Wrap up for Durban North Regional – SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge

Crawford La Lucia: Saturday 25 March
Fatima claims title in Durban North Regionals

It was a nail-biting conclusion to a hard-fought tournament as Our Lady of Fatima edged out Danville Park Girls’ High in an evenly matched regional and final for the Durban North Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge on Saturday, March 25 at Crawford La Lucia astroturf.

This is the second time that Fatima have claimed the regional trophy since the inception of the tournament. And they did so in style, as the final whistle blew, the scoreline was 2-1 in favour of Fatima. Both teams showing some strong tactical and strategic play throughout the day.

The 20 minute final got underway in drizzly conditions. Danville took the early lead knocking in the first goal shortly after pressure from their short corner. Forward for Danville, Kaitlyn Gerhard found the back of the box three minutes into the game.

90 seconds later, Fatima’s Naomi Maujean had managed to score a hard field goal thwarting Danville’s goalie’s attempt at a save. Fatima speared through Danville’s disciplined defense in the sixth minute to narrowly go up, scoring the second for Fatima was Genevieve Marshall.

Fatima continued surging towards the Danville goal for eight minutes but didn’t manage to net their third. With just under six minutes left, Danville got their second wind and took the game into Fatima’s half but were unable to fire off any shots as the clock wound down.

The two top teams had near identical score cards, finishing their six games level on 19 points. They both drew 0-0 against hosts, Crawford La Lucia and drew 2-2 against each other. Goal scorers in the first riveting tussle were Heather Dunlop and Tatum Lardant for Danville and Megan Coreejes netted two for Fatima.

Captain of Fatima, Bella Thompson (17) was delighted with the win. “It was a tough tournament with some really good teams, but we managed to keep up our tempo and bring home the trophy. We were so tired in the final and Danville were awesome opponents, making for a good game. Well done to them, they played fantastically.”

The tournament, which was hosted by Crawford La Lucia, took the form of a round robin with seven schools north of Durban participating in 22 games. Defending champs, Ashton International College, who were unable to secure their fourth win of this regional, joined Crawford College La Lucia together with Crawford College North Coast, Danville Park Girls’ High School, Our Lady Fatima DCS, Northlands High School and Reddam House uMhlanga in a day of fast-paced hockey.

The award for Most Promising Umpire went to an extremely busy man, Brent Phillips who was representing two schools, Fatima and Ashton.

“Despite the billowing smoke from the Durban fire, and the grey skies and rain during the finals, the spirit was high and the tournament was run efficiently, with great hockey on the field,” says Tournament Director Les Galloway. “Playing in this round robin format is demanding and we were pleased to see the teams going flat out to play their best.”

MD of KZN SPAR, Max Oliva says “Congratulations to Fatima on the win, but also to the teams for the fantastic effort put into playing their best, as well as to the parents and families who came out to support their girls.”

Our Lady of Fatima, is the fifth team that will go through to the Grand Finals that takes place at St Mary’s in July. Four teams have already secured their berth at the tournament, Ferrum High School (Northern KZN); St John’s DSG (PMB Central); St Anne’s College (PMB North) and Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South). The sixth team will be decided at the Durban Central Regional which takes place tomorrow, Sunday, March 26 at the 3 Schools Trust astroturf.

1 Our Lady of Fatima, 2 Danville Park High school, 3 Crawford La Lucia, 4 Crawford North Coast, 5 Northlands High School, 6 Ashton International College, 7 Reddam House uMhlanga

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