The top ten first teams converge at St Mary’s DSG to battle it out at the Grand Finals of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge on 29 and 30 July.
The format for the finals will be pool games with the ten teams being split into two pools. Games will be 20 minutes one way, with four points being awarded for a win, two points for a draw with goals and a single point for a goalless draw.
Only one team has made an appearance in all seven of the Grand Finals, Durban Girls’ College has a sterling record with three consecutive golds, two silvers and a fourth place. They look to be the favourites in Pool B. College are joined by newcomers St John’s DSG and Amanzimtoti High School and King Edward High School who both are making their third appearance at the tournament. King Edward made a name for themselves last year after they impressively held the stronger teams to draws in the pool games.
Pool A sees defending champions St Mary’s DSG taking on previous 2011 winners, St Anne’s College, Grantleigh College, Wartburg Kirchdorf School and Our Lady of Fatima. The two saints teams are in good form after a vigorous school season but they will be up against the formidable German precision from Wartburg and the determined teams of Fatima and Grantleigh.
Overseeing the games will be a handful of the Most Promising Umpires selected at the various regionals, together with a blend of a handful of more experienced whistle blowers who will assist in grooming the up-and-coming regional umpires.
Travelling from Dundee is Que Mdletshe, the MPU representing the Northern KZN Regional. Kevin Engelbrecht will be travelling with his team from Wartburg. Engelbrecht is part of a keenly strong hockey family with his relatives Elona and Michelle both participating for Wartburg. Alana Marais will be representing the Pietermaritzburg region. Local Durban umpire, Angelique Kellerman is no stranger to the tournament, having played and captained Durban Girls’ High School when she was still a scholar. Bryan Riddle, who is a Grade 11 student from Thomas More College has been working hard to further his umpiring career and will be using this tournament to start making a name for himself.
Complementing the most promising umpires are Sonika Visser who also appeared in the first tournament as an MPU. Pam Daniel, like Kellerman, made her way through the ranks as a talented player and an MPU for Westville Girls’ High and now is a graded umpire. Engelie Maas has become a regular at both the regional and final tournament. Lastly, Greg Beavon will be rounding up the list of umpires.
Durban Girls’ College- Durban Central Regional Winner - Gold (2013, 2014, 2015), Silver (2012, 2016), Fourth (2011)
Ferrum High School – Northern KZN Regional Winner – Fifth (2012, 2015), Sixth (2011), Tenth 2013, 2014)
St Anne’s –Pietermaritzburg North Regional Winner - Gold (2011), Bronze (2014, 2015, 2016), Fourth (2013)
St Mary’s DSG – Highway Regional Winner - Gold (2012, 2016), Bronze (2011, 2013), Fourth (2015)
Wartburg Kirchdorf – Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional Winner - Eighth (2013), Ninth (2014), Sixth (2015), Fifth (2016)
Amanzimtoti High School – Durban South Regional Winner - Tenth (2015, 2016)
King Edward High School – Southern KZN Regional Winner - Eighth (2015), Sixth (2016)
Grantleigh – Northern Coastal Regional Winner - Eighth (2011, 2016)
Our Lady of Fatima – Durban North Regional Winner – Fifth (2011)
St John’s DSG