Kokstad: Saturday 21 April
King Edward High School claimed their fourth regional title in a riveting final against host school Kokstad College at the Southern KZN Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge on Saturday 21 April.
The two finalists earned top position in their pools, advancing through to the semi-finals where King Edward met Suid-Natal and Kokstad took on Southcity. King Edward won 2-0, where the Kokstad College Southcity game went to a penalty shootout resulting in a 2-0 victory for Kokstad.
In the last game of the day, fierce rivals King Edward and Kokstad notched up a nil nil score at the end of full time, with Kokstad earning two short corners, the first of those was directly after no-nonsense umpire, Jani Dorning awarded two cards to King Edwards players, a green was dished out first, followed by a yellow for continuously infringing the five yards at a free hit. Both shorties were successfully defended by the Matatiele team. Both teams didn't really make any impact at the business ends of the field, with majority of the action taking place mid-field.
The game progressed to a penalty shootout with the defending champs taking the first run. King Edward’s Anathi Madikizela charged into the circle, only to meet the advancing Anga Gogela who didn't allow Madikizela any space to fire off a shot. Kokstad's Sibabalwe Cabangama was next to go and meet the sturdy defense of Thuto Kanetsi. Cabangama knocked the ball directly at Kanetsi, who easily stopped it and prevented any further chances. Second for KEHS, fiesty Azisa Cokota successfully knocked the first goal in, after running in and decisively sliding the ball right of Gogela. Kokstad's Tyler Rorke levelled the score after her first attempt was stopped, and she pounced on the ball slapping in her follow up shot that went left of the keeper. King Edwards's Lukhona Ndumdum stepped up to the mark, moved the ball in, drawing Gogela out, then rounding her on the left and slipping the ball in to take KEHS 2-1 up. Finally, Simamkele Kwababa's chance was denied by alert Kanetsi. Kwababa's slap attempt was easily blocked and then Kanetsi charged the ball down not allowing Kokstad player any space. The final score was 2-1 to King Edward.
In the bronze game Sheppie team, Suid-Natal took on fellow south coasters Southcity where the game also went to a penalty shootout. The game ended at nil nil with both teams not threatening to score. Suid-Natal's Kayla Parson and Valerie Ahrens scored while Michaela van Der Heever sadly missed. The mirror image results saw Southcity's Hannah Nero and Sarah-Joy Pringles score and McKayla Du Bruyn not able to get a third for her team. The bronze medal game then went to a sudden death, with Parson side stepping around Tamryn Steenkamp and determinedly finding the back of the net. Focused Nero veered left, but her shot went wide of the box allowing Suid-Natal third place.
After the finals, coach for Kokstad College Stephanie Peterson said, “It was a tough game. King Edward are worthy opponents to play against, but it is always the team with the most fight that wins. I was very proud of our team, even though they are young, they can only get better from here.”
Deidre Duminy, coach for King Edward High School said “The whole tournament, as always, was well organised and very exciting, and a good opportunity for us to practice our skills in play. The first game was slow for us, and then the goals seemed to open up after that. Kokstad College is a wonderful yet terrible opponent, as they are a tenacious team, and one can never be assured of the outcome. We enjoyed playing on their home ground and of course pleased that we managed to defend our title."
Joining the list of Most Promising Umpire from various regionals is Kyle de Kock from Kokstad College. The 16 year old Grade 11 pupil was impressive with his decisive decisions throughout the day and has been invited to the Grand Finals where he will further his umpiring career.
King Edward are the seventh team to advance to the Grand Finals at St Mary's DSG in Kloof on the 21 and 22 July. They join Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN Regional); St Anne's (PMB North Regional); Epworth School (PMB Central Regional); Durban Girls' College (DBN Central Regional); Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South Regional); Our Lady of Fatima (DBN North Regional).
For more info like the tournament's Facebook page.
1 King Edward High School, 2 Kokstad College, 3 Suid-Natal Hoërskool, 4 Southcity School, 5 Creston College, 6 Port Shepstone High School, 7 St Monica’s Diocesan School, 8 St Patrick's College, 9 Ixopo High School, 10 Bergview High School