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Hockey Tour 2016: Day two

The second instalment from the girls' hockey tour of South Africa, including a report on their first match against Rhenish Girls' High School.

Day two had the girls up and breakfasted early and out the door ready to go to the Cheetah Outreach park. They had a fascinating tour around the park, looking at the dogs used to guard livestock from cheetahs, meerkats, servals, long-eared foxes and tortoises, as well as the awesome cheetahs. The girls were fortunate enough to meet the big cats; they went into the enclosures in small groups and got to stroke the amazing animals. Every girl was spellbound by this experience!

We then went to Rhenish Girls' High School in Stellenbosch to play our first game. The U16s played first. They started strongly, matching the Rhenish girls on pace and skill, however our opponents were the first to score. Even with some excellent defending from Jas and Hebe with Hannah in goal, the Rhenish girls managed to find the goal twice more, meaning we went into the half-time break 3-0 down.  After a team talk from Mr Ralphs and Miss Pick, the girls started the second half very determined and after a short while and some great play from Olivia and TT together with Honor, the ball was in the back of the Rhenish goal, courtesy of Honor! TT then followed up this goal with a second which she slapped in successfully, making the score 2-3. Unfortunately the Rhenish girls proved to be the fitter team on the day, and even with Jess making some spectacular saves, the Bryanston girls couldn’t stop the home team and the score ended up 5-2 to Rhenish. The 'Man of the Match' award went to Hebe for her great defending and persistence on the pitch. Well done, ladies.

The senior game followed and the Bryanston girls came out strongly, putting pressure on the Rhenish girls instantly. We won a short corner fairly early on and the keeper saved the first strike; however Imy was quick to respond and picked the ball up to flick it over the keeper into the back of the net.  Bryanston had all the possession in the first half, with Niamh, Imy and Katharine linking nicely up the pitch. The second goal came from a break away run from Annabelle, supported by Lizzie. Annabelle’s strike on goal was nicely deflected by Lizzie to make the score 2-0 at half time. The Rhenish girls worked hard to get back in the game in the second half, and they ended up being awarded a penalty corner. One of their players sent in a drag flick from the top of the D and, although our girls got a stick to it, it ended up in the top corner. We managed to maintain our lead, however, and every single senior girl played brilliantly. 'Man of the Match' went to Niamh for her skills and great show of fitness throughout the game.

In the evening the whole squad went to dinner together at Ocean Basket and had a lovely evening. This was followed by a celebration with our three leavers, who received their A level results today. Well done, Imy, Val and Katharine!