Wartburg Kirchdorf School: Saturday 12 May
The surprise package of the day, Greytown High School dethroned the defending champs, Wartburg Kirchdorf School playing at home in the Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge on Saturday 12 May.
The hosts, who have won the title five consecutive times, were not given any time to settle in the final, with Gretytown taking control of the game from the get-go, not allowing Wartburg to get into their methodical German stride.
Greytown found two early opportunities in Wartburg’s circle but the ambitious shots didn’t trouble Wartburg’s keeper, Kholeka Mkhize. Mid-way through the first half, Wartburg managed to find a bit of space, with a long pass from near the half way line being miraculously stopped by a stretching Loren Engelbrecht in the Greytown circle. The forward controlled the ball but was met by a determined goalkeeper, Shayna Hattingh who valiantly left her line and didn’t allow Engelbrecht any angles to get a shot off, stifling her attempt.
Slowly Wartburg managed to find a few spaces, earning themselves three short corners and one long corner to Greytown’s single short corner. Both teams defended successfully, not allowing any balls into the back of the net.
Talented Elona Engelbrecht, cousin to Loren, had a go at the goals, firing in a marvellous attempt that went just right of the post. The first half ended with no other fireworks happening, the scores level on nil nil.
Six minutes into the second half, an indecisive call by the umpire caught Wartburg wrong-footed, thinking they had earned a free hit just outside their circle, but the umpire changed his call. Greytown pounced on the opportunity, as Wartburg proceeded to push their players up, an alert Greytown player quickly took off, passing the ball into the centre of the circle, where Bandile Masikane was lurking, and quickly slapped the ball in to earn her team the all important advantage.
The game ping-ponged between the two goals, with Wartburg trying desperately to level the score line but Greytown holding strong and pushing the game back up to Wartburg’s defence. Feisty Sphisihle Kubheka from Greytown ignited her troops from midfield, whenever she got possession, she created some fabulous plays for her team.
Statistically, Wartburg ended the round robin looking the strongest on 13points scoring three wins and one draw, with Greytown and Wembley vying for the spot in the finals. Greytown notched up two wins and two draws whilst Wembley managed two wins to end two points behind Greytown on 8 points. In the first game, Greytown showed a glimpse of what was to come, holding five times champions, Wartburg to a nil nil draw.
For the second year running, young Kevin Engelbrecht, a relative of the Engelbrecht girls, was acknowledged as the Most Promising Umpire for this regional.
Coach for Wartburg Kirchdorf School, Lisa Misselhorn said, “We knew Greytown would be strong but our game in the finals was well matched, with our team giving it their all. We are happy for the winning team, and I am very proud of Wartburg.”
Sara Wheeler coach for Greytown said “It is an extraordinary feeling for the team. We have always just missed out getting to the finals, and to get our shot this year is an amazing opportunity for us, especially against all these fantastic teams. Big thanks to the organisers.”
Greytown has earned the penultimate berth in the Grand Finals that take place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof, Durban on July 21 and 22. The other eight teams are Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN); newcomers Epworth School (PMB Central Regional); St Anne’s DSG (PMB Northern Regional); Durban Girls’ College (DBN Central Regional); Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South Regional); Our Lady of Fatima (DBN North Regional); King Edward High School (Southern KZN Regional), St Mary’s DSG (Highway Regional). The tenth and last regional takes place this weekend (May 19) at Grantleigh College in Richard’s Bay.
For more info visit the tournament’s Facebook page.
Scores at end of round robin:
Wartburg 13, Greytown 10, Wembley 8, Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg 4, Domino Servite 1
1 Greytown High School, 2 Wartburg Kirchdorf School, 3 Wembley College, 4 Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg, 5 Domino Servite