St Mary’s DSG, scooped their sixth victory in the Highway Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge which took place at Curro Hillcrest on Sunday, May 21.
This regional, which has always been a hotly contested one, saw six teams play 30 minute one-way games in round robin format on a perfect autumn day.
St Mary’s claimed their first victory in the first game of the day against Westville Girls High who went full out in an attempt to place themselves in the regional final, but were unable to score against Saints’ 2.
Try as they did but Westville, who battled against St Mary’s for this title in the regional final last year, could not edge out Kloof High either from the runnings for the finals. After losing to St Mary’s they managed to win against Curro Hillcrest and Hillcrest High scoring a bonus point for three or more goals. But it was the second to last game of the round robin against Kloof , which could have been the game changer, where they drew, resulting in Kloof going up against the defending champions. The teams were evenly matched, but in the last 30 seconds Westville Girls High were awarded a penalty for a deliberate foul in the D. A perfect opportunity for them to score from right in front of the goal, but they were unable to convert this into a winning result.
The finals of this regional, was a tough one coming late on a hot, long day, and Kloof tried valiantly to claim the title from St Mary’s. But Saints were in top form and pushed for goals, and within the first 10 minutes had already scored twice.
While they dominated much of the game, the Kloof players fought back hard, with the diminutive Dashal Naidoo’s nifty dribbling and Kaelin Hartog’s incredible ability to send the ball flying away from their goal supporting their team. Their goalie Zama Ngidi, had courage of steel as she fought off shot after shot at the goals with gargantuan determination.
St Mary’s played a very technical, hard and skillful game, using fancy teamwork to own the day. Leah Piggot, claimed the first and third goals, while Hannah Shirley claimed the second, both taking advantage of the flurry in the D. Piggot hit a hard first shot, and then later after the team had tried twice for goals and had been thwarted by the opponents goalie, she managed an excellent and unexpected reverse stick past the courageous Ngidi. The end result was 3-0.
St Mary’s will join nine regional winners at the Grand Finals at their school in Durban on July 29 and 30. Regional winners include King Edward High School, winners of the Ugu and Sisonke Regional, Ferrum Skool (Newcastle), St Anne’s College (PMB North), St John’s DSG (PMB Central), Amanzimtoti High School (Durban South), Our Lady of Fatima (Durban North) and Durban Girls College (Durban Central) and Wartburg Kirchdorf (Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi) and another from the Northern Coastal regional to be played on May 28 at Grantleigh in Richards Bay.
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1 St Mary’s DSG, 2 Kloof High School, 3 Westville Girls High School, 4 Thomas More College, 5 Hillcrest High School, 6 Curro Hillcrest Christian Academy