This past weekend the 12th Bestmed Gerrie Berner Festival took place in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. This very prestigious festival is hosted by Paul Roos Gymnasium and twelve schools from across South Africa participates in this event. For the 4th year in a row St. Stithians was crowned the champion after beating Paul Roos Gymnasium in a very tough battle five matches to three.
Schools that participate in this invitational tournament are: Afrikaans H/S (Affies), Grey College in Bloemfontein, St.Benedicts College, St.Stithians, Waterkloof, Clifton High from Durban, Stellenbosch High School, Pretoria Boys High, Paarl Boishaai, Kearsney College, St. Davids’s and Paul Roos Gymnasium
The schools are divided in two pools of 6 each. These six schools then compete in a round-robin format against each other. All the singles and doubles matches are contested with a “pro-set”, meaning first to eight games. After the round-robin matches are completed, the teams play crossover matches against the teams in the other pool in order to determine the final and other play-off matches.
After the conclusion of the pool matches the two pools looked like this;
1. St. Stithians
2. Paul Roos
3. Pretoria Boys
4. Paarl Boishaai
5. St. Benedicts
1. Grey College
4. St. Davids
6. Kearsney College
During the crossover matches and semi-finals Paul Roos beat Grey College in a very tough battle five mathes to two. St. Stithians was victorious against Affies. The crossover and play-off matches consist of full-sets and a 10-point tiebreaker for the 3rd set. The doubles is still a “pro-set”.
All though St.Stithians beat Paul Roos fairly easily in the round-robin phase, the final between the two schools was a totally different story. After the 6 singles matches were played the the schools were 3 matches all. Two of the matches that Paul Roos lost, were lost in the 3rd set tiebreaker. One of the matches that Saints lost were also in a 3rd set tiebreaker. All the single matches were of a very high quality with probably the match of the tournament between the two number 1’s, Rossouw Norval of Paul Roos and Bertus Kruger of Saints. After 3 hours Rossouw was victorious 6/7 7/6 (10/8).
But the defending champions, St.Stithians showed their class and went on to win 2 more doubles matches to win the tie against Paul Roos five matches to three.
In the match for 3rd place, Grey College beat Affies,
The final standings after the tournament:
1. St. Stithians
2. Paul Roos
3. Grey College
4. Afrikaans Seuns H/S (Affies)
5. Pretoria Boys
6. HJS Paarl (Boishaai)
8. St. Davids
9. St. Benedicts
10. Stellenbosch H/S
11. Kearsney College
Photo: The Winning Team: St. Stithians:
From left to right: Marius Masenkamp (Coach), Andreas Scott, Tinashe Tareburekera, Richard Thongoana, Bertus Kruger,
Kyle Johnson, Justin Liebenberg, Thabo Ncube and Basie Viljoen (Manager)