WINDHOEK Afrikaans Privaat School (WAP) and St Paul’s College won the hockey titles in the Namib Poultry Gravity Cup at Wanderers Sports Club this weekend.
Schools across Namibia participated in the annual inter-school competition in several sporting codes including hockey, rugby, netball and basketball.
In the men’s hockey final, WAP took gold after a thrilling penalty shootout victory over Windhoek Gymnasium.
Windhoek Gym won an early penalty but WAP keeper Richter van Rooyen made a fine save to deny Owen Hatton
Windhoek Gym, however, took an early lead when Richie Slamet put a stray ball into the net.
WAP immediately fought back and two goals in three minutes from Jandre Smit put them ahead 2-1 at half-time.
Windhoek Gym leveled at 2-2 after a superb goal from Hatton early in the second half, then regained the lead when Aiden Landrey netted in a cross from Isaac Fallis.
Windhoek Gymnasium appeared to be heading for victory but WAP kept pushing and with one second remaining in regulation time Christian du Raan burst into the box to snatch the equaliser.
The match ended in a penalty shootout and WAP emerged victorious 2-1 to win the match amid scenes of unbridled joy and jubilation.
WAP coach Cedric Makati said they were well prepared for the final.
“We knew we had to push ourselves to the limit in this game and we actually practiced one-on-one shootouts because we knew it would be a close call and I have to say Windhoek Gymnasium are a great team. , but my boys worked for it and they wanted it very badly,” he said.
“We lost the first title to WHS, but to win it back here on our home turf is incredible, and that’s what we wanted – we wanted to show everyone that we are the five-man team that everyone should fear. and we showed that today, that we can come back. It means everything to the boys and to me, this team has five boys who are in their last year at school, so it’s just great for them too,” he added.
The women’s final was more one-sided as St Paul’s asserted their dominance from the start.
The WHS defense held off for a while but Azaylee Philander opened St Paul’s account with two goals in three minutes, while Jaime Gillies added a third just before half-time.
Philander completed her hat-trick with a penalty early in the second half, while Caitlyn Gillies sealed the win with a late fifth goal.
It was their first major title in recent years and St Paul manager Melissa Gillies
“These ladies have worked very hard together for the past two years, so it’s the culmination of about three or four years of working together and I’m really proud of them – it was a clinical achievement.
“It’s the moment we’ve been dreaming of – it’s very sweet and I’m very emotional about it because we’ve been close for a very long time and they’ve played some great hockey over the last few years, but now they’re just older, stronger and faster,” she added.