SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge
Highway Regional
Thomas More College: Sunday 12 May
St Mary’s DSG are again champions of the Highway Regional in the ninth SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge where they met Kloof High School in the regional final that took place at Thomas More College on Sunday 12 May.
It took the defending champs 76 seconds to net their first of 8 goals in the final, when Cailynn den Bakker charged down the field in a solo dash, all the way to the goal line, where she slipped the ball under Kloof keeper, Nicole Nzama’s right foot to Gemma Wood who finished off the fantastic break.
Thirty seconds later, the next attempt was fired in and bravely defended by Nzama. The second goal was netted by Tyler Pedley standing on the P spot, where she was on the receiving end of a nifty pass from the baseline, which she converted easily.
With five minutes played, den Bakker was back on the attack as she lifted her attempt on entry into the circle, only to have the shot thud into the brave last stand of Nzama. 6 minutes and 45 seconds into the game, St Mary’s earned their first of many short corners as they continued to pile on the pressure against Kloof. After the first shortie was defended, a minute later Saints were back on the prowl with their second short corner. From the castle, the ball moved left to a waiting Dani de Oliveira who sent a low flying flick beyond a charging Nzama for Saints third.
This time positioned on the right of the castle, de Oliveira was back in the action when she got the ball passed to her, firing in yet another rocket that Nzama managed to palm over out of play. Saints quickly got play underway in the long corner that quickly resulted in Cerian Fourie scoring the fourth.
With just over 7 minutes left, Megg Fourie standing at the top of the circle moved the ball right from the castle, but with defenders bearing down on the ball, it got slipped back to Fourie who earned her team’s fifth goal. Den Bakker moved into space midfield and again got the opportunity to stride goalwards, as she stepped into the circle, she slammed the ball into the goals for her teams sixth goal.
In the final minutes, the defending champs surged forward, attacking from the baseline, Kloof’s Thabile Sibeko defender was hugging the post as the ball got moved infield from the line. Sibeko managed to intercept the ball, but in the flurry, mis-queued her clearance only to watch agonizingly as the ball rolled backwards across her own line.
As the horn sounded full time, the game was camped out in Kloof’s circle with Saints setting up their sixth short corner. In the set play, a Kloof foot kicked the ball, giving Saints another opportunity. Saints moved play to Captain Kiana Cormack who fired in a shot, only to have the ball hit the post and rebound back to her who didn’t hesitate in slotting in her teams eighth goal, sealing a well deserved and well crafted victory.
Umpire for the day was Alistair Tyrrell from Curro Hillcrest.
Eight times Highway Regional winners – Saints join eight other teams who are headed to the Grand Finals that takes place at St Mary’s DSG on 20 and 21 July. The teams that already have booked a spot are St Anne’s College (PMB North), Epworth (PMB Central), newcomer Crawford La Lucia (DBN North), Durban Girls’ College (DBN Central), Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South), Kokstad College (Southern KZN), Ferrum High School (Northern KZN) and Wartburg Kirchdorf (uMvoti, uThukela and uMzinyathi) .
For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow on Instagram.
1 St Mary’s DSG, 2 Kloof High School, =3 Hillcrest High School, =3 Curro Hillcrest, 5 Thomas More College, 6 Westville Girls High School.