SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge
Durban Girls’ High School: Sunday 16 May
Continuing their legendary record, Durban Girls’ College defended their tenth title in the Durban Central Regional of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge on Sunday 16 May at 3 Schools Trust.
College is the only team in the history of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge to have won this regional every year since the tournament’s inception in 2011. In this year’s final, they met age old opponents Durban Girls’ High School.
Manager for Durban Girls’ College, Bell Meek who has been part of every victory, stated simply after the win, “The girls played beautiful hockey today.”
In their first encounter during the Round Robin, Girls’ High held College for 18 and a half minutes, defending like trojans, before letting College get in the first goal. With the seconds counting down, College managed to knock in a shot from the top of the circle, beyond the valiant attempt from Girls’ High’s keeper. The dress rehearsal for the final ended on 2-0 to College.
In the main game of the day, 70 seconds into the final, College were awarded their first short corner. In their set piece, the ball travelled quickly from the top of the D to Julia Burnett, situated on the penalty spot. She tried to turn and flick but Kalista Pillay, keeper for Girls’ High was savvy to her intentions and was right behind her not allowing her any room. College continued to persevere, with their next attempt hitting the right post and in the flurry in the goals, Girls’ High calmly cleared the ball over the baseline, allowing for College to earn another short corner.
In their second set play, College tried the traditional, uncomplicated pass to the castle with the ball then being fired in. First wave, Cortney Whitfield from Girls High was bravely charging down the rocket, putting her body on the line and saving her team from the second attempt.
With just under 5 minutes of play, College got into some free space, dashing into the circle with a beautifully timed reverse stick shot that went clanging into the right post and rebounding back into play. Erin Watson who was on hand in support, was gifted the rebound ball and neatly took her chance slotting in College’s tournament winning goal.
Girls’ High worked nobly at the back defending four more short corners. But the hosts also took the game right up into the visitor’s circle with several well-crafted attacks. Here they met a strong back line who quickly worked the ball out of their danger zone and returned the play up to the midfield.
Three quarters of the way through the final, the small, dynamite package of Burnett ignited play as she bolted down the sideline, zipped along the baseline and balanced herself to let off a cracker but was met by Pillay who continued her sterling performance, and booted out the attempt.
In the final short corner, College tried yet another creative set piece but were unable to pierce through solid defense of the home team who really put their hearts, and their bodies on the line. The game ended with only the one goal being netted, and a well-deserved victory to the visitors.
College join four other teams who have been crowned regional winners in the Take Two of the milestone celebratory tenth year of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge. Danville Park Girls’ High won the Durban Central Regional, Wembley College took the title in the uMvoti, uThukela and uMzinyathi Regional, St Mary’s D.S.G. from the Highway Regional, and most recently Grantleigh College won the North Coast Regional.
For more info, like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow on Instagram.
1 Durban Girls’ College, 2 Durban Girls’ High School, 3 Maris Stella, 4 St Henry’s Marist College, 5 INK Team, 6 Inanda Seminary