Photo: Tracey van den Aardweg
HTS MIDDELBURG – SELBORNE COLLEGE
The third match began in rain and a strong wind between unbeaten Selborne and HTS Middelburg. The wind blew the clouds away and the sun re-appeared. HTS Middelburg did not panic as they ground out a solid 23-15 win, the boot of Brandon Par-Bailey being the difference.
Selborne, with the wind behind them, dominated territory, spending much of it in the Middelburg half. However the sides were evenly matched and the scoreboard remained score-less. The wind dropped and HTS started putting pressure on Selborne. The first points came with eight minutes remaining in the half, when fullback Parr-Bailey kicked a three pointer.
On the half-time whistle prop Cole van Tonder, with the help of fellow forwards, dived over for the first try of the match. Selborne’s Josh Allderman successfully converted, for Selborne to take the lead 7-3 at the break.
Immediately following the kick-off for the second half, wing Thakga Boloko stormed down the left touchline and dived over in the corner for the East London side to lead 12-3. There was some assistance from the wind, Middelburg kicked ahead, and from a ruck scrumhalf Jandre Venter sniped over. Parr-Bailey added the extra points for Middelburg to take back the lead 13-12.
This was short-lived as Allderman converted a penalty for Selborne for a 15-13 lead. Parr-Bailey then added another penalty from an acute angle so Middelburg were 16-15 back in front. Wing Waldo Conradie stretched the lead when he dived over again for a well-converted try for Middelburg to lead 23-15.
Another tightly fought contest saw HTS Middelburg defeat Selborne, leaving Grey College, who would be playing in the penultimate match, as the only unbeaten side remaining.
Selborne: Tries: Van Tonder, Bolokga; Conversion: Allderman; Penalty: Allderman
HTS Middelburg: Tries: Venter, Conradie; Conversions: Parr-Bailey (2); Penalties: Parr-Bailey (3)