The Prestigious SACS U19 Water Polo Tournament took place from Saturday 30/9/17 to 2/10/17. The Glenwood 1st team participated again this year. The team have been having a very good year, although a new team with new coaches Donn Stewart and Lee-Ann Keet-Stewart. The SACS Water Polo tournament is a very different format which is very fast paced with 2 x 8 min chukkas per game. This is not the normal format and provides a very different experience for the teams as the games can be very unpredictable. They boys were in Pool B and had 9 games to play in the first stages of the tournament.
The first day they played 4 games, beating Wynberg 4-0, Grey PE 4-0 and Michaelhouse 7-2, their final game of the day was played against the hosts SACS, this was a very intense game and the team struggled to find their feet in the first chukka. It was a very close game with goals scored by both sides; in the final stages SACS managed to score a goal which the Glenwood side were unable to match and they faced their first loss of the season with 3-2 to SACS.
On Day 2 they had another 4 games to get play, they faced DHS and beat them 5-2, Northwood 5-3, Jeppe 5-2, their final match was played against St Johns whom they had faced at the Clifton Tournament in the previous week, this was a tough match for the team and after a long day they lost against St John 4-1. Their last pool game was played against Selbourne on the morning of day 3, although they had faced a tough loss against St Johns the previous day, they seemed focused and beat Selbourne comfortably 5-2, finishing 3rd in their pool.
They faced Bishops in the Quarter Finals, this was an intense game and Glenwood was determined to make it into the Semis, they beat Bishops convincingly with a score of 3-1. They were set to face SACS again in the Semis; this was a psychological game as SACS had beaten them on the 1st day. The boys were much more focused and structured, playing the kind of polo that they are known for. Great team work all the way through, the game was intense with a lot at stake. The boys fought a huge battle with amazing defense, Alex Van Rooyen was outstanding saving many goals. The game was set to go into extra time with a no goal score but in the last 20 seconds of the game, SACS scored and took the Semis in the dying seconds of the game.
The playoffs for 3rd and 4th were played against St Stithians. The team knew what they had to do and played a good game of polo, their team work shone through in this game and they beat St Stithians by 5-4 to take 3rd at the SACS tournament.
At the end of the tournament, Alex Van Rooyen was named as Keeper of the tournament, Gabriel Stopford was named Defender of the tournament and Alex, Gabriel and Slade Du Randt made the tournament team.
Report and photos by Mrs Colleen Stopford