Durban Girls’ College Win Their Tenth Title

SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge
Durban Central Regional
Durban Girls’ College: Saturday 7 March
Maintaining their 100% record, Durban Girls College was crowned the Durban Central Regional winners of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge for the tenth time on Saturday 7 March.
College is the only team in the tournament to have a 100% appearance at the Grand Finals, which takes place later this year at St Mary’s DSG. College has an illustrious history in the ten years of the SPAR tournament notching up three golds, three silvers, a bronze and two fourths in their ten runs at the Grand Finals.
The victorious defending champs were made to work for their success in the regional final, meeting the lioness Durban Girls’ High School team. It was the second time the two teams met each other at the regional, with the first meeting going College’s way with only a solitary goal scored by Olivia Sharratt for the host school. Durban Girls’ High School’s defence stood solid only allowing 2 goals in with a barrage of attempts. Led by Girls’ High’s keeper, Nkazi Cele who commanded her troops tirelessly from the back. The first was on a back-to-back short corner, with the clock ticking past 2 and a half minutes played. The first short corner was awarded, with a heroic charge down by Girls’ High giving College another shortie attempt. The ball got pushed to the castle and Jenna Stichelbout’s shot deflected twice before slotting neatly into the goals.
Their second goal went in near mid-time. Livewire, Bulelwa ‘BB’ Mzimela pierced Girls’ High School’s circle and quickly passed the ball to a perfectly placed Amanda Holmes who easily tapped the ball across the line, giving her team a 2 nil advantage.
With endless surging into the DGHS circle, the visiting team managed to turn the game around and get into College’s circle as the clock ticked down with 2 and a half minutes remaining. The strong College back line didn’t allow the last minute breaks to amount to anything.
Leading up to the final College defeated St Henry’s. Early in the game, College earned a short corner and capitalized with a low flick finding the back of the box in the only goal in the first semi-final. In the second semi-final Girls’ High took on a determined Maris Stella. In a level pegged game, the score was nil nil. The game rolled into a penalty shoot-out, which Girls’ High secured in their third round. Scores remained unmoved for the first 5 attempts taken by both teams, but a determined run in by Tameka Pillay, followed by a quick release saw her shot fly into the net and earning an opportunity to dethrone Girls’ College.
In the bronze game between St Henry’s and Maris Stella. The game ping-ponged between the two 22s. The first time a team got into a circle, 7 minutes of play had ticked away. St Henry’s were the first team to take a crack at the goals after 12 minutes of play. A minute later Maris Stella had their first shot on the opposite end, with their chance being halted by a diving keeper.
With just over 3 minutes left, play was sent down the right with a number of crisp, sharp passes finding Sarah Proctor camped out mid-circle. Proctor calmly cashed in directing the pass neatly into the St Henry’s box scoring the game winning goal and securing third place for Maris Stella.
Umpire of the Day was awarded to the young Melissa Calitz from St Henry’s.
College is the second team to secure a spot at the Grand Finals, first to earn a place are newcomers Hoerskool Pionier from Northern KZN. On Sunday Our Lady of Fatima from Durban Nortr Regional were the third team to gain a berth at the Grand Finals that will take place at St Mary’s DSG in July.

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