SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge
St Mary’s DSG Grand Finals 29 and 30 July 2017
Defending champions, St Mary’s DSG, held on tightly to their title, making it a third win in the Grand Finals of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, which took place on their hometurf this weekend (29 and 30 July).
The physically strong and strategically adept team, claimed the victory from Durban Girls College who have also previously claimed the top honours three times. In an evenly matched final, St Mary’s continued to drive the ball home, with St Mary’s Kiana Cormack landing a decisive goal in the first half, but Durban Girls College were unable to break through the sturdy defense to equalize.
The Grand Finals saw ten regional tournament winners from around KZN playing in two pools, with cross pool play-offs, followed by final classification games. In Pool B three times winners Durban Girls’ College were joined by Amanzimtoti High School, King Edward High School, Grantleigh and St John’s DSG who made their Grand Finals debut this year. Pool A comprised defending champions St Mary’s DSG, St Anne’s College, Wartburg Kirchdorf School and Our Lady of Fatima.
It was an exciting lead up to the finals, with some near upsets adding to the energy on the field. King Edward High School, managed to hold their ground in their pool game against a strong Durban Girls’ College, resulting in a nil-nil result and the unofficial “giant-slayers” title.
First time at the Grand Finals, St John’s were well-focused, strategic and lightening-fast providing some great opposition in their games, ending with a well-deserved fourth place.
The semi-final between them and St Mary’s looked as if the newcomers would have a chance to knock St Mary’s out of the finals, as they scored a goal within the first 8 minutes. However, with the score at 2-1 in favour of the defending champs, St John’s managed to knock a solid shot in, only to be disappointed by a call for a “foot foul” that took place in the build-up to the shot, disallowing the second. For this feisty team, it was a big disappointment, and they were unable to claim back their energy after that, and St Mary’s won the game 3 -1 and the first berth in the finals.
The Durban Girls’ College and St Anne’s semi-final ended with the scores level at 1-1 and the deciding 8 second penalty shootout commencing, victory went the way of Durban Girls College with 2 successful penalties to St Anne’s 1.
“It was a fun and incredible experience,” said St Mary’s Captain, Tayla Putz after the win. “It was a tough tournament, and our draw with Fatima and St Anne’s, lost us the edge in the pool games on Saturday, but it was a reminder for us not to be complacent, bringing out the best in the team resulting in us coming away with the trophy today.”
Up next for this year’s champs is the Super 12 in the Oranje tournament. “Hopefully we will be able to carry the momentum of this win through to the Super 12 in two weeks time.”
Varsity College, who have partnered with the tournament for two years, awarded two sports bursaries to captain of Amanzimtoti, Phiwokuhle Myeza, and captain of St Anne’s, Brady Wiseman.
“We are really proud of all the teams that reached the finals,” said Tournament Director, Les Galloway. “Now seven years down the line, this tournament really has come of age, with some truly great hockey being played. Throughout the regional events and these finals we see the real benefits to the game for school girls, as teams are given the opportunity to play against opponents they would not ordinarily play. And we have a whole lot of fun whilst doing so.”
1 St Mary’s DSG, 2 Durban Girls College, 3 St Anne’s College, 4 St John’s DSG, 5 Our Lady of Fatima, 6 King Edward High School, 7 Wartburg Kirchdorf School, 8 Grantleigh College, 9 Ferrum High School, 10 Amanzimtoti High School
Saturday 29 July
St Mary’s 0 vs St Anne’s 0
Ferrum 0 vs St Anne’s 3
St Anne’s 3 vs Fatima 0
St Anne’s 5 vs Wartburg 0
St Mary’s 3 vs Ferrum 0
St Mary’s 1 vs Fatima 1
St Mary’s 7 vs Wartburg 0
Ferrum 0 vs Fatima 3
Ferrum 0 vs Wartburg 1
Wartburg 1 vs Fatima 5
St John’s 0 vs Durban Girls’ College 0
St John’s 2 vs King Edward 0
St John’s 5 vs Amanzimtoti 0
St John’s 3 vs Grantleigh 0
Durban Girls’ College 0 vs King Edward 0
Durban Girls’ College 3 vs Amanzimtoti 0
Durban Girls’ College 5 vs Grantleigh 0
King Edward 3 vs Amanzimtoti 0
King Edward 3 vs Grantleigh 1
Amanzimtoti 0 vs Grantleigh 0
Sunday 30 July
Wartburg 1 (1) vs King Edward 1 (2)
Fatima 3 vs Grantleigh 0
St Mary’s 3 vs St John’s 1
Durban Girls’ College 1 (2) vs St Anne’s 1 (1)
Ninth / Tenth Position
Ferrum 1 vs Amanzimtoti 0
Seventh / Eight Position
Wartburg 0 (2) vs Grantleigh 0 (1)
Fifth / Sixth Position
Fatima 4 vs King Edward High 0
Third / Fourth Position
St Anne’s 0 (2) vs St John’s 0 (1)
First / Second Position
St Mary’s 1 – Durban Girls’ College 0
St Mary’s DSG