Wynberg Girls' High meets some tough opposition in the Brothers Sport Hockey Festival, but also reveal just how tough they too can be.

The 2008 edition of the annual Brothers Sport Hockey Festival was officially declared open by Executive Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Grant Haskin under a huge rain cloud at Hartleyvale on 15 July. Part of the opening ceremony involved a marching band, who, in their colourful outfits and toe-tapping music, made up for the miserable looming clouds.

The Wynberg 1st Hockey IX were drawn in a fairly strong group, headed by Pretoria GHS renowned for their sporting prowess, as well as Paarl Gymnasium. The rest of the group was made up with the unknown quantities from abroad – with the likes of York, Uppingham, Sevenoaks and Somerset College (all from the UK) completing the group.

On the first day, Wynberg were scheduled to play Pretoria Girls' High at WPCC. Everyone was aware that this was going to be a tough battle with blood, sweat and tears. How true was that expression – with Sam Mullins taking a bad knock to the head in the first half and a trickle of a goal by Pretoria, Wynberg left the turf feeling very disappointed with the result combined with concern for a valuable team mate.

Low: Wynberg 0 Pretoria GHS 1

With a game behind them the squad were keen to put the loss behind them. Eventually, once we found the Old Mutual Astroturf the girls were ready for their second tough battle. Another strong school – Paarl Gymnasium. Unfortunately things fell apart. All credit to Paarl Gym who took advantage of this fact. When the half time whistle went Wynberg was down 4-0, with very few scoring opportunities. Something drastic had to happen to turn this game around. Unfortunately the girls could not lift their shoulders and raise their game on this occasion, and finally went down to the well-drilled Paarl girls.

Low: Wynberg 0 – Paarl Gymnasium 6

At this point, Sam Mullins had checked out of hospital and all was clear: she had a severe headache, but fortunately no serious damage had been incurred.

A new day brought a new team to the WPCC. Wynberg looked a completely different side when they took to the field against Sevenoaks – so named for the seven oak trees on the school grounds (now four oaks after a bad storm blew three down!). Wynberg were once again hitting top form. There was crisp passing, good communication and they appeared to have confidence in themselves and their skills under the watchful eye of Ryan Pillay. This Wynberg team turned the defeats of Wednesday into a resounding victory on Thursday. Ably lead from the front by captain Candice Manuel, who scored a hat trick, Wynberg pulled off a deserved victory over what was possibly one of the tougher teams in the group.

High: Wynberg 4 – Sevenoaks 1
Scorers: Candice Manuel 3
Genevieve Uys 1

Buoyed by their new confidence, the girls then ate a few jelly babies en route to Hartleyvale where they were to meet Uppingham, another team from the UK. After a tentative start and a few missed opportunities at goal scoring, Wynberg managed to sink the ball into the back of the goal when Candice continued her goal-scoring ways. This was then followed up by another goal by Lauren Granger – a stalwart in the back of the Wynberg defence, as well as a goal by newcomer Lizl Everts, who has certainly secured a spot in eth Wynberg 1st Hockey team even though she has only been at Wynberg in Grade Eight for seven months.

High: Wynberg 3 – Uppingham 0
Scorers: Candice Manuel
Lauren Granger
Lizl Everts

Complete results can be downloaded here