A monumental tussle between two rival schools, saw Grantleigh College reclaim their title in the Northern Coastal regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge which took place at their school on Sunday, May 28.
Having previously twice won this regional Grantleigh were not going to relinquish their title without a good fight. Faced with a tight-knit outfit representing Felixton, the two teams came head to head in a dramatic, fast-paced and energetic gold/silver finals.
Felixton dominated the majority of the game, powerfully surging forwards countless times but encountered a firm solid defense from Grantleigh’s backline, and were unable to penetrate. In the last three minutes, Grantleigh secured a short corner, and Chene van Wyk managed to convert it into a point to steal the hopes of a win from their opponents.
Both Felixton and Grantleigh won their pool games and met Empangeni High School and Richardsbaai Skool respectively in the semi-final playoffs. The semis ended with both finalists going one-up against their opponents. Then Empangeni met Richardsbaai for third position in the bronze game, with Empangeni winning 1-0.
Danielle van Onselen, Captain of Grantleigh who was ecstatic about the win said, “It was a fast and tense final and there was a lot on the line going up against Felixton. At half time we really decided that we wanted this win very badly, and we went for it.”
Winning the award for the Most Promising Umpire, fourteen-year old Brett Braithwaite from Grantleigh, exhibited fantastic control and knowledge of all the games he officiated and oversaw.
Nine teams participated in this year’s Northern Coastal regionals and the tournament was played in two pools, with games lasting 20 minutes one-way with the final game lasting half an hour going two ways.
Wrapping up the regionals for this year’s SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, Grantleigh will meet St Mary’s winners of the Highway Regional, 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) at the Grand Finals at St Mary’s in Durban on July 29 and 30.