SPAR KZN School Girl’s Hockey Challenge
Durban North Regional
Crawford North Coast: Sunday 15 April
Our Lady of Fatima earned themselves their third title when they were crowned Durban North Regional winners at the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge on Sunday at Crawford North Coast.
Fatima had a clear run to the regional final, where they met Danville Park Girls’ High School. The first half the game flowed easily up and down with no real chances being taken. Fatima started the attack with Megan Coreejes charging down the right but ran out of space with the Danville defence forcing her over the baseline. Danville were awarded a short corner a minute later, but the unimaginative shot was fired directly at the keeper, Ntando Nzuza easily stopping the shot and her defender quickly clearing it out of danger.
Fatima’s Coreejes burst down the right after a hoik pass from upfield found Coreejes in the middle of the circle. The forward put in a fine attempt but blazed it high and wide. Coreejes third break in the first half was met with a sea of green defence, and no support from her team mates saw her third opportunity amount to nothing.
After a quick change over, Fatima stepped up a gear. At the start of the second half Kirsten Lenz was in the right place at the right time as a flat pass from the right side of the circle found her lurking around the p spot, Lenz calmly slapped the ball neatly into the box getting her team’s first goal.
Directly after their first goal, Fatima surged forward in their fifth attack with Emma Lofstedt reaching the circle and quickly firing off her shot directly at the awaiting keeper which was easily blocked and defended. A short corner went the way of Fatima, a smooth delivery reached the castle, with the striker glancing the ball right to Lofstedt who didn’t make the same mistake twice, firing in her second attempt to the left of the keeper, taking her team comfortably 2 nil up.
As the game wound down, Fatima had their final chance with an exciting flurry at the goals. A shot went high and wide, with a sterling effort from Nzuza, getting both hands up to block the shot. The ball fell comfortably for the Fatima forward who was camped out at the goal and should have had an easy slot for their third goal but in the excitement, missed the ball giving Nzuza time to fly across the goals and thwart any further opportunity.
Fatima met Northlands Girls’ High in the first semi-final where Fatima went up 3 nil. Goal scorers in that game were star players Lofstedt, and Megan Coreejes with Naomi Maujean also getting her name on the score sheet.
Danville met Crawford La Lucia in the second semi-final, at full time both teams were unable to make a break through. Both teams were quietly impressive throughout the day but were at loggerheads in their semi.
The game progressed to three rounds of a penalty shoot-out. First up was Danville’s captain Awande Mkhwanazi whose attempt was blocked. Crawford’s Alison Beck’s determined run met the sturdy defence of Nzuza. Next up for Danville, Christy Gilmour drew the keeper out with her slap that was blocked, but luckily for her the ball landed kindly and she was able to follow up with an easy slot into the back of the box. Rachel Wilkinson stepped up for Crawford, striding forward and knocking in a decent looking shot that at the last minute found the left pad of Nzuza, and rolled safely out of reach. Tatum Lardant took to the spot for Danville and charged in, veering right and rolled the ball beyond the flying Linda Dlamini to take her team 2 nil up and sealing their spot in the regional final.
Receiving his second Most Promising Umpire award, Enzo Magubane from Amanzimtoti was recognised for his efforts with the whistle. He was representing Ashton International College this time round, having been selected previously blowing at the Durban South Regional.
Our Lady of Fatima is the sixth team to secure their berth at the Grand Finals that takes place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof. They join Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN), Epworth School (PMB Central); St Anne’s College (PMB North); Durban Girls’ College (DBN Central) and Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South). Next weekend the tournament travels to Kokstad for the Southern KZN Regional.
For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow the tournament’s Instagram account.
1 Our Lady of Fatima, 2 Danville Park Girls’ High, 3 Northlands Girls’ High, 4 Crawford La Lucia, 5 Ashton International College, 6 Crawford North Coast, 7 Reddam House uMhlanga, 8 Durban North College.