Wrap Up for Highway Regional
Curro Hillcrest: Sunday 9 May
St Mary’s D.S.G. have done it again, claiming the Highway Regional title for the ninth time after a spectacular display at the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge at Curro Hillcrest on Sunday 9 May.
TThroughout the day, Saints played a magnificent flowing and controlled game, dominating all of their bouts and knocking in 27 goals in their six rounds. In the regional final, they met host school, Curro Hillcrest, who played out of their boots in the round robin stages, earning themselves a berth against the defending champs.
Heading into the final, both teams went head to head in their last round robin game. St Mary’s camped out for majority of the game in the Curro half, and peppered Curro’s keeper with wave after wave of attacks. Asanda Makhunga stood tall in the goals, denying Saints surges. Four fantastic goals did manage to sneak beyond Makhunga giving the visitors a 4-0 win in the game.
In the final, Saints continued their relentless advances but Curro’s defenders held strong. The first charge at goal was 31 seconds into the game, two St Mary’s players drove downfield, with a powered pass gliding just out of reach of the support player running onto the ball, and rolling out of play.
Nearing 4 minutes, Gemma Wood confidently strode into the Curro circle, stepping into a perfectly crafted reverse stick shot that flew into the net, giving Saints their first goal. Curro knuckled down, and with their sticks to the turf pushed back for over 8 minutes, not allowing any of the constant barrages through. In the period of Curro’s resistance, home team defender, Karla Roberts was a wizard with her stick on the baseline, magically stopping, not one but three rockets smacked in during three consecutive short corners. Roberts, situated on the baseline, quietly halted the balls flight, controlling and clearing it quickly out of the danger zone.
With the clock on 12 and a half minutes, Louisa Combrink hit the ball in for their sixth short corner, from the castle, they shifted play wide, with a quick tap pass finding Combrink who was now posted in front of goals. The wily player, finding a hole in the defense, slapped the ball in for St Mary’s second.
Their third goal was also a set piece during a short corner. Combrink sent the ball to the castle, and again, they shifted the ball wide and then the ball moved into the centre of the circle, finding Dominque Carbonel who neatly pocketed in another goal. Concluding the game, the fourth goal pinballed around the circle until landing with Daniella De Oliveria who managed to gently tap in out of Makhunga’s reach.
Coach for St Mary’s Nolwazi ‘Chicken’ Nkabinde stated after the game, “It is really good to be back. We missed the action, and this tournament. My girls displayed fantastic skills today, something they can be proud of after the break. And we want to say thank you to our competitors, without them today would not have been possible. Well done to all for a brilliant day of hockey.”
Highway’s St Mary’s join Danville Park Girls High School from the Durban North Regional and Wembley College from Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional as regional winners.
This weekend the tournament heads to Richards Bay where Grantleigh hosts the North Coast Regional, and then back to Durban for the Durban Central Regional where Durban Girls High School hosts teams at their 3 Schools Trust.
For more info on the tournament, like their Facebook page or follow on Instagram.
Highway Regional Results
Curro Hillcrest: Sunday 9 May
1 St Mary’s DSG, 2 Curro Hillcrest, 3 Thomas More College, 4 Hillcrest High School , 5 Westville Girls High School, 6 Kloof High School