(PICTURE: Sedgefield’s Atlantic Spurs were the ecstatic winners of the Knysna Oyster Festival Netball Tournament.)

The last weekend of the Knysna Oyster Festival saw a triple whammy for Sedgefield, with three big sporting tournament trophies coming this way. Congratulations to the ladies from Atlantic Spurs (pictured top), the gents from Smuts United and the lads from Young Boys FC (see story on back page) for their respective victories in the Netball and Soccer competitions.

On Friday, 7 July and Saturday, 8 July, the Atlantic Spurs Netball squad took on other teams from the Greater Knysna area in the Knysna Oyster Festival Tournament. Playing what has been described as ‘beautiful netball’, they won all their matches in the group stages to go through to the semi-finals. Then a convincing 20-7 win against the Sky Blue squad saw them making the finals, where they played a brilliant match against the Jaguars from Knysna. An exciting game resulted in the final score of 12-6 in their favour, and the gold medals and trophy were theirs. Well done, ladies!

The following day, Sunday, 9 July, saw our talented local soccer champs from Smuts United defending the Oyster Cup in a final against FC United at Loerie Park in Knysna. Having brought the cup home in the 2022 tournament, the lads were no longer the underdogs, and everything was at stake to prove they were still champion material.

The rain made the going difficult for both teams but certainly didn’t keep their fans from filling the stands. It goes without saying that the Sedgefield team made their supporters’ journey worthwhile.

The one and only goal of the match came in the middle of the 2nd half; this, after some brilliant ball play from the Smuts team’s front pair gave Ashley Melite the opportunity to take a crack at the net. And score he did!
The home team retaliated swiftly, attacking with force in an attempt to find the equalizer. However, outstanding work by the Smuts United defense, in particular, goalkeeper Ashwell van Rooyen (who had earlier promised that no ball would pass his ‘golden gloves’ that day) kept the gates of the Sedgefielders goal mouth firmly locked against a barrage of opposition shots.

Smuts United’s captain of the day was Corne Melite, who was more than happy with his team’s performance and the invaluable work of those behind the scenes. He said the players could focus on coach Peter Hardnick’s simple instruction:- KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE – WE ARE IN IT TO WIN IT.

“We would like to say special thanks to all Sedgefield fans who drove through to offer their support,” says Smuts assistant coach Gavin Campher, “The stadium was packed!”

“From the team side, we would like to thank the coaches, management and supporters for pushing us to the limit’’ added Captain Corne.