SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge
Pietermaritzburg North Regional
St Anne’s Diocesan: Sunday 11 March
Retaining their title for the seventh consecutive year, St Anne’s Diocesan College remain the champions of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge Pietermaritzburg North Regional on Sunday 11 March.
St Anne’s took on The Wykeham Collegiate in the finals for the region. In an enthralling 25 minutes, the whistle blew with one goal separating the two teams, 2-1 in favour of the defending champions.
Wykeham Collegiate kept all their panache for the main game, having gone down to Saints earlier in the day during the round robin match which ended 3 nil to the hosts. Fifteen seconds into the game, Saints revealed their attacking prowess with their first attempt going right of goals.
It didn’t take Saints long to slot in their first goal. Just under two minutes had ticked away when Danni Chessenski, camped out on the left hand post, received a perfect pass and quietly slapped the ball in.
Eight minutes into the game, Wykeham’s Loren Gerrard dazzled the Saints defence with a run down the left side line, crabbed her way along the baseline and fired in a shot directly to the waiting keeper. The clearance went directly back to the waiting Gerrard who followed up her shot with more determination and slotted in the all important equaliser.
Another three minutes ticked by when a poorly strategized 16 hit from TWC was charged down. Saints capitalised, nailing in a shot from the top of circle by Danni Rhodes. The attempt was deflected by a defender landing in the box, sealing the win for Saints.
Saints had a total of eleven shots at goal, with four hitting their target of which two were goals and two being defended, four going right of the upright and three veering to the left. Wykeham’s defence was exemplary only giving away a handful of short corners to their opposition.
Robin Jones, coach for the winning team said, “It was a fantastic day for hockey. It is always difficult to maintain the same standard throughout a day like this, and we knew the finals would be tough but the team did well - I am very, very proud of them.”
Sam Scott, coach for The Wykeham Collegiate said, “This tournament provides experience and a good opportunity for us to see where we are as a team and where we need to go. We may not have won, but the finals provided a great game for the players and spectators alike, and the TWC girls gave it 100%, so we could not have asked for more.”
Top goal scorer for the tournament, was St Anne’s Vice Captain and star player, Danni Rhodes who netted an impressive 18 goals in total out of her teams 33.
Most Promising Umpire was awarded to Voortrekker High School’s Lethokuhle Mngadi. Mngadi took charge in the final showing fabulous calm nerves in the tense, action packed game.
Saints is the third team to secure their berth at the Grand Finals. They join Ferrum High School representing the Northern KZN Regional and newcomers Epworth College, champions of the Pietermaritzburg Central Regional.
For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page.
1 St Anne’s Diocesian, 2 The Wykeham Collegiate, 3 Carter High School, 4 Treverton, 5 Voortrekker High School , 6 Grace College.