SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge
3 Schools Trust: Sunday 12 March
For the third time in a row, the first hockey team from Amanzimtoti High School raised the trophy as the Durban South Regional champions in the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge.
It was anyone’s trophy going into the last game of the round robin, with the statisticians working hard double checking the points. As the final whistle blew, Kuswag Skool had a guaranteed place in the final and a penalty shootout was required to decide on the second team, taking to the field for a Toti duel were Kingsway High School and the defending champions, Amanzimtoti.
Kingsway took the first attempt with Leoni de Beer meeting the full force of brave keeper, Nomcebo Maseko who charged out and met her at the top of the circle. Youngster, Mvelo Mthombeni from Amazimtoti slotted in her attempt putting the score to 0-1 after the first round. Kingsway’s second attempt was reawarded as Maseko overzealously played the ball outside the circle. On the retake, Nosipho Mngadi levelled the score for Kingsway. 14-year-old Anani Xozwa chance was thwarted as she found the courageous Teneze Csouros.
At the end of the second round, the score was one a piece, Erin Main managed to avoid a flying Maseko, with an open goal tempting her, her shot went agonisingly wide for KHS. Captain for Amanzimtoti, Phiwo Myeza took to the spot and fired in her shot, with the ball floating over the cross bar. The decider then went to a sudden death. Mngadi put her hand up and stepped up to the spot, she found the right boot of a charging Maseko with the ball flying out of the circle. The captain, Myeza then determinedly found the back of the net in her attempt, taking her team into the final.
Coach for Amanzimtoti High School, Shanna Hughes said, “Phiwo came up to me after she missed her first attempt and ensured me, ‘Don’t worry Ma’am, I’ve got this and she did. She also scored the goal in the final, leading by example!”
The quick fire twenty-minute final between Kuswag and Amanzimtoti had loads of action in the middle of the field. Myeza managed to capitalise on an opportunity, finding the back of the box for the only goal. Kuswag, however never gave up and as the clock ticked down, their urgency increased but they were just unable to penetrate the impressive defence from Toti.
Continuing, Hughes stated, “What a hectic day, typical Toti girls, there was no sailing through for us! It had to be nail biting! Murphy’s law, our first game in any SPAR tournament is always a draw and we drew against Grosvenor. We have a very good team, and they are very intuitive, they shift together, and do what they need, together!”
“Our goalie is amazing, she has no hassle charging out of her box. It took a brilliant team effort. All around, with all the girls’ we really wanted it. It was an awesome day, the atmosphere was brilliant.”
Coach for Kingsway High School, Lloyd Jones said, “Everything went right for us. We had quite a few young ones and they put their hands up! The day before we participated in the Scottburgh tournament and we go beaten, physically and on the scoreline. It was a hard day, knowing we had six tough games today we pulled in some U16s. My player of the team was most certainly Nosipho, who didn’t shy away from any challenge!”
Chatting about the penalty shootout, Jones surmised, “Look, we are new to 8 second penalties so didn’t quite know what to do. I asked the girls if any of them wanted to try and the youngsters put up their hands and impressed me no end! My whole team did. We try to look for the silver lining, we won the lucky draw and everyone was so chuffed with that!”
In each region, an umpire is recognised for his or her abilities and is awarded the Most Promising Umpire prize. At the Durban South Regional umpire Kalvin van Rensburg representing Kingsway High School shone with the whistle and took the honours of the M.P.U. this year.
MD for SPAR KZN, Max Oliva stated, “In the blustery, hot conditions the action on the turf kept turning up a notch as the day wore on! Thank you to Grosvenor Girls’, Kingsway, New Forest, Queensburgh Girls’ High, Werda and of course, our two finalists, for coming down and putting on such a wonderful display of hockey. Well done to all!”
Amanzimtoti takes the fourth berth at the Grand Finals and join St John’s DSG and St Anne’s who both earned their place on Saturday at the Pietermaritzburg Regionals. The three teams will be accompanied by Ferrum who were crowned the Norther KZN Regional in Pongola
For more info like our Facebook page.