Amazing and nerve wracking was how host’s King Edward High School’s captain described her teams’ performance in the Sisonke and Ugu Regional of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge that took place in Matatiele on Saturday 23 April
King Edward were on fire in the cold and wet weather, with a full complement of victories throughout the day, including the main game where they met Suid Natal Skool in the regional final.
After ninety seconds of play, King Edward earned a long corner on the far left of the field. Thirty seconds later saw the local team break into the circle for the first time but the visiting team put a quick stop to the attack, clearing it just beyond the 22. The locals quickly picked up the clearance and pushed the ball to the far right. After breaking away from the defenders, the ball got moved rapidly to the center of the circle where an unmarked King Edward center forward was quietly waiting. Jaylin van Wyk stopped the ball, steadied herself and knocked in the first goal with 2 minutes and 22 seconds of play on the clock.
Suid Natal dusted themselves off and for majority of the remainder of the game, dominated possession. With almost six minutes of play, they got their first attempt at the KEHS goal but misfired a reverse stick attempt. A few seconds later, they earned a short corner with the attempt going wide. A dash at the King Edward defense with 8 minutes left of play fizzled out and two minutes later they fired in a shot from the top of the D that rocketed to the right of the King Edward goal.
As time started running low, Suid Natal found themselves with a phenomenal opportunity, a rare one-on-one. King Edward High School’s proactive keeper Tumi Pakkies who hadn’t seen much action during the course of the day, boldly left her line charging towards the attack by Linki Buitendagh. Diving head first, Pakkies managed to defend and distract the Suid Natal attack that stalled in the corner. Suid Natal continued their valiant efforts but the King Edward team snuffed any further attempts and took the regional title for the fifth time.
Playing in her third SPAR tournament, captain for KEHS, Kiandre Jacquire said, “The final was a tough one, intense and overwhelming. And I am proud of the team for holding strong. We pushed hard in every game, and played our best throughout the day. Playing to our full potential, we managed to win all our games.”
Coach for King Edward, Joaquim Kok shared, “Despite it being wet and rainy, the girls managed to pull through in every single game. They made us proud, they themselves proud because they were determined to do the best that they could. Despite the weather, they played so well and I am very proud of them.”
Commenting on the final, Kok continued, “The final was a bit tense, a very hectic and challenging game but with one goal, we managed to keep it there and play the defensive game against them and managing to win the game, and tournament in total.”
Recognised for his efforts with the whistle, Umpire of the Day was awarded to Tiaan Prinsloo from King Edward High School.
The bronze medal game between South Coasters’ Creston College and Southcity Christian School ended nil nil after twenty minutes of play. The game headed to the penalty spot where both teams levelled out with 1 goal each after the first round of three shoot-outs. To decide on the winner, the next round went to sudden death where Creston’s Melissa Bense held strong and managed to net her attempt, edging out hard working Southcity after their missed attempt.
Earlier in the day, at the conclusion of Pool B, the two teams, Creston College and defending champs, Kokstad College who have both previously made it through to the Grand Finals representing the region, had to square off in a penalty shoot out to see who advanced through to the semi-finals. Both ended their pool games level on 6 points each. Creston College managed a 2 – 1 victory in the penalty shoot-out, giving them a ticket to the semi-final where they met King Edward High School. In the other semi-final, Suid Natal met Southcity.
In the first semi-final, Suid Natal continued their sparkling performance with a 2 nil victory against Southcity. While Creston went down to the hosts, with King Edward knocking in 2 goals against the visitors.
King Edward High School is the seventh team to earn a berth at the Grand Finals. They join six other teams that have already secured their spot from around KZN. They meet Pionier Hoërskool (Northern KZN Regional); St Anne’s College (PMB North Regional); St John’s D.S.G. (PMB Central Regional); Our Lady of Fatima (DBN North Regional); St Mary’s D.S.G. (Highway Regional) and Kuswag Hoërskool (DBN South Regional) at the Grand Finals which will be held in July in Kloof.
Three regionals are still to be played in May, the uMvoti and oThukela Regional on Saturday 7 May, followed by the Durban Central Regional on Sunday 15 May and then finally Northern KZN Coastal Regional on Saturday 21 May.
For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow on Instagram. All of the SPAR games will be live streamed by SuperSport Schools on their website and mobile app.
Results
1 King Edward High School; 2 Suid Natal Skool; 3 Creston College; 4 Southcity Christian School; 5 Kokstad College 6 St Monica’s Diocesan School; 7 St Patrick’s College; 8 Ixopo High School; 9 Bergview College
Game Scores
KEHS 1 vs Southcity 0
St Patricks 0 vs Suid Natal 1
Ixopo 0 vs KEHS1
Bergview 0 vs Kokstad 0
Creston 0 vs St Patricks 0
Southcity 0 vs St Monica’s 0
Suid Natal 2 vs Bergview 0
Kokstad 0 vs Creston 0
Suid Natal 2 vs Creston 0
KEHS 1 vs St Monica’s 0
Bergview 0 vs St Patrick’s 2
Ixopo 0 vs St Monica’s 0
Kokstad 1 vs St Patricks 0
Creston 1 vs Bergview 0
Suid Natal 1 vs Kokstad 0
Semi-final one: Suid Natal 2 vs Southcity 0
Semi-final two: Creston 0 vs KEHS 2
St Patrick’s 6 vs Ixopo 0
Kokstad College 0 (1) vs St Monica’s 0 (0)
Bronze: Creston College 0 (2) vs Southcity 0 (1)
Gold / Silver Final: Suid Natal vs KEHS