The annual DSG vs Kingswood derby took place in Grahamstown this past week, with squash, debating, netball and hockey teams from both schools taking part in competitive contests. It wasn’t all competition however and a shared music concert between the two schools and St Andrew’s College was also on the cards and it was definitely one of the many highlights of the week. Kingswood are also celebrating their 125 anniversary and they pulled out all the stops, putting on an absolutely brilliant week of celebration, which will be remembered for a while to come.
In the sporting fixtures DSG got the week off to a good start after a competitive squash match between the 1st teams went their way 14-9. The netball was then played on Friday afternoon and there was a hive of activity around the courts as matches were played from as young as U8 right through to 1st team level.
The 1st team game was played in the Kingswood High Performance Centre and there can’t be too many better settings for a netball match in the province and the venue was packed to the rafters. The match itself surpassed all expectations. The action was exciting from the start and the crowd were kept on the edge of seats throughout. Both the DSG and Kingswood 1 st teams put in a brilliant performance given the highly pressurised and emotionally charged environment.
Kingswood started the better side and posted an early lead, however they were pegged back by DSG before the end of the 1st period. DSG found their rhythm in the 2nd quarter and their goal shooters were outstanding in establishing a 5 point lead going into the midway break. Kingswood however were not lying down and fought back in the 3 rd quarter much to the home crowds’ delight and only a point separated the sides as they took to the court for the final period. DSG however would not be denied the victory and they turned up the heat early in the 4th quarter to extend their lead to seven points before Kingswood mounted a comeback which saw them narrow the score to 26-23 but ran out of time as the final buzzer sounded and DSG secured a memorable win.
The girls hockey on the Saturday again was a busy occasion as both the junior and senior schools were in action as part of the celebration and occasion. It must be remembered that DSG girls outnumber Kingswood 2 to 1 so it is always going to be challenging for Kingswood to match DSG’s depth across the board, and while DSG won the majority of the fixtures, full credit to Kingswood as almost every game was competitive and more importantly a great deal of fun was had by all.
The 1st team match, like the netball the night before was also a spectacular event. Kingswood have an exceptionally strong 1st team in 2019 and with players like the Mbenyana sisters, Amy Mills and Qhayiya Nogoduka they have match winners all over the field, and true to form they scored early to take a 1-0 lead at the end of the 1st chukka. DSG however struck back and goals from Juliet Rogan and Enya Kemp which gave DSG a 2-1 advantage at the half time break. The 2nd half of the match was a classic for the fans. End to end action as the play regularly travelled the length of the pitch. DSG’s defence so ably led by Diana Dixie and Nina Owen-Jones eventually cracked under the relentless Kingswood pressure and at 2-2 heading into the final chukka it was anyone’s game. It was however not to be a fairytale ending for Kingswood on the occasion of their 125 anniversary, as DSG earned two penalty corners in quick succession and were ruthless in their execution as Enya Kemp struck twice in four minutes to score her hat trick and to give DSG an unassailable lead.
The match ended 4-2 to DSG with the crowd almost exhausted as the players, after a brilliant display of school girl hockey from these two powerhouse teams.