Tenth Title for St Mary’s DSG

SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge
Highway Regional
Westville Girls’ High School: Sunday 13 March
St Mary’s DSG continued their domination of the Highway Regional at the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge with a determined performance ensuring their tenth title.
They squared off against a hard-working team from Thomas More College in the regional final at Westville Girls’ High School on Sunday 13 March. From the first whistle, Saints pushed the game up to the Thomas More circle with the first threat coming just seconds into the game. The defending champion’s intentions were obvious as they continued the pressure but Thomas More’s keeper Tiaasha Naicker and her defenders braved the various wave of attacks.
Saints opened up their account with their first goal being scored midway through the first half. Captain for St Mary’s DSG, Amy van Rooyen shared, “The first goal was quite an early one. I received the ball from one of my mids, and then plugged it straight in to the D and Anna Birt touched it. It was quite a lucky touch, but she got it in. It was quite nerve-wracking because I had to go and review it with the umpires. But it was awarded.”
Nearing the end of the first half, Saints perseverance paid off. Play moved down from the right, shuffled along the baseline and into the centre. The umpire blew up a foul and Thomas More quickly tried to get the play away from their danger zone. Intercepting the clearance, Saints caught Thomas More defence on the back foot with a blitz into the circle, and the daring Elizabeth Anderson firing off a rocket from two paces into the D.
Talking about the day, van Rooyen continued, “We were so excited going into the tournament. We started off quite shakily with drawing zero zero against Curro but we just got better and better and it was such a great day.”
Heading into the final, van Rooyen said she felt really nervous, “I trusted my team mates. We kept moving the ball, which was our aim and doing this we knew the goals would come as the space was very limited in the D.”
After three quarters of game time, Thomas More were given some space to play, taking their opportunity up to the Saints circle. In a good passage of play, Thomas More kept the ball up in the Saints 22, camping there for nearly 3 minutes but were just unable to capitalise on their good fortune.
Talking of this pressure, van Rooyen said, “I was worried, especially going back and forth setting up for the 5 meters but I kept talking to my team and we kept encouraging each saying defend, defend, defend. It really did help us that we were 2 nil up which made us feel a lot more confident, and with all the numbers dropping back to defend.”
The final score was 2 nil in favour of St Mary’s DSG. They are the fifth team to secure a spot at the Grand Finals which takes place on their home turf in July. They are joined by Our Lady of Fatima after yesterday’s Durban North Regional, Newcomer Pionier Hoërskool was the first team through, followed by St Anne’s College (PMB North Regional) and St John’s D.S.G. (PMB Central Regional).
Umpire of the Day went to St Mary’s DSG’s Letho Mngadi.
For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow on Instagram. All games are livestreamed by SuperSport Schools
Overall results:
1 St Mary’s 21 points, 2 Thomas More College 16 points, 3 Westville Girls’ High School 14 points, 4 Curro Hillcrest 8 points, 5 Kloof High School 7 points, 6 Hillcrest High School 6 points, 7 Gelofte School 0 points

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