15 A team played in the Indigo tournament at Parktown and punched above their weight there. They went in ranked number 3 in Gauteng behind St Stithians and St David’s. They had a tough pool with the likes of Reddam, who won Ken Short last year, and a strong Westville side. They beat St John’s and drew with Westville before going down 6-2 to Reddam, finishing 2nd in their group. They then beat SACS 2-1 to progress to the quarterfinals where they lost to the eventual runners-up, St Stithians. They lost to Selborne in the playoffs, then beat Westville to finish 7th overall.

The 1st team, playing in the King Edward tournament, were drawn in the “pool of death” along with SACS, St John’s and Hilton. They lost to eventual semi-finalists, SACS, 9-7, and then beat Hilton 12-8 before going down to St John’s 6-7. As there are no cross-pool playoffs at KES, that meant they missed out on a quarterfinal slot. They went on to win the Plate competition with wins over Grey PE, Wynberg and Hilton (on penalties) in the final, to finish in 9th place, a position that was not a true reflection of their strength if you look at some of the schools that finished above them.